Health Benefits of Chai

Pumpkin spice gets all of the autumn glory, but for me, fall is all about that chai. And it turns out the ingredients that give chai its deep flavors also deliver some amazing health benefits.

What is Chai?

Fun fact:†the word chai actually means tea, so when we said “chai tea”, we’re really saying “tea tea”. Chai is a spiced tea blend that usually†starts with a black tea base and layers on ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and other deep seasonings.

You can brew chai with milk as the base or brew with water and add a splash of milk†after steeping.

Health Benefits of Chai

To break down chai’s health benefits, let’s look at the health benefits of each ingredient.

Black Tea

Not all chai is made with black tea, but it is the most popular base. Like other teas, black tea is an antioxidant powerhouse. Research suggests that it†supports heart health, and there is some evidence that it also lowers risk for diabetes, high cholesterol, kidney stones, Parkinsonís disease and osteoporosis.

Ginger

Ginger is†one of the ingredients that gives chai its spicy bite, and it comes with lots of delicious benefits. Ginger can ease nausea (including morning sickness). It can also help relieve migraines, reduce cold and flu symptoms and generally help prevent inflammation.

Cardamom

A couple of cracked cardamom pods go a long way†both flavor and health-wise. It can help with bad breath and improve your digestion. It also helps regulate blood sugar.

Cinnamon

If you’re looking to†reap the health benefits of cinnamon, you need to be sure that you’re choosing the right type of cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is a powerful anti-inflammatory that can help regulate blood sugar and may even help prevent certain types of infections. There’s also research showing that cinnamon supports heart and brain health.

Black Pepper

Not all chai blends contain black pepper, but if you like an extra kick, I recommend adding a few peppercorns to the mix. Not only does it boost your tea’s flavor, but it may just help boost your mood, as well.†Research also shows that black pepper can support healthy weight loss.

Health Benefits of Chai Tea

How to Get Maximum Chai Health Benefits

Not all chai is healthy, however. The syrupy, sweet chai that you get at most coffee shops isn’t doing your health any favors. Commercial chai concentrates are loaded with added sugars, which kind of defeats the purpose of drinking chai for your health.

Chai is a milk-based tea, so it’s also important to choose that milk wisely. Skip the saturated fat and animal protein in cow’s milk, and opt for unsweetened, dairy-free milk†instead.

Instead of the syrupy chai lattes from coffee shops, brew your own chai tea from a bag or brew your chai from scratch and serve with your favorite vegan milk. Your palate may take some time to adjust, but after awhile, unsweetened chai is just as satisfying as the sweet stuff.

Homemade Chai Tea Recipe
Save Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vegan milk of your choice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 small piece of ginger, chopped up into small pieces
  • 5-7 crushed, or opened, cardamom seeds
  • 2 cinnamon sticks broken up
  • a few whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2-3 black tea bags, or approximately 6 teaspoons of loose black tea (If you like stronger tea add more).
  • sugar or alternative sweetener (optional)

Instructions

  1. First, let the milk and water come to a slow boil in a small pot.
  2. Turn down the heat to a simmer and add the ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and tea bags or loose tea.
  3. Let the mixture simmer for about 30 seconds to a minute (longer if you want stronger flavors) and then remove it from the heat. Allow 15-20 minutes for the mixture to cool and the flavors to blend, then strain into mugs. You can reheat before straining, if the tea is too cold for your liking.
  4. If you like your tea sweet, then add sugar or an alternative sweetener to taste. Enjoy!
https://www.care2.com/greenliving/health-benefits-of-chai.html

Images via Thinkstock

32 comments

Caitlin L
Caitlin L27 days ago

thanks for posting

SEND
hELEN h
hELEN h28 days ago

tyfs

SEND
Elizabeth M
Past Member 1 months ago

many thanks

SEND
Maria P
Past Member 1 months ago

Thank you

SEND
Martin H
Martin H1 months ago

sounds tasty.

SEND
hELEN h
hELEN h2 months ago

tyfs

SEND
Carol C
Carol C2 months ago

Thank you for this post about one of my favorite teas. Ginger, cardamom and Ceylon cinnamon are also great additions to hot cereal.

SEND
Lesa D
Lesa D2 months ago

love it! love it!

thank you Becky...

SEND
Mike R
Mike R2 months ago

Thanks

SEND
Janet B
Janet B2 months ago

Thanks

SEND