Chai, a spicy, invigorating drink which tastes and smells delicious, is a favorite of many tea fanatics around the world. Why is chai so trendy? It doesn’t owe its popularity only to its rich flavor, but also to its numerous health benefits.
Chai is a complex brew which includes a number of different herbs and spices, each of which confers its own unique benefits to the whole. While the specific recipes for chai tea can vary, a number of ingredients are commonly included in a typical recipe. Let’s take a look at each of these ingredients and what they can do to boost your health.
- Ginger. This ingredient is known for its bitter taste, but provides so many health benefits that many people will eat it by the slice or drink ginger tea to enjoy its advantages. Ginger is great for soothing your digestive tract, improving circulation, and boosting the power of your immune system. It also reduces inflammation, which makes it a favorite of arthritis sufferers. Scientific trials indicate that ginger may also have potential cancer-fighting properties. If you don’t enjoy the bitterness of ginger tea, you may find it more enjoyable as an ingredient in chai tea.
- Cinnamon. This spice, like ginger, has anti-inflammatory properties and can also assist with digestion. People who have problems with their insulin levels may find cinnamon helpful in balancing their blood sugar.
- Cardamom. This spice is commonly included in many herbal medicines. Like cinnamon and ginger, it helps to soothe digestion. It can boost your circulation and also has detoxifying properties. If you have allergies which affect your lungs, you may find cardamom helpful.
- Fennel. This herb is rich in antioxidants and also contains a number of other important nutrients, like fiber, potassium and vitamin C. In clinical trials, fennel has shows anti-carcinogenic properties.
- Clove. The rich aroma of clove is unmistakable, and clove is one of the primary constituents of most chai teas. A lot of people who suffer from ulcers take clove regularly as part of their diet to help relieve their pain. Clove also helps with other digestive problems, and may fight bacterial infections.
- Star anise. Yet another digestive aid, anise lends a unique flavor to a chai mixture, and may help to fight off certain illnesses.
- Nutmeg. This spice assists with digestion, and can be just the thing you need if you have nausea or queasiness. It may also help with insomnia in small amounts.
- Vanilla. Many people find that vanilla soothes their digestion. It lends a hint of sweetness to chai, and the flavor can be brought out by adding milk to your chai as an ingredient.
- Black pepper. Pepper has numerous different health benefits. Its many antioxidants can combat bacterial infections, and also may prevent your body from accumulating fat, boosting metabolism as a result.
Not everybody can or wants to drink milk (lactose intolerance is actually the norm among adults, so don’t feel bad if you can’t have it). If however milk is your cup of tea (pun intended), it can add even more nutrition to your chai tea. Milk is rich in nutrients like calcium, protein, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin A, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and niacin. Calcium, protein, phosphorus and vitamin D are great for building strong muscles and bones. Protein and phosphorus and vitamin B provide you with energy, and vitamin A improves skin and vision. Niacin helps with metabolism. Just remember to get organic milk from free range cows which are not given hormones or other treatments that can impact the quality of their milk.
People with digestive ailments swear by chai tea as one of the most effective remedies out there, and it’s no wonder when you consider how many healthy ingredients in chai directly impact your digestive system and your metabolism. Chai tea can be very soothing if you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or related digestive disturbances.
Many people say if they were stuck on a desert island and could only take one beverage besides water with them, it would be chai tea. It isn’t just the delicious flavors of chai tea which makes it such a favorite, but also its value for health. Chai tea is packed with essential nutrients, and its timeless appeal relates as much to its health benefits as its taste. Make sure to buy organic and check the ingredients list so you know you are getting completely natural, healthy chai tea with no additives included.