Chai Tea: Health Benefits & How to Make

by John Staughton last updated -

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Chai tea is a spicy and delicious beverage that is beloved throughout the world and offers a number of excellent health benefits.

What is Chai Tea?

Chai tea is a popular variety of tea that is prepared using milk, tea, and various spices. While the recipes vary depending on where you are in the world, it is generally considered a healthy beverage. It is perhaps best known as an Indian beverage, where it is known as masala chai, and may be combined with cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Some other ingredients you may find in a chai tea blend include fennel, cardamom or black peppercorns. You can use black, oolong or green tea in the production of chai tea, which has become a global variant of tea and is enjoying a massive burst of popularity in the United States and elsewhere.

Chai Tea Nutrition

The nutrition in this tea is largely based on what spices are added to the basic blend, but considering that most chai tea begins with a basis of black, green or oolong tea, it usually contains good amounts of vitamin A, iron, caffeine, and sodium, as well as the numerous antioxidants contains in the tea, such as catechins or polyphenolic compounds. Ginger, peppercorn, fennel, cinnamon or cloves add a diverse range of other nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants to this beverage.

How to Make Chai Tea?

Making your own chai tea at home is quite simple, requiring only a few common ingredients you likely have on your spice rack. Again, the ingredients in this tea may vary; this recipe is a rather standard example.

  • Step 1 – Bundle up 2 pieces of cinnamon bark, 10 cloves, and 1 teaspoon of cardamom seeds in a cheesecloth.
  • Step 2 – Place the spice mix in a pot of water. Bring to a low boil.
  • Step 3 – Reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat.
  • Step 4 – Add 1-2 black tea bags and steep for 3-4 minutes.
  • Step 5 – Remove the tea bags and spice mixture.
  • Step 6 – Add 2 cups of milk and 1/4 cup of honey.
  • Step 7 – Serve warm or cold.

Chai Tea Benefits

The top benefits of this tea rich in antioxidants include reducing inflammation and indigestion, regulating blood sugar levels, aiding weight loss, and protecting the heart, among others.

Reduces Stomach Issues

The most basic spice ingredients in chai tea have an effect on digestion, including cinnamon, ginger, and fennel, which help relieve flatulence, reduce inflammation, and stimulate proper digestive processes.

Relieves Inflammation

Ginger is present in almost every chai tea recipe, and this well-known spice is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound, capable of reducing chronic inflammation, which leads to chronic diseases and oxidative stress.

Prevents Chronic Diseases

Many of the spices in this tea have antioxidants, as does the tea itself! This can cut down on the activities of free radicals and help prevent diseases like cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.

Protects Heart Health

Reducing inflammation and lowering stress hormones in the body both help to protect cardiovascular health.

Controls Diabetes

Studies have found that regular intake of this tea, with its health-regulating ingredients, is able to control the release of insulin and glucose, making diabetics more able to control their symptoms.

Side Effects of Chai Tea

There are some notable side effects of drinking this tea, such as complications with pregnancy and stomach issues. For those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, caffeinated drinks like tea should be avoided for the most part. If you consume an excessive amount of chai tea, you are also likely to suffer from gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea, as well as nausea, restlessness or anxiety. Moderation, as in all things, is critical when consuming this strong tea.

About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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