Updated: Jul 27, 2020
Thanks to spices such as ginger, cloves and cinnamon, you not only get a great-tasting beverage, but one that offers an immense amount of health benefits.
Can a drink be delicious and still be healthy? The good news is YES, and it just so happens that my favorite drink can: Chai tea!
““But indeed I would rather have nothing but tea.”— Jane Austen.”
This delicious tea combines spices that contain strong compounds that not only promote overall health but also give a refreshing punch to this drink. Chai is an incredibly versatile drink because it offers different flavors depending on the spices, the venue that serves it, and the person who prepares it. The drink can be mixed with hot water or milk, and can be sweetened with honey or sugar.
As a long time Chai tea drinker, I found I knew little about the origins of the word. Chai is the word for tea in Asian countries like India and China. Chai simply means tea, a drink that combines several spices in tea liquids. The word chai is Hindi for tea and derives from the Mandarin word ch'a.
In the western world, the mixture we use to make Chai tea is called India Masala Chai which is made from: Black tea, Clove, Cardamom seeds, Star Anise, Cinnamon sticks, and fresh ginger and pepper. This beverage has become a very popular drink and has been associated with a deliciously unique and spicy flavor that has made a statement on the world stage. For centuries Chai has been revered for its health benefits in India and in Ayurvedic medicine because of the properties contained within.
Explore with me the incredible benefits of this drink:
1. Improves digestion
For centuries the benefits of many spices were known for their digestive properties. Black pepper is one of them. So, how does black pepper help with digestion? It has the ability to help the pancreas produce digestive enzymes. This action helps as catalysts to speed up digestive processes that break down fats and proteins. Another spice in chai that aids digestion is ginger. Ginger ignites the digestive system in turn revving up our metabolic forces.
2. It Can Wake You Up
Thanks to the caffeine content of chai tea this tea is great to either start your morning or to perk you up in the middle of a long work day. It has the perfect balance of black tea to give you a much needed caffeine boost without the negative side effects associated with several cups of coffee. In addition to the black tea, it has a well-crafted blend of spices to awaken your senses.
3. Helps your Immune System
Drinking a cup of chai tea per day can be an effective method to prevent and combat viral winter infections, especially respiratory ones. The cardamom present in chai is responsible for this effect. It contains high doses of vitamin C and other nutrients that help to keep the immune system running healthy.
4. Very effective for nausea:
This tea is a great option when you have an upset stomach for its ginger content, it will help reduce nausea and vomiting and even eliminate the dizziness caused when traveling or possibly help with the nausea induced by chemotherapy. Ginger contains bioactive compounds within the root of the spice. These compounds exhibit anti-inflammatory properties making it a good choice for anyone who experiences bothersome stomach problems.
There are several ingredients in chai tea that help eliminate pain and reduce inflammation. Specifically clove, ginger, and cinnamon. Ginger and clove have properties very similar to the known fever reducer Ibuprofen. This works by suppressing part of the inflammatory molecules. When it comes to cinnamon, cinnamon bark is an essential oil in helping with anti-inflammatory properties.
And now that you know, sit down, drink, and remember: it's always tea-time!