For centuries, people in India and China have enjoyed the unique taste and aroma of chai tea, a blend of black tea leaves and spices like cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, black peppercorns, and star anise.
Whether it’s served as a traditional masala chai or a chai latte at your favorite coffee shop, there’s no denying the popularity of this delicious beverage. If you are new to the site, I published a chai latte recipe that screams fall is here a few years ago. 🍁
But did you know that chai tea is also incredibly good for you? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the many health benefits of chai tea, from its positive effects on heart health to its impact on cognitive function.
So sit back, relax, and let’s explore the many ways that chai tea can improve your overall health and well-being.
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Chai Tea Benefits You Need to Know About
One of the most significant benefits of chai tea is its positive impact on heart health. The combination of black tea and spices in chai tea has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
A recent study found that drinking three cups of black tea daily for six months significantly reduced blood pressure levels.
The spices in chai tea also have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce chronic inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is linked to various degenerative diseases, including heart disease.
Blood Sugar Control
Chai tea may also help regulate blood sugar levels, making it an excellent choice for people with diabetes or those looking to manage their blood sugar levels. The black tea in chai tea contains compounds that improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, leading to better blood sugar control.
Additionally, some of the spices in chai tea, such as cinnamon and ginger, have been shown to have similar effects on blood sugar levels. Cinnamon, in particular, has been found to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce fasting blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Immune System Support
Chai tea is also a great source of antioxidants, which help protect the body against free radicals and oxidative stress. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to cells and contribute to the development of chronic diseases.
The spices in chai tea, such as ginger and cardamom, also have antimicrobial properties, which can help boost the immune system and protect against infections. Ginger, in particular, is effective against sore throats and upset stomachs.
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Chai tea may also have positive effects on cognitive function, including memory and focus. The caffeine in black tea and the amino acid L-theanine work together to improve cognitive function and increase alertness and energy levels.
Chai tea also contains green tea, which is rich in antioxidants and has been shown to improve brain function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
Chai tea has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to aid digestion, and recent studies have confirmed its effectiveness. The chai spices in tea, such as ginger and cardamom, have digestive enzymes that help break down food and improve nutrient absorption. They also help soothe upset stomachs and reduce nausea.
Chai tea may also help prevent metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors that increase the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Black tea in chai tea has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. At the same time, the spices have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce chronic inflammation, a critical factor in metabolic syndrome.
How to Make Chai Tea
Chai tea can be made using tea bags or loose leaf tea. Here’s a simple recipe for making traditional masala chai blends:
- 2 cups of water
- 2 indian black tea bags or 2 teaspoons of loose leaf black tea
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3-4 cardamom pods
- 3-4 black peppercorns
- 1-2 slices of fresh ginger
- 1-2 teaspoons of maple syrup (optional)
- 1 cup of milk (dairy or non-dairy)
- To prepare a perfect cup of chai tea, you will need to start by boiling some water in a saucepan.
- Once the water comes to a boil, add the tea bags or loose leaf tea, along with some fresh ginger, black peppercorns, cardamom pods, and a cinnamon stick.
- Reduce the heat and let the tea simmer for about 5-10 minutes, allowing the spices to infuse into the tea.
- Next, add your desired amount of milk and maple syrup (if desired), and let the tea simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
- Finally, strain the tea to remove any solids, and serve it hot to enjoy the full flavor and aroma of this delicious beverage.