A traditional drink from India which has risen in popularity in coffee shops and delis over the past couple of decades is a spicy drink known as chai. Served either hot or cold, chai tea makes a great change of pace and there are a number of proven health benefits of chai tea to add a little extra spicy surprise. If you haven’t tried it yet, we hope you will and reap the healthy rewards as well.
10 Benefits of Chai Tea
Almost every spice included in chai tea are loaded with antioxidants and black tea has them as well. WebMD reports that both black and green teas have nearly ten times the antioxidant values as fruits and vegetables.
2. Digestive Stimulant
Working as a digestive stimulant for those who have digestive disorders is another of the health benefits of chai tea. Studies conducted in India indicate that the mixture of spices contained in chai tea help to activate digestive enzymes and makes them more efficient at metabolizing beneficial nutrients as well as increased bile acid secretion for improved nutrient absorption.
3. Relief for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Ginger, one of the abundant spices in chai tea, ties in with providing relief for rheumatoid arthritis. Ginger is a COX-2 inhibitor similar to ibuprofen and celecoxib and also prevents the production of the inflammatory molecules, leukotrienes, in order to help relieve pain and inflammation associated with RA, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
4. Treatment for Nausea
Several anti-nausea ingredients are included in chai tea, making it an excellent treatment for nausea. Though it will certainly treat regular nausea, Australian researchers have shown that there are numerous nausea reducing properties for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) found in ginger.
5. Reduces Inflammation
Among the most significant health benefits of chai tea is its use in the reduction of inflammation. Egyptian scientists found that the oil contained in cloves and fennel were among a selection of spices tested, which significantly reduce inflammation, and at the top of their list of success was cloves.
6. Treatment of Diabetes
Nearly all of the spices included in chai tea also have anti-diabetic benefits, but cinnamon stands out among them. Cinnamon consumption produced significant decreases in levels of fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, LDL-C, and triglyceride levels, as well as an increase in HDL-C levels, all of which contribute to the improvement to the condition of those with diabetes reports a Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, California study.
7. Treatment of Neurological Disorders
Neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, can also reap the benefits of chai tea. The consumption of cinnamon, according to Malaysian researchers, produces significant improvements in the treatment and prevention of neurological disorders because of its phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and other isolated components.
8. Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
The spices used in making chai tea also provide for a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Contained in several of these spices, especially cinnamon, are lipid-lowering compounds, anti-hypertension properties, and also anti-inflammatory attributes, which all contribute to the reduction of cardiovascular conditions, according to Malaysian scientists.
9. Coffee Alternative
As a coffee alternative, chai tea is not only a delicious change of pace but provides some great health benefits through lower caffeine consumption as well. Center for Science in the Public Interest demonstrates that there is a significant difference in the caffeine levels (between two and five times higher) between a typical coffeehouse cup of coffee, espresso-based latte or cappuccino when compared to chai tea.
10. Weight Loss
Another significant item among health benefits of chai tea is related to weight loss. Metabolic rate, which is important for breaking down fats and burning calories, has been shown to increase due to a compound in black pepper known as pepperine, reports a South Korean study.
What Gives Chai Tea Its Spice?
Traditionally made from black tea, which has a more robust flavor, chai tea includes a mix of spices that not only provide an awesome blend of flavors but quite a few benefits to your health as well. So, what spices contains the black tea, which contribute to these to attributes? Here is a list along with a few of the individual benefits you can find in them:
- Ginger is anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, and antioxidant.
- Cardamom contains anti-gas, improved digestion, and liver friendly compounds.
- Cinnamon’s numerous benefits include anti-diabetes, heart-healthy, antioxidant and infection fighter.
- Fennel aids in digestive issues, gas and is antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory.
- Black pepper improves cognitive function and digestion as well as being an antioxidant and a metabolic booster.
- People use cloves as a mild analgesic, which helps improve dental health and helps boost immunity.
There are more than a dozen benefits for each of these spices besides the ones listed above. Moreover, we still haven’t taken a look at the digestive, circulatory, cholesterol-lowering and antioxidant properties of chai tea’s main ingredient; black tea. With this awesome lineup of benefits, it’s not hard to see how there are plenty of proven benefits to examining further.
A Note of Caution
As with most good things, consuming too much of them can have adverse effects on your health. Drinking more than five cups of chai tea on a daily basis lines up with this rule of thumb. The caffeine content is lower than coffee indeed. However, those who are sensitive to caffeine intake or who have cardiac rhythm problems should pay attention. For them, maintaining certain lower levels of caffeine is extremely important.
In addition to the caffeine contained in black tea, there are also various adverse reactions between the spices in chai tea. This also applies to a broad number of medications as well. These typically include blood pressure, cholesterol and blood thinning medications among others.
It’s essential to be certain of the possible risks of caffeine consumption. The same thing goes for adverse drug reactions between the medications you take and the spices in chai tea. Consequently, you should consult a healthcare professional and follow his advice and recommendations concerning the consumption of chai tea.
Many are currently looking for a healthy alternative to your daily coffee habit. In this case, you can hardly go wrong with chai tea. There are plenty of flavors to capture your interest in this spicy drink. Besides, there are plenty of proven health benefits of chai tea. This helps keep people’s interest in this flavor rich and potent drink. Be sure to include your favorite recipes, success stories, questions and comments related to chai tea in the comments section below.