Tea is the second most popular beverage in the world, after water and in India, it is more than just a drink to start the day. A cup of Chai is an integral part of the rhythm of life in India. We are also the second largest producer of tea in the world and consume 25 per cent of the tea produced worldwide (as reported by The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India in a December 2011 report).
It turns out drinking tea could add years to your life! New research has found that a daily tea habit is extremely healthy. Overall, drinking tea regularly will slash your risk of a premature death by 24 percent, according to the new study presented at a meeting of the European Society for Cardiology. That helps explain why tea-crazy Japan has one of the highest longevity rates on the planet.
One of the reasons tea is so healthy is it contains more heart-friendly flavonoids and other healthy compounds than coffee. And while both coffee and tea contain some antioxidants, tea has more.
Here are three reasons you should consider developing a tea drinking habit.
Prevention of Heart Disease
Studies have shown that regular tea consumption can actually lower cholesterol levels circulating in the blood. According to data published in 2012 in Food & Function, black and green tea may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke by 10% to 20%. Other studies have shown tea to reduce total cholesterol by as much as 6.5% and LDL cholesterol by as much as 11%.
Tea has also been shown to be an effective weight loss supplement. Tea increases energy expenditure, promotes fat oxidation and decreases fat storage. Many studies have shown that drinking tea in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise can help you lose more weight than diet and exercise alone.
A Natural Hydrator
It’s a common misconception that tea is dehydrating – you’d need to drink six cups in one sitting to get enough caffeine (300mg) to produce a diuretic effect. In fact, health organisations, including the British Dietetic Association and the British Nutrition Foundation, say tea counts towards our recommended daily intake of six to eight cups of fluid.
It’s not just fluid we get: tea contributes to our potassium intake, important for helping to lower blood pressure when combined with lower salt intake, plus it’s full of health-promoting antioxidants.
You can’t go wrong with drinking tea. If you are not fond of the thick, sweet, milky beverage popularly found at the chaiwallahs, you have an abundance of options available today from green tea, to Oolong tea to a wide range of herbal infusions with amazing health benefits.
Let’s raise our teacups, and get to drinking!
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