The first time I tried chai tea was a few years ago when I was living in Sweden. I wasn't much of a coffee drinker so I tried a cup of chai tea to warm me up one particularly blustery day. One sip and I was hooked to the popular Indian masala chai beverage. In America we know masala chai as "chai tea" however translated from Hindustani, chai translates to "tea". It's a bit silly to drink tea tea don't you think? Nevertheless, whether you call is masala chai or chai tea, there are tons of health benefits you can gain from drinking chai.
What is in Chai?
Chai tea ingredients include black tea flavored with cardamom pods, black peppercorns, ginger root, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Some mixes even include fennel, coriander seeds, and star anise. The chai blend can be served in tea bags, loose tea leaves, or as a powder to be mixed in hot water along with a sweetener. Coffee shops usually sell chai tea lattes that contain foamed or steamed milk. If lactose bothers you, ask for a chai latte with nut milk or oat milk.
When it comes to taste, every chai tea recipe is slightly different. Some blends are strong when it comes to black pepper while others are prominently green cardamom with cinnamon sticks. Most teas are made with Assam black tea, however, it's not unusual for people to use oolong tea, green tea, or even rooibos loose leaf in their mixes.
One brand, Blue Lotus Chai, is known for its award-winning chai, specifically its flagship Masala Chai which is packed with cardamom, pepper, and cinnamon flavor. Packed in a 3 oz. resealable tin (complete with a bamboo scoop) each container of Blue Lotus Chai makes up to 100 cups and is delicious down to the last drop.
When it comes to caffeine, chai tea will wake you up, however not as much as a cup of coffee will. Depending on the tea leaves used, chai tea usually has 1/3 the amount of caffeine than coffee, which makes it a great alternative.
7 Health Benefits of Chai Tea
Helps Alleviate Nausea
Do you know why your mama gave you ginger ale when you were home sick? It's because fresh ginger is a natural treatment of nausea. With 1-2 grams of ginger per cup, if you are feeling sickish, drink chai.
Helps Alleviate Aches and Pains
Packed with anti-inflammatory properties, chia tea can help reduce inflammation due to the ginger in the tea base. The same goes for cloves, which have been used for more than 2,000 years as a homeopathic remedy for minor pains such as toothaches, according to MDPI.
It Can Help Support a Healthy Immune System
Cardamom, which is found in chai tea, boasts antimicrobial and powerful antioxidant properties which can promote wellness.
Effective Against Cramps and PMS
Salicylate, a compound found in ginger has been noted to relieve menstrual cramps.
Lowers Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
It is claimed that cinnamon is the secret ingredient in lowering blood sugar levels and reducing insulin resistance in people living with type 2 diabetes. Additionally, polyphenols found in black tea are found to stimulate insulin production in the body. Because of this, patients are advised to drink two cups of chai tea a day according to Tea How.
Improves Heart Health
Thanks to cinnamon and black tea, Masala Chia may help keep cholesterol levels and blood pressure in check. By drinking three cups of black tea you could lower the risk of contracting heart diseases by 11 percent according to one study.
Dealing with bloating? The ginger in chai tea helps fight bloating and inflammation. Ad addition of honey can also aid in weight loss.