Chai is a popular drink in India and South Asia and growing globally for its fantastic health benefits and unique spicy taste.
Chai is traditionally made using black tea, milk, sugar and chai spices. Talking about chai is a little bit redundant since chai is just the word for tea in Hindi. Masala chai, another common term, means spiced tea in Hindi. Despite the redundancy, chai tea or chai spices are the main terms used to refer to this mix.
What spices are normally included in a Chai spice mix?
The ingredients most often used in chai spice mixtures are:
- Black pepper
You'll also find many chai mixes with:
- Star anise
Chai spices have a number of benefits, including:
Anti-oxidant properties - Chai spices help protect the body from free radicals, which can damage cells and lead to disease because of their high anti-oxidant levels
Aid digestion and inflammation - Chai spices are excellent for assisting with digestion Chai tea contains ginger, which is well-known for its anti-nausea effects Chai tea also contains cinnamon, cloves and cardamom, all of which have antibacterial properties that appear to help prevent digestive issues caused by bacterial infections. Studies report that black pepper may increase levels of digestive enzymes needed to break down foods and support optimal digestion properly.
Better brain power. The spices in chai can benefit both short-term and long-term cognitive function. Research reveals that the mere smell of cinnamon can improve both attention and memory.
Treats colds & flu symptoms. Ginger contains antimicrobial properties that can help fight illnesses. Cinnamon has unique antibacterial properties that can help to protect you against infection and keep you safe and healthy. On top of all that, cardamom and cloves also have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties
Lower blood pressure. The cinnamon in chai tea may prevent hypertension, especially in people with diabetes. Research also indicates that people who drink several cups of black tea every day lower their blood pressure by several points.
How to include chai spices in your diet
There are many ways you can get chai spices into your diet.
- You can make your chai mix from scratch using a recipe from the internet
- You can purchase ready-made mixes from many shops and supermarket