“Barandaye roddur, ami aram kedaraye boshey du paa nachai re,
Gorom cha-e chumuk di
Ami khoborer kagoj niye boshe pata oltai re…”
For Indians our blood group is chai positive… because for us, chai is more than just a cup of tea to kickstart our day. But have you ever thought how chai came into the picture and conquered our hearts?
Let’s see why chai became our love at first sip. For thousands of years, we have drunk tea on a daily basis for its amazing taste and because it refreshes us like no other beverage does, may be without even knowing its health benefits. Freshly harvested tea leaf is processed differently in different parts of the world to give oolong tea (2%), green tea (20%) or black tea (78%). Tea as an excellent hydration source is now undisputed. Tea is also known to be as thirst quenching as water and yet more pleasurable. This has given individuals a better and easier way to meet their fluid requirements, without having to resort to sweetened or carbonated drinks.
Tea when drunk on its own, without milk or sugar, not only tastes great, but more importantly, contains virtually no calories. This means that tea is an excellent accompaniment to a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle, and to a weight management programme. If you don’t want to consume tea without sugar, team it up with honey to fulfil the desires of your sweet tooth along with lime or mint or tulsi as desired. It is a rich source of flavonoids in the diet. Although large variations in content can occur due to differing sources, preparation methods etc., it has been shown that in tea drinking populations, tea provides a significant contribution to daily flavonoid intake. In general, the epidemiological data to date, points towards a positive association between regular tea consumption (without milk and sugar) and better heart health by increasing the good cholesterols, thus improving artery function. Some studies indicate that tea flavonoids are associated with better endothelial function, which may explain the benefit to heart health.
It also aids digestion through the essential oils from the leaves.Tea contains L-theanine and low levels of caffeine which together may have positive effects in helping individuals keeping alert. Tea is the major source of L-theanine and when consumed independently, may help to produce a relaxed and alert mental state. Moreover, caffeine has been shown to improve mental and physical performance. Tea has the ability to revitalise the body and mind. It contains fluoride and tea flavonoids have demonstrated antibacterial properties which maintain our dental health also. Tea is an ancient beverage, yet one with very modern health benefits.
It’s likely the health benefits of tea are even more valuable now than they were a few centuries ago. After being consumed for more than four thousand years, tea has changed very little – until now. It’s been served hot, it’s been served cold. But now tea is being served in a style that suits the most frantic lifestyle – you can get it to go. So, the next time anyone says tea is bad for health, just take a deep breath, make them have an amazing cup of tea and say “chai bina chain kahaan re…”.
Until we meet next time… till then Stay safe, Eat healthy and say cheers with Chai!.