Chai Tea for a Healthy Lifestyle
Chai tea is so sweetly, spicily good that sometimes it seems like it can’t possibly be good for you. Yet this traditional Indian beverage, now popular across the United States, is actually packed with beneficial ingredients.
General Health Benefits
One of the initial improvements you’ll notice when replacing coffee with chai tea is the reduction of caffeine. Chai tea has only about one-third of the caffeine as coffee. That lowered caffeine content results in fewer jitters, less irritability and, to those susceptible to them, a decrease in heart palpitations.
In addition, the black tea component of chai is rich in immunity-boosting and antioxidant properties. That means you're increasing your system’s ability to fight colds and viruses, while also building up your LDL, or “good cholesterol” numbers.
Power Players -- The Spices
Each chai seems to have its own unique blend, but chances are the chai you order or blend for yourself will have most of the basic traditional Indian ingredients, combined with black tea leaves. These dried botanicals all have specific healing properties.
- Cardamon - The cardamon seed is a superb digestive aid. Its anti-inflammatory properties also assist in better circulation and in detoxifying your system.
- Black pepper - Adding sharpness to balance other flavor notes, black pepper also works to aid digestion and fight bacteria. Even more interestingly, black pepper seems to have an ability to boost your metabolism and discourage fat storage — all the more useful if you like your chai “masala” style, which is with whole milk.
- Fennel - We hate to be indelicate, but the fennel found in most chai blends is noted for its anti-flatulent characteristics. Beyond that useful ability, fennel is rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Cinnamon - A favorite in both Eastern and Western cooking, cinnamon is prized as a tool for balancing blood sugar. Like many of the other spices in the traditional chai blend, cinnamon boosts your digestive tract’s efficiency and is also a good antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredient.
- Ginger - There’s a reason our mothers gave us ginger ale when our tummies were upset. Ginger is perhaps the premiere digestive aid. The dried, powdered root is also used in natural anti-inflammatory medicines to help ease aching joints and as a natural antioxidant.
- Clove - Cloves add piquancy to the chai tea blend. Along with most of the other spices used in chai, clove is, of course, a digestive aid. It’s also a strong antibacterial. And if you’ve ever dabbed clove oil on sore teeth, you’re already familiar with its remarkable pain-fighting abilities. This natural painkiller is especially nice on days when you’re feeling achy and chilled.
Enjoy Our Socie-tea!
At Curry Up, one of our most popular features is our chai bar. Along with our exciting cuisine, come check out the latest blends and additions, create your own chai mix, or just learn more about this tasty, traditional Indian concoction.