Is Chai Tea Good for You: Benefits, Recipes & Precautions
If you like visiting the big coffee shops, then you have probably seen in their menus herbal chai tea in hot and iced forms, or maybe a fancy chai tea latte. In a case, you keep asking yourself if this type of tea is good or bad for your health, below you may find the answers to your questions about this potentially beneficial tea.
The thing is that any drink can be not that healthy for you if it is not organic. However, the benefits of the traditional organic chai tea can be amazing.
What is chai tea?
Chai or simply chai tea is basically the classic black tea with different spices. In coffee shops, you can order the drink with such popular chai spices:
- Black pepper;
You probably understand that each of these components can be great for your health in a different way. When combined along with chai black tea, these spices can deliver different health benefits like supporting digestion, low blood sugar, and better cardiovascular functions.
Chai tea: benefits for your health
Healthline and WebMD experts along with the popular nutritionist Dr. Josh Axe believe that drinking spiced chai tea can be great for your health in such way:
- Reduced pain for arthritis patients who suffer from the severe inflammation. According to the U.S. Arthritis Foundation, sipping vanilla chai tea with clove, cinnamon, and ginger can be especially good for treating this and other inflammatory-causing diseases;
- Can help overcome nausea if you stick to the chai tea recipe with ginger. This is a well-known remedy for reducing nausea and vomiting. Many people who suffer from motion sickness and chemotherapy-induced nausea may get a significant relief from drinking decaf chai tea with ginger;
- Being rich in many antioxidants – polyphenols, especially the type called Masala chai tea, this kind of tea can be good for the prevention of cancer. According to the researchers at the Institute for Cancer Prevention, Masala chai contains more antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables;
- Sipping Masala tea throughout the day can be also good for your digestion, especially if you boost it with black pepper;
- To protect your heart from the high levels of “bad” cholesterol and triglycerids you can drink chai tea with cinnamon because it has many vital oil and nutrients capable of preventing the prediabetic condition and lowering blood pressure;
- Recently it has been also reported that chai tea can be helpful for patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disorders.
Chai tea vs. green tea
Despite the fact that chai tea and green tea basically come from the same plant, these two types significantly vary from each other. Green tea is recognized worldwide thanks to the high levels of catechins, while chai tea is rich in polyphenols.
Another difference is that green tea is usually produced from the unprocessed tea leaves, while chai tea comes from the fermented and then oxidized black tea leaves.
Also, chai tea is always combined with spices, while you can drink green tea without any additives.
An interesting fact is that both green and chai teas contain caffeine – 50 milligrams vs 72 milligrams per 1 cup, respectively. However, there are also available the decaf chai tea version, mostly in powders.
How can you make chai tea at home?
The chai tea enthusiasts from the website of Dr. Josh Axe recommended a great chai tea recipe that you may try preparing at your home:
Tasty chai tea with soy milk and spices
- In a small pot you need to combine – a few tablespoons of chai tea powder, 24 ounces of unsweetened almond/soy milk, ¾ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom, ½ teaspoon of grated ginger, ½ teaspoon of ground allspice, ¼ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, and 1 pinch of coarse ground black pepper;
- Put the pot with the ingredients over the medium heat and whisk all the time;
- Heat for 7 minutes to let all flavors combine;
- Serve and drink right after this;
- Optionally you can add some natural sweeteners like 1 tablespoon of raw honey or 12 drops of liquid Stevia.
Chai tea: possible side effects and precautions
Commonly, according to the reports by the experts from Mayo Clinic, chai tea doesn’t cause any side effects unless you have an allergy to the specific components like caffeine. Keep in mind that drinking more than 3 cups of spiced vanilla chai tea can lead to the caffeine overdose revealed through such symptoms as disturbed sleep and anxiety. Bear in mind that even drinking the best chai tea with artificial sweeteners or loads of potentially dangerous ingredients can’t provide with all mentioned benefits.
Don’t hesitate to visit a doctor if you have diarrhea or constipation after drinking chai tea, your body may not tolerate this drink – this happens rarely, but still is possible.