Clean, Functional teas are the future

A morning cup to energise your immune system and a bedtime brew to lull you to sleep, teas formulated for stress management, pain relief and anxiety are growing in demand. This shouldn’t come as a surprise given the history of this drink. “Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage,” writes 19th-century Japanese scholar Okakura Kakuzo in his infamous publication, “The Book of Tea”. Research on the history of tea-drinking around the world confirms that this beverage was originally considered a mindfulness aid, calling for the drinker to take slow sips and be in the moment and not so much for pleasure or heedless consumption.

The world needs their tea like that once again. As a functional, meditative food that can rise up to meet the challenges of modern life. Functional foods are foods that offer health benefits beyond their nutritional value. In addition to nutrient-rich ingredients, they also include foods fortified with vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and fiber. And tea and coffee — contrary to the bad rep they carry — can actually be counted as functional foods if consumed in their purest, unadulterated, freshly harvested and least processed form. Adding various teas in your daily routine can help you start taking the “whole-person” approach in order to treat or prevent certain ailments and contribute to overall well-being.

Tea as alternate medicine
The bitterness in tea as well as the dryness that you feel in your mouth after drinking it is because of catechins, natural antioxidants that fight the formation of free radicals in the body. “All teas have powerful antioxidant properties. Teas can prevent cancers, help with arthritis, psoriasis and other autoimmune conditions. It is also very beneficial for cardiovascular diseases. On top of that, it’s a very low calorie drink and can be a great substitute for any day time beverage,” says Dr Anjali Hooda Sangwan, a leading obesity, metabolic medicine and clinical nutrition specialist. While the world goes berserk over green tea, black tea (the Chinese variety, not the English), oolong, and a tea called pu’er are also potent medicines. In fact, all herbs are medicine, whether they’re in the form of ‘tea’, infusion, tincture, or capsule. Adds Dr Anjali, “Black tea has polyphenols and flavonoids making it very powerful antioxidant, while Hibiscus or any flower tea have wonderful antioxidant properties too.”

A sustainable movement
Just like farm to fork concepts have brought transparency to the food industry, clean functional teas are all about bringing the estate to the cup. There is demand for tea blends in small batches, using the freshest full-leaf teas and functional herbs. The tea sourcing is driven by a sense of responsibility for regenerative farming and sustainable production that are good for the planet and its people. “All tea is good for…

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