Healthy to the T(ea)

Published: Oct 23, 2012, 09:38 IST | Ruchika Kher |

As the world warms up to the benefits of healthy living, lifestyles are being tailored and centred on mantras, exercise and diet plans to look and feel good. While we indulge in various diets and training disciplines to lead an ailment-free life, we forget about the little things that can make a big difference. Tea is one such wonder. Here's The GUIDE's handy checklist of the benefits of three tea varieties that are not just easy to prepare but are also major sources of a he

Black Tea
Before Indians got acquainted to fancier variants like white and green teas, they were already hooked on to a milk-less form of tea, called the black tea. This form of tea is fully fermented and is known to have approximately 20% of the caffeine in a cup of coffee. Reports have found out that black tea helps maintain cholesterol levels as well as maintains cardiovascular function and a healthy circulatory system. It is ideal for people wanting to cut down on coffee but still need a caffeine fix.

White Tea
Although controlled intake of white tea is equally beneficial for a healthy lifestyle, till now it has not been able to garner the kind of attention green tea has managed. White tea is the purest and the least processed of all teas. This loose-leaf tea has very little caffeine and brews a light colour and flavour. White teas also contain healthy antioxidants, which are best for skin and complexion. Its antioxidant and detoxifying benefits make it a robust option.

Green Tea
Recently, green tea has assumed cult status among tea drinkers and even with those who are generally not fond of tea, purely because of its health benefits. Trainers and nutritionists vouch by the drink, since it possesses only 5-10% of the caffeine as compared to a coffee cup. Green tea contains healthy antioxidants that not just keeps cholesterol levels in check, but are also good for skin and teeth. It even helps maintain blood sugar levels and regular intake keeps weight in control by improving the metabolic rate. Green tea has a natural, grassy, neutral flavour — perfect for stress relief.

Our regular cup of Chai
Drinking tea with milk or sugar is helpful to those prone to stomach upsets, but research and reports around the world have revealed that adding milk to tea dilutes its benefits, to a great extent. It has been claimed that if milk is consumed with tea, the effect of the catechins (compounds that play a role in preventing cancer and heart disease) is cancelled out.

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