Hot drinks are most comforting in winter. While some swear by coffee, others have learned about tea or fashionable drinks such as matcha, chai and turmeric latte. Overview of the benefits of these drinks!
Tea is, after water, the most consumed drink in the world. All kinds of tea (white, green, oolong, black) come from the Camellia Sinensis shrub.
Tea contains caffeine (theine) and polyphenols like catechins and theaflavins. Catechins are found in greater proportion in green tea, because the inactivation of enzymes during the transformation process prevents their oxidation. As for theaflavins, they are formed during the oxidation of black tea leaves.
- Decrease the risk of several types of cancer (especially green tea)
- Decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease
- Could decrease the risk of neurodegenerative diseases
► When tea, like any other hot beverage, is consumed too hot (130-140°F or 54-60°C), there is an increased risk of esophageal and stomach cancer.
Contrary to popular belief, the scientific literature on coffee suggests that its consumption has beneficial health effects. It contains hundreds of bioactive components, such as caffeine, and numerous polyphenols. Population studies, even if they do not confirm a causal link, provide very attractive hypotheses.
- Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
- Reduce the risk of liver cancer
- Decrease the risk of Parkinson’s disease
► Consuming 3 to 4 cups a day would generate the most benefits. As for its harmful effects, let us name the increased risk of bone fractures in women, the increased risk of lung cancer in smokers and the risk for pregnant women (in particular of giving birth to a low-weight baby).
Matcha is a type of green tea whose dried leaves are ground into a fine green-colored powder. Matcha latte is a drink prepared by infusing matcha powder in hot water and adding milk or a hot vegetable drink. The drink can also be sweetened.
Matcha contains more theine than other green teas. It is also rich in phenolic acids, quercetin, rutin and theanine.
Turmeric latte is a drink that is prepared by boiling milk or a vegetable drink with turmeric, other spices (cinnamon, ginger, pepper, etc.) and sugar (honey, maple syrup, etc.) . This beautiful golden yellow drink does not contain caffeine unlike previous drinks. Turmeric is a spice that contains curcumin, a component with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Adding pepper makes it easier to absorb so most golden milk recipes are made with turmeric and pepper.
Chai means thé in Hindi. In general, chai latte is prepared by boiling tea leaves (often black) with milk (sometimes mixed with water), a mixture of spices (masala) and sugar. The spice mix is usually made up of ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, fennel, pepper and cloves.
Like tea, chai contains theine and polyphenols with antioxidant properties, such as catechins and theaflavins. Additionally, depending on the spices used in its preparation, chai tea could have other health benefits. Ginger in particular has anti-nausea properties and cinnamon may improve blood sugar. As you will have understood, we will avoid adding sugar to the preparation because commercial chai lattes are often rich in sugar.
Drinking limits for tea, coffee and other beverages that contain caffeine (yerba mate, matcha, chai) are primarily determined by their caffeine content. Excessive caffeine consumption can lead to unwanted side effects such as anxiety, irritability, insomnia, headaches, mild tremors and rapid heartbeat. Health Canada recommends that adults consume no more than 400 mg of caffeine per day, the equivalent of approximately 3 to 4 cups of coffee or 8 cups of tea. As for pregnant or breastfeeding women, their consumption should not exceed 300 mg of caffeine per day, the equivalent of about 2 cups of coffee or 6 cups of tea. This amount may be lower in some people depending on metabolic variability and individual sensitivity to caffeine.
Check out my healthy pumpkin latte recipe (make with any squash) on my blog: www.isabellehuot.com