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Some drink it early in the morning and some late in the day, some in a hurry at home and some in a café away… Some find in it joy and some comfort in dismay, for some it’s an addiction and for some great taste. But for one and all, it’s the irreplaceable and invaluable tea. People are consistently narrating the various health benefits of green tea, black tea, herbal tea etc. which has basically deprived the world of the knowledge of the simple, basic and not-so-fancy tea.

India is the second last producer of tea in the world. Tea plantations in India were started by the British in 1830’s, mainly for export. Among Indians, tea drinking took up only in the early 1900’s, when Indian Tea Association began to popularize tea in India. After a slow start, the habit gradually spread in India and by the end of the 1900’s, 70% of a crop of 715,000 tons per year was consumed by Indians.

Masala Chai

The most popular tea form in India is Masala Chai; milky tea spiced with cinnamon and cardamom. Other varieties of tea are also hugely popular in India now, like green tea, black tea etc. There are more than 2000 tea producers in India, with the majority located in Assam, Kerala, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.

Although the variants of tea have carved their space among the masses due to their numerous health advantages, our masala chai isn’t long behind them either. Just because it doesn’t come with a healthy prefix or abide to a colour code doesn’t mean our ordinary cup of tea – with the health and taste of milk and the sweetness of sugar – is average. It still has plenty of benefits! See for yourself:

    • Drinking tea reduces the risk of suffering a heart attack. It might also help in offering protection against degenerative and cardiovascular diseases.
    • The antioxidants present in tea might protect against quite a few cancers; which include colorectal, breast, colon, skin, esophagus, lung, pancreas, ovarian, prostate, liver and oral cancers.
    • Tea fights free radicals. It is high in oxygen radical absorbance capacity, which means it helps destroy free radicals which are capable of damaging DNA of the body.
    • Despite the caffeine, tea hydrates the body.
    • Drinking tea is said to lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease. When it is considered with other factors like age, body mass index, smoking and physical activity, drinking tea regularly was associated with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.
    • Tea helps to keep a check on waist circumference. In a study conducted, participants who drank hot tea regularly had lower BMI and lower waist circumference than non-consuming participants.
    • Regular tea consumption lowers the risk of lung cancer by counteracting some of the negative effects of smoking.
    • Tea can also help the body to recover from radiation. A study found out that tea offered protection against cellular degeneration that occurs upon exposure to radiation. Another study found out that tea helps skin bounce back post exposure.
    • Cortisol is a stress hormone present in the body that makes your skin age quicker and contributes to belly fat. One study suggested that four cups of tea in a day might reduce cortisol levels.
    • Extensive research has found that the combination of L-Theanine (an amino acid present in tea) and caffeine improves memory and reaction time, and also increases focus and concentration.

    And now you know what a beautiful drink tea is. With its numerous health benefits, unmatchable taste and that sweet gingery-smell; it’s not only a drink to be enjoyed by the elderly but by adults and teens too. So drink it as a hobby or drink it as a habit; drink it for taste or drink it for health – just drink it!