Don’t start your day on the wrong foot. Aakriti Patni talks to nutritionists and health experts from the city to bring you healthier alternatives for your caffeinated mornings
Our day seems incomplete without a steaming cup of tea or coffee — an integral part of our morning ritual. Struggling to open our eyes and start our day, we often rely on caffeine to give us that boost we’re looking for. From jump-starting our day to boosting our energy in the middle of it, these caffeinated beverages have made their way into our daily routines, becoming morning staples. While both tea and coffee have widely accepted health benefits, and are just downright delicious, most people turn a blind eye to the ill effects these beverages bring along. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to your mornings, we’re bringing you a few you can try.
We don’t expect you to survive on just warm sugar water every morning. There are various delicious alternatives to tea and coffee that you can opt for. Here are a few beverages that you can substitute for your morning cup. Check out these recipes for healthy morning brews.
TURMERIC AND GINGER TEA
Tripti Gupta, diet and weight loss consultant and founder of iPink, shares her recipe for this immunity-boosting tea.
1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp crushed ginger and 1 cup water
- Bring the water to a rolling boil.
- Add the turmeric and ginger and steep for a few seconds.
- Remove from heat and stir before consuming.
This morning brew, which can be consumed on an empty stomach, is ideal for those suffering from recurrent throat infection, arthritis and indigestion. It also helps with wound healing, boosts immunity levels and prevents skin allergies. You can drink this in the winter and monsoon to reduce your chances of suffering from ear, nose and throat infections.
Sonal Chowdhary, nutrition consultant and founder at Eatwise, shares her recipe for a soothing and detoxing cup of tea brewed from a variety of aromatic ingredients.
2 tsp hibiscus herbs or flowers, 1 clove, 1 star anise, 2 tsp vanilla bean powder and honey (to taste)
- Boil all the ingredients (except for the honey) in one cup of water for five to seven minutes.
- Strain and add honey to taste.
This tea acts as an antioxidant and is an immunity booster. It also has a carminative effect, getting rid of excess gas in the body.
Prameet Kotak, fitness and holistic wellness expert, shares his recipe for cacao tea, which will help you battle coffee addiction.
1 tbsp cacao powder, 1 cup water and cinnamon (to taste)
- Steep one tablespoon of cacao powder in boiling water for five to 10 minutes.
- Add cinnamon if needed.
- Consume hot or cold.
Brewed from the cacao husk (the shell of the cacao bean), which is crushed and soaked in water overnight, this beverage leaves you with a mild brew. Cacao tea contains natural antioxidants and it helps to maintain healthy serotonin levels, which have a calming effect
WHY REPLACE TEA AND COFFEE?
While coffee is a great energy booster and is known to increase concentration and alertness, drinking it on an empty stomach can wreak havoc with your digestive tract. Coffee, even if it is decaffeinated, can stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid in your stomach. And, this acid can be damaging to the lining of your stomach, especially if that’s all you have in the morning. Coffee is also known to cause heart burn and indigestion.
While green tea and black tea are healthier alternatives to tea, the most common choice is a cup of steaming masala chai. But, these spices and boiled milk could cause heartburn and acidity. Just like coffee, a cup of strongly brewed tea — black or with milk — could be harmful to the lining of your stomach. Further, tea too contains caffeine, so it stimulates the central nervous system, causing your heart rate to increase. This can leave you feeling flustered or jittery.
If brewed tea does not satisfy you in the mornings, and you crave the creaminess of milk but despise consuming it in its organic form, Smitha Shetty, nutrition, fitness and yoga expert, has a few quick and easy remedies.
- Ragi malt Milk infused with ragi (millet) can aid in weight loss. Ragi also has a high protein content and is a rich source of minerals.
- Haldi wala dhoodh Warm up a glass of milk and add a pinch or two of turmeric powder. Since turmeric has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it helps fight bacterial and viral infections.
- Badam dhoodh A delicious beginning to your mornings, almond milk has no cholesterol or saturated fat and is low in sodium. It is high in healthy fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids), which helps to prevent high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Kesar dhoodh Perhaps the most common concoction, a warm cup of saffron milk is sure to energise you, readying you for the day. Saffron is known to be a mood enhancer and can help reduce stress.
- Thandai If you prefer to go the cold route in the mornings, a cool glass of thandai makes for a lovely choice for the first drink of the day. Containing fennel seeds, which are known for their anti-flatulence and cooling properties, thandai helps with indigestion and will calm your system if you experience early morning indigestion and acidity.