8 Amazing Health Benefits That Show Why Chai Tea is Good for You
While only recently made famous in the western world, chai tea has been around for centuries. The aromatic blend of tea and spices are not only delicious, but also contain proven health benefits.
So, if you’re wondering if chai tea is good for you, the answer is a resounding “yes”.
Let’s take a look at why chai is, indeed, a super drink.
Chai Tea Explained
Chai is the Sanskrit or Hindi word for “tea.” Chai tea is called “masala chai” in India, and in some parts of the world, this fragrant drink is known simply as “chai.”
Regardless of what you call it, chai tea contains four main components: tea, spices, heavy milk, and some sweetener that give it its characteristic spicy, yet at the same time sweet flavor. The result is a delicious, full-bodied flavor that will kickstart your day.
While the four main components remain the same, different regions use varying chai tea recipes. The tea used is generally black tea, though some people prefer to make chai with green tea, and much of the variation in flavor comes from the spices used.
Some common spices used in chai tea include:
Other spices like anise, peppercorns, and coriander seeds are popular as well.
When it comes to milk, you can use regular cow’s milk, condensed milk, or soy milk if you prefer. Common sweeteners include honey, brown sugar, and maple syrup, though you can use artificial sweeteners like Stevia, too.
Is Chai Tea Caffeinated?
Early versions of chai were made without tea leaves, which meant that this drink was originally caffeine free. However, modern versions contain black tea, which contains caffeine, so the answer to the question “is chai caffeinated?” is yes.
The caffeine in a cup of chai tea falls short in comparison to the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee, however. A typical cup of chai tea contains roughly 50 milligrams of caffeine, whereas a cup of coffee carries about 120 milligrams. Chai a fantastic choice if you prefer less caffeine.
If you’re trying to avoid this stimulant altogether--maybe you don’t need an afternoon caffeine kick that’ll keep you up at night--you can make the chai tea decaf by using decaffeinated black tea leaves in the recipe.
Is Chai Tea Gluten Free?
Is chai healthy for celiac?
In theory, naturally made chai tea shouldn’t contain gluten, but there is potential for gluten contamination. The black tea leaves could be made from tea leaves that contain gluten, the same way chai latte mixes and milk may both have gluten.
So, while this drink may seem like a gluten-free no-brainer, it’s important to check the source of the ingredients. The best way to make sure your tea is gluten-free? Prepare it yourself at home.
What is Chai Tea Good For? 8 Amazing Health Benefits
Now, onto the big question--is chai tea healthy? There’s certainly a reason this tea has been around for so long and has become so popular. Let’s take a look at the fantastic health benefits that have put chai on the map all around the world.
1. It Boosts Antioxidants
Antioxidants help rid the body of free radicals that cause cell damage that can lead to diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. Chai tea is full of an antioxidant called polyphenols, which help eliminate free radicals from the body. Tea actually has more polyphenols than fruits and vegetables. (But you should still eat those, too.)
2. It May Improve Heart Health
Cinnamon, one of the ingredients used in chai tea, is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. According to one study, it may lower your blood pressure and can also help reduce “bad” cholesterol levels.
3. It Aids Digestion
Spices are known to aid digestion, which is why people tend to have chai tea after meals. And black pepper, one common chai ingredient, helps the pancreas secrete digestive enzymes, which speeds up the digestion of fats and protein.
4. It Reduces Nausea
Is chai tea good for your stomach? Absolutely--besides aiding digestion, the ginger used to make the tea is excellent at reducing nausea and related conditions, including upset stomach, vomiting, and possibly motion sickness. Chai tea can help reduce nausea in pregnant women and chemo-induced nausea in cancer patients.
5. It’s Anti-Inflammatory
Several ingredients in chai have been shown to help eliminate pain from inflammation-causing diseases, such as arthritis.
Eugenol, the main component of cloves, is known to help with inflammation in general. Cinnamon and ginger are known to have anti-inflammatory properties as well; in fact, ginger has features similar to ibuprofen.
6. It Regulates Blood Sugar
Two ingredients found in chai tea can help regulate your blood sugar. Cinnamon reduces insulin and fasting blood sugar levels. And ginger was found to lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics by up to 12 percent.
To enjoy the full benefits of these two ingredients, you’ll need a high dose of around one to six grams, which is not typically found at cafes or the chai mixes at your local grocery store. If you’re interested in these benefits, make the tea at home with higher doses of cinnamon and ginger.
7. It May Reduce Menstrual Cramps
Chai contains two ingredients known to ease menstrual pain.
Ready to try it out? You could get the tea itself, chai lattes, smoothies and so much more! But remember, the chai lattes at your local coffee shops are surprisingly not as beneficial as you'd think! Loaded with sugar and additives, you can have about 400 calories in a cup!
Wondering how you can score an all-natural chai blend that gives you the true benefits without the additives? Teami Chai is your go-to! Made with all natural ingredients derived from all over the world, making your own chai latte at home is only around 100 calories! Stick it in your favorite color tumbler for yummyness on-the-go!
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