What would it be like if our daily morning pick-me-up was to be wiped away from the face of the earth? Where would humanity end up? Would it be such that all of us will simply refuse to get out of our beds in the morning or we’ll somehow gather our bones up but slog through the day like snails on a rainy day?
The national beverage of India is not so just because of its creamy, smooth and silky taste but also because of its magical property of turning a sleep-ridden loon into a creature of vigour who could probably add an extra hour to the clock if went into full swing.
The warm cup is a blessing of the dawn, a reward for waking up into a life of work and worldly responsibilities far from the wispy embrace of the night. It is invigorating to feel the jolt of that first sip which lights up the nervous system like those Diwali lights. All such even before the caramel-like and earthy flavour can even grace a taste bud.
How can a substance exist that has so many good qualities and yet is available at a dime a dozen? I am at a loss for an explanation. Well, my fellow readers, if you haven’t swooned into believing in the nourishing faculty of this beverage, allow me to enlist a few more arguments.
Green tea, a variant of our beverage in question, is prepared by submerging tea leaves into boiling water. The person may also add sugar or honey to make it sweet and more palatable in taste, however, many prefer the more organic, leafy and aromatic flavour.
Extensive research has been done on green tea and its physiological effects with very promising results. Its consumption has been linked with improved metabolic functioning, fat loss, reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases and even protection against certain forms of cancer. We’ll cover all of them and more in detail going ahead.
Benefits Of Green Tea
- Firstly, green tea may improve brain functioning. The source for this claim comes from a study published in Wiley, a peer-reviewed journal which claimed that the caffeine present in green tea acts as a stimulant in the body. It has been shown to improve cognitive functions such as memory, reaction time, attention and vigilance.
- It also contains an amino acid called L-theanine which has anti-anxiety effects. This means that the effect of green tea on the nervous system is a lot milder and makes us less jittery than coffee.
- The components in green tea have proven benefits in the prevention of certain types of cancers. Numerous studies have cultivated the anticarcinogenic properties of green tea with the most prominent effect being observed on breast cancer, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer. Green tea is also a powerful antioxidant and is effective in preventing oxidative damage which can lead to chronic inflammation.
- Green tea has also been found effective in dealing with bad breath. Bad breath is caused due to bacteria that live on the tongue and the walls of the mouth. The catechin compounds in green tea inhibit the growth of the bacterium streptococcus mutans which is a primary culprit for deteriorating oral health.
- The antioxidant properties have the added benefit of reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. High cholesterol levels are tantamount to cardiac problems. Tea serves the purpose of increasing the antioxidant capacity of the blood which protects the LDL particles from oxidation, the counter of which has been associated with heart and circulation-related issues.
- Type 2 diabetes which involves elevated blood sugar levels can also be managed by moderate consumption of green tea. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a correlation between green tea consumption and falling fasting glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.
All this speaks volumes of the beverage’s remedial properties which is practically a panacea in a bottle, or rather a cup. Let us examine now how should we incorporate its consumption into our daily diets to cultivate its benefits in the best way possible.
For this purpose, we’ll reach out to Ranjani Raman who is a certified wellness and nutrition consultant and who has detailed her ideal way of consuming tea in an article by the Times of India.
The following are Ms Raman’s unspoken rules of tea drinking:
- One shouldn’t drink tea after meals as it can inhibit nutrient absorption.
- One shouldn’t drink tea more than 2-3 times a day as it may lead to an excess of caffeine which may interfere with the quality of sleep.
- And finally one shouldn’t drink green first thing in the morning.
The ideal way to drink green tea involves 3 simple steps:
- Boil water up to 160-degree celsius or until it is just boiling.
- Submerge the tea leaves in the water and wait for 2-3 minutes and let it release its flavour.
- Finally add a combination of lemon, mint leaves or honey to your liking for taste.
And voila, you have yourself your own cup of this invigorating elixir to kick start your day.