What Is Chai Tea?
Chai tea is known for its strong pleasant aroma and has a taste characterized as sweet and spicy. In other regions, chai tea is also referred to as masala chai.
Chai tea is made from a variety of healthy ingredients such as black tea leaves and spices such as ginger, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, black pepper, and fennel. Other versions also include peppercorn, star anise, and coriander.
Its spicy flavor is due to the ginger and black pepper. On the other hand, the addition of cinnamon and cloves provides an earthy taste.
The brewing process for this particular beverage is different from traditional teas. Chai tea is usually brewed using a combination of warm fresh milk and water. The sweetness of chai tea may also depend on personal reference and one of the most popular teas in coffee shops.
Aside from its pleasant odor and taste, chai tea can also provide numerous beneficial effects. The ancient Chinese and Indians have used it for their traditional and ayurvedic medicine, respectively.
Chai Tea Health Benefits
Chai tea contains a sufficient amount of caffeine that may be used as a healthier substitute for regular coffee and helps boosts your energy levels in the morning.
Its caffeine content can be accounted to its black tea leaves. However, caffeine may vary depending on what black tea leaf was used. In general, chai tea has caffeine around 1/6 of a strong blend coffee and 1/3 of regular coffee.
This means that a cup of chai tea acts as a stimulant without the negative health effects of coffee. It’s an excellent coffee alternative if you’re trying to cut your caffeine intake.
Aids weight loss
For individuals maintaining a certain weight, chai tea is an excellent beverage to keep those pounds away. It can also aid fat loss when regularly consumed.
Chai tea is usually combined when pure cow’s or soya milk which is a rich source of protein. Hence, this beverage is also excellent for people undergoing a ketogenic diet.
Studies found that chai tea promotes better and healthier digestion. It also helps to cleanse your gastrointestinal tracts and flush out harmful toxins in the body. One of its primary ingredients is ginger which is accountable for its positive impacts on the digestive system. This spice also helps improve the circulation of oxygen in the body enabling the proper function of organs.
Chai tea also contains black pepper which stimulates the pancreas to produce digestive enzymes. These specific enzymes aid digestion by improving the metabolism of proteins and fats.
A properly functioning digestive system reduces the risk of diseases such as anemia, irritable bowel syndrome, and liver-related diseases.
Relieves soreness caused by inflammations
Chai tea is in used as an alternative medicine for centuries now and believed to ease serious aches caused by certain disorders such as osteoarthritis, headaches, and migraines. This particular healing property is due to its anti-inflammatory capability which is derived from ginger and clove extracts.
Studies show that ginger can reduce swelling and relieve pain caused by inflammations. It also improves oxygen circulation throughout the body thus making organs work properly.
On the other hand, clove extracts are used as a homeopathic treatment for mild soreness such as toothaches or minor headaches. We can also typically find cloves in some dental products. Some studies also suggest the use of clove extracts as topical anesthetics which is the same as benzocaine.
It may promote healthier blood sugar levels
In other research, they’ve found that the oil content of cinnamon can reverse the effects of diabetes. The oil compound in cinnamon contributes to regulating your blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that regular intake of cinnamon or any foods that contain cinnamon may help people suffering from type-2 diabetes.
Another study suggests that regular intake of cinnamon or any foods that cinnamon may support insulin production and improve blood sugar regulation by 10 to 29%.
A less insulin resisted system allows the body to effectively eliminate sugar by transporting them through cells.
On the other hand, one research shows that a daily intake of ginger, about 2 grams per day, can help a diabetic lower his blood sugar levels by 12%.
Studies also have shown that the combination of cinnamon and ginger with a dosage of within 1 to 6 grams a day is effective in reducing blood sugar levels.
Boosts your immune system
Ginger and clove also have antioxidant properties that strengthen the body’s defenses against harmful toxins.
Green cardamom is another ingredient in chai tea that contains antioxidants. It also has vitamin c and other essential nutrients that can help fight off illnesses. This spice is known to grow in Tanzania, India, Sri Lanka, and Guatemala. In Tibet, it’s used as a medicine for centuries now.
On the other hand, black cardamom also contains antiseptic and expectorant capability aside from its antioxidant properties.
The green cardamom taste profile has a balanced and pleasant taste while the black one has a smoky taste.
However, not all chai tea contains green or black cardamom. If this particular ingredient is necessary to you, then you may have to always refer to the packaging label.
Improves the overall condition of the heart
Another beneficial ingredient present in chai tea is cinnamon. It’s a spice that’s usually used in certain recipes or as a diffuser. It possesses health benefits which include improving heart condition by regulating cholesterol levels. There are, however, no sufficient studies that may link chai tea with a healthy heart. The primary basis as of now for this claim is the fact that it contains cinnamon.
One of the medicinal properties of ginger is it helps ease symptoms of nausea and motion sickness related to travels. A serving of chai tea contains an ample amount of ginger which is about 1 to 1.5 grams. This amount of ginger in one’s meal or beverage is believed to be enough in neutralizing nausea.
The main compounds in ginger found to counteract the effects of nausea are school and gingerol. These compounds also other ailments related to nausea such as abdominal pains. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that relieve pain and swelling.