If you haven’t enjoyed the benefits of chai tea, it’s time to give this delicious beverage a chance! It’s one of my favorite non-coffee choices (mmm…coffee) and found everywhere these days.
What Makes Chai Tea Different?
Tea is the most popular drink in the world, second only to water. The word chai (rhymes with pie) actually means “tea” in many cultures (it would sound funny to order some tea tea, though so stick with chai).
Chai first appeared in India centuries ago as a spiced milk that also contained black tea, spices, and sweetener such as honey.
The spices used in chai tea can vary. Some of the most popular are cinnamon, ginger, pepper, cloves, and cardamom. The flavors lend the drink a warm, spicy taste that is both delicious and strangely soothing.
You can partake of the many benefits of chai tea by visiting chain coffee shops or make it at home yourself. Avoid the pre-bottled varieties at the store. These don’t have the antioxidant properties of fresh chai tea and are usually packed with sugar and other additives.
It’s the ingredients in chai tea that make it so good for you. You already know how good tea is for your body (head to toe) but you might not know how much your system loves the spices!The ingredients in chai tea are so good for you! #benefitsofchaitea #masalatea Click To Tweet
Let’s break them down one by one so you know why you need this delicious, nutritious drink in your life year-round! All of the spices found in chai tea are ranked “very low” on the glycemic index, extremely low in calories, and available in most local markets.
5 Ingredients that Make Chai Tea Benefits Possible
- Black Pepper: Pepper is packed with manganese, vitamin K, copper, and fiber. It has a bit of calcium, chromium, and iron as well. Most recipes call for a pinch or so of this nutritious spice. Black pepper improves overall digestion, prevents intestinal gas, and increases bile production to better break down the food you eat. It’s naturally antibacterial and helps your body break down fat cells more efficiently.
- Cinnamon: This ancient spice is a well-known anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. It contains excellent levels of manganese as well as fiber and calcium. Multiple scientific studies have found the properties of cinnamon helpful in preventing blood clots, regulating blood sugar, and able to help protect your body from sickness and infection. Some researchers have determined that cinnamon is also an anti-cancer spice but more human trials will need to be done to confirm.
- Cardamom: Related to ginger, cardamom is another ancient spice that boosts your immune system’s ability to fight off bacteria, fungi, and other contaminants. It’s excellent for your digestion, proven to help ease nausea, abdominal bloating, heartburn, and irregular bowel movements (diarrhea and constipation). It’s packed with multiple B vitamins, manganese, copper, iron, and so much more!
- Ginger: For thousands of years, ginger has been used to safely and effectively treat stomach upset. Study after study has proved without a doubt that ginger is incredible at calming motion sickness, seasickness, and morning sickness better than over-the-counter medications without harmful side effects. It naturally soothes nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and cold sweats. Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory that is being actively investigated for its anti-cancer properties. The spice promotes healthy sweating (another excellent benefit of chai tea) when you’re ill to help speed the removal of toxins.
- Cloves: These unopened buds of the evergreen were first mentioned in texts more than 2,000 years ago. Another great source of manganese, vitamin K, and fiber, cloves are naturally antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and nutrient dense. Ancient peoples also used cloves to freshen breath. They didn’t realize the spice was also naturally antibacterial! This is an application that’s still useful today when you add clove essential oil to your homemade toothpaste.
How to Make Your Own Chai Tea Antioxidant Powerhouse
Making your own chai blend is healthy, simple, and aromatic for your entire house. There are many simple recipes to make chai tea but I love masala tea mix found at Indian grocers (or online) that have everything blended for you. You can also make your own mix to use whenever you feel the urge for this feel-good beverage.
Homemade Indian Masala Chai Spice Blend (courtesy of Keeper of the Home)
- ½ cup ground black pepper
- ½ cup ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup ground cardamom
- ½ cup dried ginger
- ¼ cup whole cloves
Simply blend the spices thoroughly and store in an airtight jar. This recipe makes about 2 cups of masala chai spice.
Homemade Masala Chai (courtesy of Keeper of the Home)
- 1 cup filtered water
- 2 teaspoons of loose tea OR 2 teabags
- ½ teaspoon masala chai spice
- 1 cup of milk (almond or coconut milk are also excellent)
- 2 teaspoons honey or raw sugar (to taste)
- Place water and tea in small pot and bring to a boil.
- Add dry masala chai mix.
- Once it boils, remove the pot from heat briefly to add milk and sweetener.
- Whisk blend as liquid returns to a boil to aerate the milk.
- When boiling, turn off heat and allow to sit for one minute.
- Using a fine mesh strainer, pour into cups (makes 2 servings).
Toasty goodness in the winter months and poured over ice during the hotter part of the year means you can enjoy this authentic beverage no matter the weather.
No matter how you drink it, the benefits of chai tea are always a burst of good stuff for your entire body that taste fantastic!No matter how you drink it, the benefits of chai tea are great for you and delicious too!Click To Tweet