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ICMR suggests to avoid milk tea and coffee

Thu 16 May 2024, 01:19:17
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recently released 17 guidelines advising Indians to engage in a healthy diet. One of the guidelines, issued and reviewed by the National Institute of Nutrition suggested that tea and coffee consumption should be within moderation.

The researchers explained that excess caffeine contained in the beverages can stimulate the nervous system and induce physiological dependence, owing to long-term consequences on health. While they do not recommend avoiding the drinks completely, it is advised to check the caffeine content present in the beverages to ensure mindful consumption. It is recommended to ensure that daily caffeine intake does not exceed 300 mg in order to avoid extreme effects on physical and mental health. The caution was advised due to a compound called tannin which is present in caffeine beverages. 

Tannins belong to a larger group of chemical compounds called polyphenols. This gives it the ability to easily combine with molecules such as proteins and minerals. However, it also has strong binding properties and can prevent necessary iron intake in the body. The complex formed by tannin in the digestive tract strips the food of iron content and reduces the amount that enters the bloodstream, this can lead to long-term iron deficiency if not controlled. 

Iron is essential for haemoglobin production, a protein present in red blood cells which carries oxygen in the body and consumption on an empty stomach could also



affect acidic levels in the stomach leading to feelings of nausea and morning sickness. Additionally, excess caffeine could also cause high blood pressure and lead to abnormal heartbeat.

Though caffeine is an important part of the day for many, there are various healthy alternatives to help you lower your dependency on a cup of tea or coffee, while providing the same benefits. 

Healthy alternatives to milk tea and coffee:
Green tea- A popular choice among many fitness-conscious individuals, green tea is free of milk and caffeine and can awaken the body at a lower intensity with less drastic effects on the body. It is also helpful for relaxation of the body, easier digestion and helps with weight loss.

Kombucha- Another trending health beverage, the organic drink comes in various flavours and undergoes a double fermentation process to retain important nutrients.

Golden milk turmeric tea- The classic haldi-doodh recipe is a tasty and healthy alternative to chai as it contains milk quantities but less caffeine and has various benefits for digestion, skin irritation, and sleeping problems.

Lemon water- Another simple and effective drink, it is a perfect cooling drink for the summer and can clear your skin and stomach if consumed daily. Easy and quick to make, it can be easily integrated into your daily routine.

Try these drinks to reduce caffeine dependence and remember to consume mindfully. 
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