Who can resist tapioca pearls? If there was anything that would make bubble tea so mouth-watering delicious, those chewy boba pearls would have to be top of that list. Not only can you mould them to your wishes (just about any size, texture, colour, and flavour) but also their aesthetic nature helps make bubble tea appear so magical. Small wonder the drink conquered the planet in no time. .
But to dismiss tapioca pearls as purely an adornment to a revolutionary tea drink is a gross misunderstanding of its true nature. Believe it or not, those delicious gluten-free balls are filled with a host of health benefits. In the age laid waste by the pandemic, catering to tapioca pearls can surely help jumpstart the year 2022 ahead for you and everyone you love.
The Magical Balls that Changed the Tea World
For centuries, emperors and commoners alike enjoyed the amazing benefits of tea. Buddhist monks marvelled at how the Camella Sinensis leaves soaked in hot water allowed them to stay mindful and active even when faced with long hours of meditation. Today, tea is estimated to be a $200 billion industry (latest 2020 estimate) and is expected to grow to over 318 billion dollars by 2025.
Most of these teas are enjoyed by the world in their traditional forms, from the unoxidized leaves of green tea to the more long-lasting black tea. In recent years, however, one novelty type of tea has risen to the fore, catching the world’s imagination like no tea drink before.
Indeed, bubble tea has come of age. It may be rooted in the traditional tea forms but the end product has taken a unique form, uninitiated drinkers may fail to recognize it is tea at the core. Not surprisingly, hundreds upon hundreds of tea shops sprouted in major cities in the world today, caught by the bubble tea bug concocted originally in Taiwan.
In America, bubble tea has emerged from a strictly niche Taiwanese beverage into a mainstream American icon spurred by the Taiwanese Americans who were just too eager to share the health drink. It was but a matter of time for the drink to go viral.
- Researchers observed bubble tea grew by as much as 3,000% in 2018.
Of course, we now know the success of bubble tea a.k.a. Boba tea has been also deeply rooted in social media. Key aspects of its reign as a ‘most trending tea’ these days lies in three things:
- Its ability to be customized
- Asian pop culture
But if you look closer, you’ll realize bubble tea got its name from one unique ingredient: tapioca. For centuries, the combination of milk and tea already had thousands of followers. As early as 1660, tea arrived in England and it would only take a few years for British tea drinkers to mix milk with tea to come up with the beloved milk tea drink.
Bubble tea is composed of three main ingredients: milk, tea and the bubble (tapioca pearls). In what would be a monumental moment in the 1980s, one Taiwanese manager unwittingly mixed milk tea with a drink made of tapioca balls. The resulting drink came to be known as bubble tea. The world was never the same after.
As bubble tea emerged into the world market, so did tapioca became a global phenomenon. With all that fame came scrutiny. What are these boba pearls made of?
Tapioca is a starch extracted from the roots of the cassava plant (Manihot esculenta) native to the North/Northeast regions of Brazil. Traditionally, the plant is known as manioc. Before those chewy boba balls came to be a part of your bubble tea drink, millions of people from tropical countries have enjoyed tapioca as a staple food. Also, it is widely used as a thickening agent in various food manufacturing industries.
To enjoy bubble tea at its finest, it’s recommended you use real ingredients only. If you want your boba to be mouthwatering delicious, it’s wise to use real milk, real tea and real sugar. The taste of your bubble tea concoction could suffer if you substitute subpar ingredients.
Take note that there are many imitation products in the market today. Only with the certified tapioca pearls, for instance, can you expect the best boba tea to savour for your day.
The Myriad Health Benefits of Tapioca Pearls
Yes, those magical balls in your boba drink are healthy. For starters, know that tapioca is gluten-free. Small wonder it has been a popular substitute for wheat flour. If you want, you can find tapioca starch in many supermarkets and health food outlets. Just look for the gluten-free section.
Even more impressive, there are ways tapioca can boost your health to keep you fit and healthy for the year 2022. Just remember to consume things in moderation.
It’s true. Being overweight or obese has been associated with a long list of health anomalies, diabetes, stroke and heart attack to name a few. But being underweight is equally risky. And this is where tapioca can play a central role.
Take note that one cup of tapioca is tantamount to 45% of your daily carbohydrate requirement. That means you can easily add calories to your diet without the fear of taking in saturated fats or unhealthy cholesterol that could result in tonnes of health complications. Certainly, adding the starchy material to your diet can help you bulk up.
A huge chunk of these carbohydrates from tapioca is in the form of sucrose while a minimal amount comes from amylose, a complex sugar. That means tapioca is spot on for people who are keen on gaining weight after suffering from an injury, illness, eating disorder or surgery.
Without a doubt, infants born with birth defects carry a huge disadvantage in later life. Making sure babies are healthy when they come into this world provides a crucial, first step to their success as individuals. Again, this is where tapioca can lend a helping hand.
A study done in Zurich by researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology revealed that tapioca may carry a sizable amount of B-complex vitamins, folic acid including. CDC advisory denotes that an ample amount of such a group of vitamins is instrumental in the reduction of neural tube defects found in many infants.
Bone density increasingly becomes an issue as we age. If we’re not careful, we could be plagued with bone issues as the years add. This includes osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and the lack of flexibility, not if tapioca can’t help it. Those gorgeous balls sitting at the bottom of your boba drink can help boost bone strength.
That’s because tapioca is a rich source of iron, calcium and vitamin K. All of these are instrumental in the development of strong bones. Consuming tapioca regularly, therefore, is a delicious way to stay fit and healthy, not to mention harbour strong bones.
Tapioca does not contain any saturated fat. Studies have shown reducing saturated fat in your diet can lower your heart disease risk. To note, heart disease is the #1 killer disease both in Great Britain and in America. One way you can lower such risk is to reduce your intake of saturated fat.
Studies done by the Alliance of Crop showed that tapioca contains potassium, an essential mineral required by the human body. That’s because potassium is by nature a vasodilator helping reduce undue pressure in the arteries and arteries. In effect, this facilitates better blood flow to other parts of the body.
Tapioca could help you lower your insulin levels. One study showed that diabetic mice had wonderful results when given tapioca starch. Particularly, insulin resistance was lower compared to other control mice.
A key health benefit associated with tapioca is its fibre-rich nature. fibre-rich foods have been closely linked to generating greater wellbeing for humans. Chief of which is in the area of digestion. This is where tapioca can play a central role.
Fibre, by nature, can bulk up the stool allowing a smoother transition through the digestive tract. As a result, this eliminates gut complications from intestinal pain, constipation and bloating to name a few.
Even more awesome, soluble fibre can be instrumental in scraping harmful cholesterol from artery walls and other blood vessels. In turn, this is a great way to boost heart health and the reduction of heart complications such as stroke and heart attack.
Vitamin K not only can promote osteotropic activity but also can be vital for mental health. One study published in the Medical Hypothesis journal revealed that vitamin K can indeed help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The study pointed out that such action is done by stimulating the brain’s neuronal activity. Vitamin K could be the key to keeping neural pathways engaged and largely active.
If you are a vegetarian, getting your protein from tapioca could be a spot-on decision. Our bodies need protein to stay in top form. Protein is a basic body-building product. However, most of us are sourcing our protein from animal sources: meat, poultry, dairy products.
Fortunately, tapioca is an ample source of protein. That certainly is wonderful news if you want to stay protein-packed. To note, studies have shown certain meats can increase the risk of heart disease and even early death. So making a decision to add plant protein from time to time could be a timely choice on your part.
Tapioca is rich in carbohydrates. The sucrose found in the starchy ingredient can be broken down to glucose, which in turn can be used by the body as usable energy.
The good news is as a carbohydrate source, tapioca is low on harmful saturated fats and LDL cholesterol. So, you can be assured you can keep your satiety and energy levels at a high point minus all the negatives.
WARNING: Of course, if you are keen on losing weight, taking in tapioca pearls regularly may not be a wise decision. Still, it’s obvious. With all the health benefits above, you can see how much these boba pearls can turn your New Year 2022 into a magical one. And your body into a healthier one. Indeed, thank the heavens above for tapioca pearls!