Chai tea is becoming a popular choice for a beverage, especially for the millennials. Famous coffee franchises are now carrying various chai flavors. There are chai lattes, matcha chai fusion, mocha chai lattes, and any other combination that you can imagine.
Some people may not know about the origin of chai and its composition. Chai tea originated in India many years ago and is usually made of a type of tea and different herbs and spices. Black tea is a famous choice for chai however, some opt for green tea as well.
Herbs and spices usually include cardamom, fennel, black pepper, and cinnamon. However, you may also add nutmeg and ginger depending on the flavor that you like.
Chai has a distinct flavor and most people will notice the hint of spiciness when they first try it. It is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea and some would even say that it is an acquired taste. However, drinking chai has a lot of health benefits that cannot be ignored. Aside from the origin and variations, here are four things that you should know about chai.
1. It Improves Digestion
Tea, which is the main ingredient of chai, is always been beneficial when it comes to digestion. Some experts would even say that chai tea helps people lose weight. The cardamom ingredient of chai can help stimulate your gut should you feel constipated. It also helps reduce the chances of having diarrhea.
The fennel also helps relieves bloating as it helps reduce pain and gas that are often the causes of indigestion. Pepper is a very common spice that we use almost every day. It improves digestion by stimulating the enzymes of our pancreas. This helps our body process food better without feeling bloated.
2. It has Calming Effects
Teas, in general, provides a calming benefit. The combination of black tea and the earthy flavors found in fennel and cinnamon are soothing when consumed after a long and busy day. Some people use chamomile instead of black tea because of its relaxing benefits. People usually take this to unwind during the day or even before going to bed.
3. It has Anti-inflammatory Benefits
Certain ingredients such as ginger and cinnamon are always great for their anti-inflammatory benefits. It reduces swelling and pain especially for people who suffer from arthritis, women with menstruation and anyone with an active lifestyle.
For cardamom especially, there are studies that show that people who drink chai with this spice were able to prevent blood clots. Clove is also proven to be analgesic as its compound, eugenol helps reduce pain from muscle pain, spasms, headache, wounds, and many others.
4. It’s Good for Cardiovascular Health
Black tea is full of antioxidants such as catechins and polyphenols that help our immune system. What some people may not know is black tea protects our LDL cholesterol level (the good cholesterol) which is crucial for preventing cardiovascular diseases.
Cinnamon is another ingredient in chai tea that helps reduce the risk of heart diseases. More specifically, cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar levels, stabilize cholesterol and reduce blood pressure.