Do We Need to Replace the Traditional Indian Chai with Green Tea?Luke Coutinho
Every day I wake up to my mailbox full of questions revolving around Indian Chai and whether to have or not .While on one hand , the Indian chai has recently become a rage in the West and people from New York and California are raving about its health benefits , on the other hand this spicy aromatic brew has its roots in India that can be traced back as far as the Ayurvedic medical texts .
So , is there anything wrong moving away from that traditional cup of Indian chai ? No . What’s going wrong is the way of preparing it . The original Indian chai was prepared in two ways.
In the first one , the antioxidant rich Black tea is the base . Black tea in moderation is extremely potent in reducing LDL cholesterol , neutralising free radicals and fight inflammation , which is the root cause of most diseases . It also contains freshly mashed ginger thats known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is a digestive soother , cardamom (Elaichi) , a common ingredient in every Tibetan medicine as aids digestion , improves blood circulation and purifies blood , fennel (saunf) , which is again a digestive soother , clove , a powerful spice when it comes to stomachs gut lining , highly anti-microbial, a natural pain-killer and lastly black pepper that boosts metabolism , enhances absorption of other spices and has an amazing connection with the way body stores fat. All of these spices are boiled in black tea that people have sipped for over the last few decades. Then there is a second way of preparing tea by adding a splash of milk and a bit of sugar to the black brew . Some villages, even use jaggery instead of sugar .
If you are making chai this way every single day or perhaps even add a bit of milk or sugar , that is not the reason for not being able to lose weight or healing from sickness. Its the excess, thats bad . People have 4-5 cups of tea a day because they’re addicted to it and the sugar in it . Overconsumption of sugar and milk is what destroys health. In some cases, milk does even suit us. That one cup of morning tea is extremely innocent and is not the reason as to why your weight won’t budge . So giving up on that is not going to make any difference, Yes , reducing 4-5 cups a day to 2 cups a day , reducing the amount of sugar that goes into it or switching to jaggery in place of refined sugar certainly will . Take it a notch up . Brew that black tea with all the above spices and you only end up enhancing your health .
Many have that emotional connection with their tea . It’s soothing for them, brings peace , happiness and helps them unwind . If that’s the reason behind your morning / evening cuppa , then there is nothing wrong in it and you should do that every single day . Emotional health rules after all and anything that keeps you happy in a right way should not be discontinued.
Rather than blaming that one cup of tea , lets look at larger aspects of our physical goal and see what really needs correction in our lifestyle .
–Being sedentary or sedentary active . Even overtraining for that matter .
–Over consumption of sugar.
Having tea , along with fried snacks and biscuits on the side is overconsumption. Don’t blame the cup of tea. There’s nothing wrong with it it . What’s wrong is everything else that being consumed with it
–Poor sleep quality.
If you’re stressed and think that one cup of tea is going to help you unwind , please go ahead . A stable emotional health is what we need today. We need to feel a little happier, a little more peaceful and relaxed . Other than that , if you constantly find yourself stressed , breathe more. Do a little bit of meditation. All of this is going to take care of your health and aid weight loss .
Having said all of this , there are two things everyone of us should be mindful of when it comes to tea habits .
- Don’t wake up to a cup of tea.
Have lemon water and a piece of fruit before drinking tea . Since tea is acidic in nature its important to prepare your body and keep it alkaline . Also as a thumb rule , every cup of tea should be followed by a glass of water .
- Avoid tea immediately after meals .
This is because the tannins in tea block the absorption of iron from the food .Its best to keep a gap of atleast 45mins – 1 hour between meals and tea .
A lifestyle change that you can bring from today is cutting down the total quantity of tea to 1-2 cups/day . You may want to add a bit of sugar ( a bit not a tablespoon ) or even better , try it with jaggery . You will not lose anything , except weight !