Contributed by- Saumya Shatakshi, Senior Nutritionist
What can be better than a hot, steamy cup of tea?
Waking up on a chilly morning to a hot cup of tea is definitely the reason why people love their mother or spouse more during winters. This unmatched pampering goes a long way to make the day more productive. Rather it can be the only reason why many like me wriggle out of our cosy beds.
The humble cup of tea with more than 3000 varieties is the most consumed beverage in the world after water. Indians are known for their love for tea and come winters, this love converts to an addiction for many. Adrak ki chai becomes a household name. What about the famous masala chai at the railway platform sipped from a kulad?
Tea is categorically of 5 main types depending on the oxidation levels. Generally speaking, the less a tea is oxidized, the gentler and lighter it will be in taste and aroma. For those who love sipping tea, here is a peek into the various shades of tea and the many reasons why this love affair should continue.
White tea is made from the young leaves of the tea plant. The fresh unopened buds of the plant are still covered by fine silvery-white hairs which gives it the name white tea. It is the least processed version of tea offering delicate flavours and aroma.
The healthy sip: It is rich in antibacterial properties and is instrumental in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and helps in the treatment of diabetes. Due to its low caffeine content, it is the perfect choice for people watching their caffeine intake.
Weight loss tip: For those want to lose weight, a concoction of 1 teaspoon of white leaves, ½ tsp ginger powder and few drops of lemon juice, taken for 15 days will show promising results.
Beauty benefits: Due to the high phenol content, it strengthens elastin and collagen which helps in preventing wrinkles, aids in acne treatment and improves hair health.
Word of caution: Consuming large quantities can lead to gastrointestinal problems or because of the caffeine, if taken in excessive quantities can lead to insomnia and dizziness.
Recommended dosage – Daily dose of 3-4 cups of white tea is highly recommended for a healthier and glowing you.
The healthy sip: All of us are aware of the numerous benefits that green tea offers. It is considered as the healthiest beverage and is indeed a cup full of goodness. It is high in anti-oxidants, can reduce cholesterol and promotes healthy cell growth.
Beauty benefits: Green tea when mixed with sugar can be used as face scrub ridding you off dead skin cells. It is an excellent toner which helps in opening clogged pores. It is a good choice to reduce the puffiness around the eyes. It can also be used as a hair rinse and keeps hair healthy.
Word of caution: It contains tannins, drinking in excessive quantities can stain your teeth and attack the enamel. It can hamper iron absorption also. So, drink green tea to enjoy it’s benefits but do not make it an addiction.
Do’s & Don’ts: To get the maximum benefits from green tea, avoid adding milk, sugar, cream or even honey. Brew a spoonful of fresh tea leaves in boiling water and steep for 2-3 minutes before you drink it.
Recommended dosage: 2- 3 cups of green tea in a day is advised for healthy benefits.
The healthy sip: Black tea is savoured by all the tea lovers. It is full of that invigorating tea flavour and has endless health benefits. Black tea is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, reducing risk of heart diseases and lowering sugar levels.
Beauty benefits: Ideal for people with oily skin, black tea helps to tighten pores, freshens up skin and gives you a natural, radiant glow. A secret recipe for a naturally toned and cellulite free body, is bathing with black tea twice a week.
Word of caution: Black tea is high on caffeine content and too much of black tea can lead to anxiety, nervousness, confusion, sleep disorders etc.
Do’s & Don’ts: It is highly advised to consume black tea in moderation. Drink a cup of black tea in the morning as it will boost your energy levels and keep you alert the entire day.
Recommended dosage: 2-3 cups of black tea in a day is highly recommended for healthier and more energetic you.
The healthy sip: As the name suggests herbal tea is full of soothing niceties as it is free from caffeine and has low tannin content. It has cancer fighting properties and is beneficial in skin allergies. Herbal tea is an infusion of several fruits, herbs and spices; a cup of yummy goodness.
Beauty benefits: To use it as a natural mild cleanser, cool and apply the brewed tea on your skin. Dry for 10 minutes and rinse off. It reduces acne, scars, pimples, swelling and redness.
Word of caution: Despite of the endless health benefits some of the herbal tea can lead to allergic reactions like shortness of breath, cheat pains and swellings.
Do’s & Dont’s: It is always suggested to explore the ingredients of the herbal tea before trying it for the first time. Make it absolutely sure the that the tea is good for you and will not hinder with any medications that you maybe taking.
Recommended dosage: It is best to limit your daily dosage of herbal tea to 2-3 cups for maximum benefits.
The healthy sip: Oolong tea is often defined as the partially oxidised and semi- fermented tea. It is rich in antioxidants and is also a good source of calcium, manganese, potassium, copper and selenium. It is also plays an instrumental role in weight management and controlling tooth decay.
Beauty benefits: Keeps skin healthy and clearer. For those suffering from eczema, or just want a brighter, younger looking skin. It diminishes dark spots, age spots and wrinkles. It is an effective sunscreen and toner.
Word of caution: Oolong tea has high caffeine content and too much consumption can lead to several side effects like headache, anxiety, vomiting, diarrhea, irritability, irregular heartbeat etc.
Do’s & Don’ts: Do not drink oolong tea on empty stomach, a cup of oolong of tea gone cold can cause more harm than good.
Recommended dosage: 2-3 cups of oolong tea in a day is highly recommended.
A a small cup of tea offers such great benefits, it is indeed a warm hug in the cup.
Adds Dr. Dhrity Vats, “Tea not only helps in winters by fighting cold and flu but also reduces inflammation which decreases arthritic pain. Those suffering with arthritis can have ginger tea, nettle tea, regular tea and green tea. The green tea has EGCG which suppresses inflammation in the connective tissue for those suffering from arthritis”.
Tea is always a good idea! So, include all varieties of healthy tea in our daily diets.