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A WONDERFUL DRINK

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By Z. K
Tue, 05, 20

In the 17th century, tea made its way to the UK. It’s been used for everything from a simple morning libation to the central element of certain social and religious rituals....

world tea day

Aside from water, tea is the most popular beverage in the world. Tea comes in a wide variety of different flavours, each of them having a distinct personality and character. The primary types of tea include white, black, green, oolong and herbal. Tea is believed to have originated in China. There, drinkers used tea for medicinal reasons. In the 17th century, tea made its way to the UK. It’s been used for everything from a simple morning libation to the central element of certain social and religious rituals.

It turns out that this internationally beloved drink has a host of health benefits - ranging from weight loss, to stress reduction. Types of this popular drink can vary from energy-boosting caffeinated teas, like green tea and black tea, to soothing caffeine-free herbal teas, like chamomile tea and rooibos tea. Black, green and oolong tea all contain caffeine. Black tea has more caffeine than green tea. However, the caffeine content also relates to the brewing process. The longer the tea steeps, the greater the caffeine content. Caffeinated teas typically have less caffeine than coffee. Additionally, research suggests that green teas offer a greater antioxidant punch compared to most other varieties.

Tea on its own has a bevy of health benefits and is calorie-free, but adding sugar and cream can increase the calories without much nutritional benefit. From helping improve mental clarity to reducing your cancer risk, tea actually has science to back up the health hype. Tea Day celebrates this fantastic beverage and the seemingly endless list of things it can do.

Health Benefits of Tea

Fights free radicals: Unsweetened tea is rich in antioxidants, which prevent chronic diseases and help repair cells in the body. Tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, which contains antioxidants known as catechins, most importantly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These eliminate free radicals in the body and reduce inflammation.

Your metabolism speeds up: Ready to speed up your metabolism while sitting at your kitchen counter? The caffeine in tea helps to increase metabolism and fat burning (up to 100 calories per day). Scientists have found that the catechins (antioxidants) in green tea extract increase the body’s ability to burn fat as fuel.

Taking good care of your heart: Tea's anti-inflammatory properties can keep your blood vessels relaxed and clear, putting less stress on your heart. Some research has shown a reduced risk of heart disease in people who drink green or black tea regularly. Doctors recommend drinking three cups of black tea per day to achieve the heart benefits.

Lower your risk of diabetes: Drinking black tea every day can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes by helping to control your blood sugar after meals. Some studies suggest that the catechins in green tea may help to keep blood sugar in check, reducing the risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

Your risk of certain cancers goes down: The antioxidants and compounds found in tea have been linked to a lower risk of certain cancers including breast, colon, colorectal, skin, lung, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, liver, ovarian, prostate and oral cancers.

It's good for your brain: Regular tea consumption may lower the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, it can boost memory and increase attention span to prevent cognitive decline. Drinking tea is linked with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.

Tea can boost creativity and mood: When you need to spark creativity, sip on tea, suggests a recent study. Other research suggests that the tea's natural compounds, namely EGCG and L-theanine, may encourage brain cell growth, reduce depression and promote both relaxation and alertness.

Be careful: Although more research is needed to pin down all of its benefits, tea can be part of a healthy eating pattern. For the most powerful punch, steep your own tea and be mindful of how it is sweetened in order to limit sources of added sugars.

World Tea Day

Every Year December 15 was celebrated as World Tea Day, however, from this year (2020), The United Nations (UN) has declared May 21 as International Tea Day on the recommendations of India. The proposal was made by India at the International Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Intergovernmental Group meeting held in Milan 4 years ago. According to the UN, declaring May 21 as International Tea Day will help to boost its production and consumption. The United Nations General Assembly has also recognised the tea’s medicinal properties as well as cultural importance. The move will provide the much-needed push to create awareness for tea consumption. International Tea Day started in New Delhi on December 15, 2005, but a year later it was celebrated in Sri Lanka and spread from there to the world.

How to Celebrate International Tea Day

* Drink a cup of your favourite tea or try a kind of tea you’ve never had before

* Have a tea party with all the favourite girls in your life

* Learn about the intriguing history of tea

* Take a friend out for a cup of tea

* Read about all the health benefits of tea!