ICMR recommends steering clear of milk tea and coffee, and suggests healthier caffeine alternatives

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recently issued 17 guidelines aimed at promoting healthy dietary habits among Indians. Among these guidelines, one important recommendation pertains to the consumption of tea and coffee, urging moderation in their intake.

Highlighted in the guidelines, excessive caffeine found in these beverages can overstimulate the nervous system, potentially leading to physiological dependence and adverse health effects over time. While complete avoidance isn’t necessary, it’s advised to be mindful of caffeine content and limit daily intake to 300 mg to mitigate potential health risks associated with prolonged consumption. The cautionary note stems from the presence of tannins, compounds within caffeine-containing beverages, which can adversely affect iron absorption in the body.

Tannins, a subset of polyphenolic compounds, have a strong binding affinity with proteins and minerals, potentially hindering the absorption of essential iron and contributing to long-term iron deficiency if left unchecked. Given iron’s crucial role in hemoglobin production and oxygen transport in the body, excessive caffeine consumption, particularly on an empty stomach, may exacerbate iron deficiency and induce gastric discomfort, including nausea and morning sickness. Moreover, heightened caffeine intake can elevate blood pressure and precipitate irregular heart rhythms, warranting cautious consumption.

While acknowledging the cultural and social significance of tea and coffee, the guidelines suggest exploring healthier alternatives to reduce dependence on these beverages. Several options offer comparable benefits without the drawbacks associated with excessive caffeine consumption:

1. Green tea: Praised for its antioxidant properties and lower caffeine content, green tea offers a gentler energy boost while aiding digestion and promoting relaxation.

2. Kombucha: This fermented tea variant, available in various flavors, preserves essential nutrients through a double fermentation process, offering a flavorful and nutritious alternative.

3. Golden milk turmeric tea: Known for its soothing properties and lower caffeine content compared to traditional chai, this concoction combines milk with turmeric for benefits including improved digestion, skin health, and sleep quality.

4. Lemon water: A refreshing and simple beverage, lemon water not only hydrates but also aids in digestion and skin health, making it a versatile addition to daily routines.

By incorporating these alternatives into daily consumption habits, individuals can gradually reduce caffeine dependence while enjoying a range of health benefits associated with diverse beverage choices. Mindful consumption remains key to maintaining overall well-being.

Time Tech Pharma

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