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Amazing Health Benefits of Chai Tea You Need Now

Masala chai tea is a tea variety that is served in coffee shops around the world and is known for its spicy flavor. 

Whether you drink chai in a cup of chai tea or a chai tea latte, you can also enjoy many additional health benefits from consuming this blend of tea and spices. 

The health benefits of chai tea include the following:

  • Cardiovascular health
  • Improved digestion and reduced nausea
  • Increased focus and energy
  • Pain relief
  • Antioxidants that ward off degenerative disease
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Cognitive protection

The main ingredients in chai tea are a combination of black tea and spices that are valued in both herbal medicine and Ayurvedic medicine.  

The word chai actually translates to “tea”, so when you say chai tea, you’re really saying tea tea. A more accurate way to order this drink is to call it “masala chai” after the spice blend. When the word “chai” is used in this article, we’re referring to tea with masala spices. 

Keep reading to learn more about the ingredients in this delicious drink and the health benefits they can provide if you drink it regularly. 

Health Benefits of Chai Tea

Many health benefits associated with drinking chai tea are due to the variety of spices that chai tea contains. Here’s a breakdown of the health benefits you can expect to experience if you drink chai as part of your regular diet. 

chai spice health benefits
Chai spices are associated with improved heart health.

Chai Tea Prevents Cardiovascular Disease

Ingredients in chai blend like peppercorns, fennel seeds, cardamom, cinnamon ginger, and other botanicals are associated with improved heart health and improved cardiovascular symptoms such as (Source: WebMD): 

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Decreased blood cholesterol
  • Lower blood glucose levels

Over time, these lower blood sugar levels can help prevent the onset of chronic cardiovascular disorders like stroke and heart disease that can be caused by high blood pressure or the presence of fatty deposits in the bloodstream. 

Chai Tea Can Strengthen your Immune System

The ginger found in the masala spice blend has potent antibacterial properties. This can bolster your immune system to keep you healthy and strong.  

Chai Tea Improves Digestion

Fresh ginger or dried ginger is one of the most important ingredients in chai spices. This spicy tuber is associated with alleviating stomach problems and disorders of the digestive system. (Source: Hopkins Medicine)

Along with preventing nausea and curing an upset stomach, this spicy tea can also make it easier for you to digest your food and absorb nutrients. 

Ginger tea on its own is delicious, but the other spices in chai make it so much warmer and enticing.  

Chai Tea Increases Focus and Energy

The main ingredient in chai tea is black tea leaves which are connected with various health benefits that can have a powerful positive effect on your body. 

Like other black tea blends, chai tea contains 42 milligrams of caffeine per eight-ounce cup. If caffeine is a concern, try chai tea with decaf black tea, or teas with less caffeine like oolong or green tea.  

While too much caffeine can make a person jittery, a little caffeine like the amounts found in a typical cup of tea can help improve alertness and stave off fatigue. 

Chai Tea Can Help with Pain Relief

Several ingredients in chai spiced tea like ginger, cloves, and cinnamon can help reduce chronic pain and inflammation associated with autoimmune disorders. 

Chai tea can help alleviate pain associated with several chronic conditions, such as the following (Source: Peace X Peace):

  • Menstrual cramps
  • Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Post-surgical inflammation
  • Bacterial infections

Because chai tea is healthy and unlikely to produce negative side effects, it is commonly prescribed as a folk remedy for mild illnesses like colds or sore throats. 

chai tea health benefits
The aromatic spices in masala chai are full of health benefits.

Chai Tea Is Full of Antioxidants

Multiple botanical ingredients in chai tea such as black tea, ginger, and green cardamom pods contain powerful antioxidants that remove the free radicals that cause oxidative stress in the body.

Oxidative stress is associated with a wide variety of degenerative diseases caused by cellular damage. (Source: National Library of Medicine)

Some of this damage is due to the aging process, but some of it is due to environmental pollutants or food tainted by industrial chemicals. 

The antioxidant properties of chai tea help protect the body against tumor growth and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.  

Chai Tea Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Along with being powerful antioxidants, the botanical ingredients in chai tea like ginger, cardamom, and black tea also contain anti-inflammatory properties. 

Chai tea can help alleviate inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, and Crohn’s disease.

Regular consumption of anti-inflammatory foods like chai can prevent long-term damage to organs from general inflammation. 

Chai Tea Protects Cognitive Function

The spices in chai tea have been shown in recent studies to help protect drinkers from degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. 

But these ingredients, primarily found in black tea, are also responsible for improving long-term memory and executive function. 

Try replacing your daily cup of coffee with chai tea and reap the health benefits of both the tea and the spices. 

What Spices are in Chai Tea?

One of the most interesting things about Chai tea spices is that they can vary depending on where you are. Masala chai ingredients can vary between regions in India, and even between families in each region.

All masala chai recipes contain multiple spices. The combination of these is what varies around the world. 

  • Nutmeg
  • Ginger
  • Cloves
  • Black Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Allspice
  • Star Anise

One of my favorite things about masala chai is that if you’re making your own, you can tailor the mixture to suit your taste. Here’s a link to my favorite Chai Spice Blend Recipe. I make up a batch and then keep it on hand to use in all kinds of drinks and desserts.  

Side Effects of Chai Tea

Even though chai tea is generally considered healthy for you, drinking large amounts of chai or any chai if you are sensitive to its ingredients can cause some mild side effects.  

Most of the side effects are minimal and are due to the caffeine found in black tea. If you’re looking to cut down on your caffeine intake, try using green tea or oolong tea as a base instead. 

These side effects can include the following: 

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Irritability
  • Headache

The negative side effects associated with chai tea are usually the result of excess caffeine on top of dehydration or an empty stomach. 

Ensuring that you have plenty of food and water before drinking chai tea can help prevent negative side effects from occurring. 

health benefits of chai
Chai is both delicious and healthy!

Chai Tea and Food Allergies

In rare cases, some drinkers may have an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients present in chai, such as black peppercorns, cloves, or ginger. 

A botanical food allergy can present in the following ways: 

  • Nausea and abdominal pain
  • Hives, itching, and flushing of the skin
  • Swelling of the mouth and throat
  • Hypoxia (low oxygen from esophageal swelling)

If an allergic reaction to drinking a cup of chai tea is suspected, discontinue drinking immediately and consult a physician. 

If an antihistamine medication like Benadryl is available, this can be taken to help alleviate the symptoms of a food allergy attack unless the allergy is particularly severe.

Does Chai Tea Have Milk?

For those who are lactose intolerant, most chai is not a good option to drink. Traditional chai is brewed with milk, making it a poor choice for those who are sensitive to dairy products or who have lactose intolerance. 

However, chai tea can also be made without milk or with a nut-based milk substitute. This will help replicate the creamy mouthfeel of traditional chai without adding lactose.  

Can You Drink Chai Tea Every Day?

Chai tea is generally considered safe to drink every day. This type of black tea only contains a third of the amount of caffeine in a cup of black coffee. 

Negative side effects are unlikely to occur if you consume fewer than three cups of chai tea each day. 

This delicious blend of black tea with masala spices is healthy, especially if you are not adding sweetener or full-fat creamers to the mix. 

What Other Kinds of Chai Drinks Can You Try?

If you’re hooked on the spicy taste of masala chai and want to keep the beneficial properties of chai going, try one of these delicious recipes:

Copycat Starbucks Chai Tea Latte

This delicious takeoff on the popular Starbucks drink is a delicious mixture of chai tea and milk. This can be a healthy choice if you’re careful about how much sugar you add. To make things healthier, stick with low-fat plant-based milk.

Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte

This variation of a chai latte has the addition of pumpkin spice and pumpkin puree to make things even healthier. 

Homemade Chai Tea Latte Mix

This homemade chai tea latte mix has all the spices, black tea, and milk already mixed together for a quick, delicious chai tea latte you can mix up any time at home. 

Homemade Chai Tea Concentrate Mix

A great way to make sure you stay on the healthy track is to keep this homemade chai tea concentrate on hand. Made from tea bags, it’s super easy to brew up a batch and keep in the refrigerator.  

Easy Chai Spice Blend Recipe

This simple spice blend has all the spices and health benefits of masala spices. Mix up a jar and keep it on hand whenever you want to add the fragrant spices of a masala chai to any dish. This mix is delicious when added to this Chai Cookie recipe, or mixed into a batch of Chai Cinnamon Rolls.   

With just some hot water, a black tea base, and a combination of spices, chai tea is a wonderful warming start to your morning. 

Chai tea has been consumed by the people of India for centuries and has been gaining popularity in Western countries over the past few decades with good reason. 

This spicy drink is as tasty as it is beneficial for your health.  So why not try this delicious, warming tea drink on a chilly morning? You’ll love the taste and your body will love you for all the health benefits!

health benefits of chai tea
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