Pakistanis say that tea is their favourite drink. For many of us, there is something intensely comfy about taking a break with a cup of fragrant, delicious tea. But tea is not just a great drink, it also has myriad health benefits.
Research has shown that drinking three or four cups of tea a day is as good as drinking plenty of water and in fact can have additional health benefits.
Fluoride, the element found in toothpaste which makes your teeth strong, is also found in tea. Flavonides, commonly found in different fruits, vegetables, flowers and nuts, are also abundantly available in tea as well. These compounds act as vasodilators; expanding the capacity of blood vessels and thus improving the circulation of blood to maintain heart health.
Research has shown that 415 mg of flavonides is important to keep the heart functioning well. A regular cup of tea provides 130-135 mg of flavonides. Thus three or four cups of tea daily can help one take in the daily recommended dosage of flavonides.
Ideally tea should be consumed without milk and sugar to avail maximum nutrition. Tea sans added substances is a zero calorie drink. In fact research has shown that green tea aids in dissolving fats.
A prevalent, albeit faulty, belief is that the caffeine found in tea is unhealthy. Yet tea contains a relatively meager amount of caffeine. A cup of tea only carries less than half the caffeine found in a normal cup of coffee. For instance, a single cup of coffee has 300 mg of caffeine, equivalent to that in six cups of tea!
There is also a common concern that tea hinders the absorption of iron. Drinking tea right after eating can potentially hinder iron absorption. Thus tea lovers with iron deficiency should ideally consume their tea at least two hours after their meals.
Tea’s various health advantages warrant some guilt-free indulgence in this refreshing, popular drink. So go ahead and enjoy your tea to complement a healthy and wholesome lifestyle!
Published in The Express Tribune, May 25th, 2011.