If you could choose just one beverage, what would it be? Water? Iced tea? Soda? Tea?
Assuming that you will choose tea, what kind of tea would you have? For most people, green tea is the number one choice because of the many health benefits.
But did you know that there is another type of tea that can offer a lot of good things for your body, too?
Learn about chai tea drink, benefits of chai tea, ingredients and recipes that can put a twist on your ordinary chai tea.
What Is Chai Tea? Spiced Tea
Chai tea is simply special spiced tea. Tea comes in many forms and variations, one of which is chai tea. It is a traditional Indian tea that has been used for thousands of years to cure many ailments, strengthen one’s immune system, preserve health and increase one’s peace of mind.
Also, it has a velvety texture that comes with a creamy taste. 5,000 years ago, legend says that somewhere in the ancient courts of Siam and India, a king came up with recipe in line with his quest of creating a healthy drink. Since then, “chai tea” has been used in the healing tradition of “Ayurveda” alternative medicine.
Starting from the Vedic period in India, chai tea has been used to heal one’s body, together with massage, herbs and yoga. Because of its popularity, chai tea slowly spread across South Asia, and later on to the Western world.
If you have been to India, you will notice how chai tea, locally known as masala chai, is made part of their lives, the same way green tea is for Chinese. Indian chai tea gives you a warming and soothing effect that makes it difficult for you to resist a second cup.
Is Chai Tea Good for You? What Are the Health Benefits of Chai Tea?
“Is chai tea good for you?” This is perhaps the biggest question you will ask before you drink chai tea, or any other drink. The truth is there are many benefits of chai tea that were discovered.
As a matter of fact, chai tea is packed with so much goodness that you should be drinking it regularly. If you are still not sure whether to include this type of drink on your daily diet, then here are seven reasons why you should.
WHAT IS CHAI TEA GOOD FOR? TOP 7 HEALTH BENEFITS
- It helps reduce the risk of cancer. Cancer is a result of “rebel” cells that grow in shape and number while damaging the DNA and other healthy cells. Although chai tea is a combination of ingredients, it contains common spices such as cinnamon, cardamom and ginger that has phytochemicals and cancer-prevention properties. These ingredients have numerous health benefits.
- It boosts your metabolism. Did you know that there are certain spices that can help boost your metabolism? And the good news is they can be found in chai tea! Chai spices help stimulate the digestive and pancreatic enzymes that can improve oxygen uptake and breakdown of fat. As a result, you can have improved metabolism and can also contribute to your feeling of fullness. It’s no wonder that chai tea and weight loss often go together.
- It fights free radicals. One of the benefits of chai tea is its antioxidant properties. Because of this, it has the ability to fight free radicals that can lead to different diseases and disorders. Chai tea also helps prevent colds, thanks to its antioxidant and phytochemical properties that works in unison with your immune system.
- It offers digestive support. Aside from boosting your metabolism, chai tea, especially when taken after meals, can support healthy digestion. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods website, ginger is a digestive herb that can curb nausea and promote a healthy digestion of food. Even cinnamon is considered as a digestive stimulant.
- It has anti-inflammatory effects. Did you know that most of the standards components of chai tea are powerful anti-inflammatory agents? The eugenol found in cloves is a potent anti-inflammatory that can relieve gum pain and general inflammation. Ginger can be a natural alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
- It prevents diabetes. Diabetes has been affecting millions of people today. The good news is there are actually food and drinks that can help regulate blood sugar levels, an example of which is chai tea. Chai tea can help offset sugar cravings and can assist in counteracting some of the damage caused by processed flours and sugar. Still, keep in mind that chai tea is not your “free pass” to eat unhealthy foods and you still need to watch out for what goes inside your body to prevent your blood sugar from spiking up.
- It boosts your energy. Everyone needs a booster, especially in this fast-paced world where 24 hours is not enough. Instead of drinking energy drinks, soft drinks or coffee, why not try chai tea? The spices a chai tea contains are natural and healthy stimulants that can give you the energy you need to last for the day. Plus, chai tea is a healthier alternative to coffee that can give you the kick-start you need before you face the world. Overall, chai tea can improve your health that can eventually give you a wonderful sense of being.
Does Chai Tea Have Caffeine?
Chai tea usually contains caffeine. However let’s take a more in depth look at the actual caffeine content of a cup of chai tea. Apart from chai spices, chai tea is mainly made using black tea. Nevertheless, you can easily find chai teas that are composed of other types of teas, such as green tea, white tea and also oolong tea. It’s also possible to make or buy chai tea without any caffeine if you prefer.
Ultimately, the tea that you select as a base for your chai tea will influence the amount of caffeine and also the flavor of your tea. Regardless of how strong you will make it, a cup of chai tea should always be there to give you relaxation and satisfaction to begin with.
HOW MUCH CAFFINE IS IN CHAI TEA?
So exactly how much caffeine does chai tea have? One cup of chai made with black tea has approximately half caffeine than the normal cup of coffee. Among all types of tea, black tea contains the most amount of caffeine, followed by oolong, then green tea, then finally white tea. Herbal teas, which are usually not made from a tea plant so if you use some sort of herbal tea as a base of your chai, it will have no caffeine at all.
In addition you should take into account that the actual caffeine delivery into the person’s body is different for chai tea compared to coffee. The caffeine in tea typically takes a bit longer to have an impact than coffee.
What Is Chai Tea Made Of? Chai Spices
Did you know that chai tea varies depending on where you are from? Unlike green tea, black tea or even rooibos tea that comes in trees and leaves, chai tea is a combination of different ingredients to make it more appealing on one’s taste. Here is a list of the standard ingredients found in making chai tea – plus the health benefits that come with it too.
- Black tea – Black tea is good for your body because it helps protect LDL or good cholesterol and prevents cardiovascular diseases. Plus, the black chai tea is rich in antioxidants that can help promote general health and well being.
- Ginger – Did you know that ginger is an important root that is commonly used in Eastern medicine? This is because ginger can aid in digestion, improve blood circulation, boost your immune system and reduce inflammation, especially when you are suffering from arthritis.
- Cinnamon – Aside from the flavor it can give to your dishes, cinnamon also has wonderful digestive properties that can also help balance your blood sugar. Plus, cinnamon is shown to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant effects too.
- Black pepper – Who says black pepper is only for adding spice and flavour to your dishes? Apparently, this staple kitchen ingredient is known to support circulation and metabolism. In fact, it can directly influence one’s fat storage and very useful in preventing fat accumulation.
- Cardamom – This ingredient is found in most Tibetan medicine formula. This is because cardamom aids in digestion and helps support your immune system. At the same time, it helps detoxify your body, improve circulation and fight any respiratory allergies.
- Clove – Did you know that clove is a native to Indonesia? This spice has pain-relieving and antiseptic properties that can help you a lot in case of ulcer.
- Fennel – You’ve probably heard of fennel seeds and its relationship with enhancement supplements. Aside from helping you in bed, fennel is also a great source of antioxidants and a good source of vitamin C, potassium and fibre. Even in medieval France and Germany, this herb is used to treat kidney and ocular problems as well as laryngitis.
- Nutmeg – This ingredient has been used for many years to ease sciatica issues and promote the digestion of heavy foods. At the same time, ancient Arab physicians even use nutmeg to treat kidney and lymph problems. If you are looking for the ultimate reason why you should drink chai tea everyday, then here it is. Aside from the tea itself, what chai tea is made of already makes this drink a healthy one that is good for your body.
Chai Tea Recipes: How to Make Delicious Chai Tea?
Chai tea comes in different variations. The simplest form of this type of tea is by mixing together the black tea leaves or powder, honey or sugar and spices and bringing it to a boil. However, there are other ways to drink chai tea. Here are simple best chai tea recipes that you can do to include this type of drink in your daily life.
- Vanilla chai tea. If you are vanilla lover, then this usual chai tea with a twist will keep you asking for more. Just mix cardamom pods, whole cloves, whole allspice, whole vanilla bean, honey, black tea, water and milk. Boil all spices in a saucepan and let it simmer for five minutes before adding milk and honey for additional flavor. Serve.
- Chai tea latte. Who says you need Starbucks just to get a chai tea latte? All you have to do is mix milk and water and boil them together. Then add black tea leaves or powder, cinnamon stick, cloves, black peppercorn cods, a pinch of nutmeg and orange peel and let it boil. You can also add honey or sugar for added sweetness. Chai tea latte is my favourite best chai tea recipe.
- Masala chai tea. It combines premium Ceylon black tea with warming cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. In Indian culture, “Masala” means “a blend of spices” so Masala chai tea is simply “spiced tea”. I suggest two teaspoons per 8 oz cup. Sugar, cream or soy milk if desired.
- Ginger tea. Ginger has a lot of health benefits. To make a ginger chai tea, add tea leaves or powder to a pan of boiling water. Add honey or sugar according to your desired sweetness and let it boil for a few minutes. Then add grated ginger to the mixture and let it brew for 10 minutes. Strain then your ginger tea is ready for drinking. You can also put milk for added flavour.
What Is the Best Chai Tea Brand? Where to Buy Chai Tea?
If you don't feel like mixing your own chai tea or simply are too busy, you can buy excellent chai tea blends on Amazon that are not only delicious but also contain the healthy ingredients and spices mentioned above.
My absolute favourite is Big Train Spiced Chai Latte. This tea is made in USA and it has no hydrogenated oil. It contains a creamy blend of honey, vanilla, black tea and exotic spices. You can drink it hot or cold. I love this chai tea and it is much cheaper and tastes better than chai lattes at Starbucks. It is also available in a vanilla version, if this is what you prefer.
Twinings Chai Organic Tea, is another excellent choice. This tea is 100% organic and "fair trade certified". It contains black tea that is perfectly balanced with sweet and savoury spices including cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and ginger. Fantastic tea if you want to lose weight or boost your metabolism.
Less known but equally delicious is David Rio Chai Mix, Tiger Spice. Rated 4.5 stars chai is a creamy, rich tasting black tea, enlivened with the exotic mix of freshly ground spices, including cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger. I really like to buy this tea as each year, a percentage of profits from the sale of David Rio Tiger Spice Chai are donated to the international fund for animal welfare.
Given this list of health benefits of drinking chai tea, it is safe to say that chai tea is indeed, a healthy everyday drink that can boost your overall health and body. Instead of coffee or carbonated drinks, chai tea is a better, more natural and safer alternative that can give you an instant energy fix to help you last through the day whether you want to lose weight or not..
So ditch the old habits of drinking just coffee or tea and make a switch. After all, a chai tea a day is good for you, your mind and body regardless if you want to lose weight or not.
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