Coffee smells and tastes good but caffeine overdose can give you sleepless nights, fizzy soda drinks refreshes you, but they take a toll on your waistline with their empty calories. They hardly have any nutritional value. Tea on the other hand is a healthier alternative. A glass of cool iced tea quenches your thirst, while a hot cuppa leaves you with a clear head. Added to that you gain some valuable nutrients. Research shows that tea has antioxidants that help fight many diseases.
According to a research done by Unilever, that sells the popular Lipton brand in the country, a cup of tea can deliver up to 22mg of the amino acid theanine. Tea is virtually the only dietary source of theanine, apart from the edible bay boletus mushroom, which explains why sometimes only tea will do. The effects of 50mg theanine, the amount present in 2-3 cups of tea, is known to stimulate alpha brain waves which are associated with being relaxed yet alert. Alpha activity is thought to be important for the ability to focus attention. The study also shows that that the leaves in everyday cup of tea actually improves our ability to focus. It also found that people who drank two cups of tea were not only faster but more accurate at performing tests that measured their ability to focus attention.
Brewed tea with high water content also keeps the body hydrated. It has flavonoids, an antioxidant found in fruits, vegetables and tea. This helps in fighting free radicals and disease causing chemicals in the environment. It is estimated that each cup of freshly brewed tea contains between 150 to 190 mg of flavonoids.
Drink Your Tea
Unsweetened, fresh-brewed black or green tea has no sodium, no sugar, no fat and virtually no calories. Yet it is a satisfying, aromatic beverage, that refreshes and clears up the brain after a tired days work or early in the morning. Unsweetened tea or herbal tea also encourage weigthloss, since it is a natural source of caffeine and caffeine has a diuretic effect. They also make excellent replacement for sugary drinks.
To make your tea right, you should not boil the tea leaves in water. Instead boil water seprately and then pour it over the tea leaves in the teapot. Let it sit for sometime. Then add sugar or honey and milk to your taste. Opt for leaf blends rather than CTC and try green tea as well as they contain more antioxidants than black tea.