Many people just can’t do without their morning cuppa as it helps overcome lethargy and stress, and gives an instant energy boost. While drinking tea in moderation may not be bad for you, adding a teaspoon (or two) of sugar to it is not the best idea. Earlier, nutritionist Pooja Makhija had mentioned that sugar contains no nutritional benefits and often leads to weight gain, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar.
“One teaspoon of sugar two times a day, 365 days, is four kilos of weight gained in a year. In 10 years, it’ll be 40 kilos, only because I didn’t want to give up on this one spoon of sugar in my daily cup of caffeine. This is called small change, big loss,” she had said. As such, should you completely do away with any sweetness in your daily cup of tea? Perhaps, not!
Taking to Instagram, nutritionist Bhuvan Rastogi shared a ‘desi’ alternative for sugar which will not just add the required amount of sweetness to your chai but also serve a host of health benefits. Wondering what this wonder ingredient is? It’s licorice or mulethi! “Mulethi or licorice is a root and provides a mild, throaty sweetness,” he said.
Rastogi added, “I have been using mulethi powder or licorice root powder in my tea for the last 1 year and don’t feel the need for sugar at all; it is not as sweet but with each sip, the sweetness builds up to a substantial feel.”
The expert added that mulethi provides “mild sweetness to the throat” and helps in “reducing cough”. “There are plenty of recorded benefits of mulethi such as potent antioxidants, helps in gut issues, ulcers, respiratory conditions, bacteria and cavities,” he said.
However, as per Rastogi, it’s an underexplored herb and “needs need more studies to prove benefits conclusively”.
He added that according to guidelines, “it’s totally safe to consume 1-5 grams of mulethi per day. I would suggest sticking to less than a gram to be totally safe. 1 gram is about 1 tablespoon mulethi powder.”
The nutritionist suggested avoiding processed forms of licorice in any packaged product as that can be in higher concentrations. “It also interferes with cardiac medications, so avoid it if you are on specific meds,” he concluded.