Health benefits of chai tea

Teas

Chai has a long history and originates from India. In China, the name means "tea," from the Chinese word "cha."

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What are the benefits of chai tea? 

Chai tea offers many health benefits, as well as being a popular fall drink at coffee shops around the world. Chai tea contains warm spicy undertones and originated in India. Today, chai can be found in most countries in many different forms. Typically, chai is blended with cinnamon, black peppercorns, nutmeg, coriander, fennel and star anise. These spices contain various antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as immunity boosters. 

Though it poses multiple health benefits, chai can also be used simply as a method of relaxation after a long day. In pursuit of the best chai tea, consider what form you would like to purchase it in, its unique benefits and the purpose that you wish it to serve. 

How to brew the best chai tea

To brew chai tea, measure the amount of leaves that you would like to put into a teapot. As a general rule of thumb, use o1ne teaspoon of leaves for every 8 ounces of water. Bring the water to a boil and add the boiling water to the pot. Let the tea leaves steep for 5 minutes and add sugar and honey if needed. 

What to consider when purchasing chai tea 

Form 

Bagged tea: Tea that comes in bags is already portioned off and easy to brew. Once hot water is added, the tea needs time to steep and then it is ready to go. This form of tea can be a time saver and is often the cheapest option when purchasing tea. 

Loose-leaf tea: Loose leaf tea provides the highest quality of leaves and is popular among tea enthusiasts. Unlike bagged tea that is finely ground for a quicker prep time, loose leaf tea takes longer to prep and portion but provides a more robust taste. You will need an infuser, a pot and a strainer to brew this style of tea.  

Tea pods: Tea pods are popular among those who own Keurigs and require a short brewing time with less equipment than what is needed to brew loose leaf tea. The flavor from this style of tea is not as robust and the process is not environmentally friendly. 

Pre-brewed tea: If you do not have time to craft the perfect cup of tea and need a healthy refreshment on the go, consider purchasing tea that has already been brewed. This will come in sweetened and unsweetened forms and can be found at most grocery stories. Though purchasing pre-brewed tea is convenient, it is not sustainable in the long run. 

Benefits 

Chai tea has been known to lower blood pressure. The cinnamon present in this mix of spices naturally lessens hypertension. Though it is not proven, those who drink black tea daily have noticed their blood pressure lessen by several points. Chai tea contains caffeine and L-theanine, which are linked to improved focus and relaxation. Those who regularly drink chai tea notice improvements with their immune system, a lack of nausea and an improved digestion.

Weight loss 

Chai tea has been said to promote fat loss over time. If it is drunk without any added cream or sweeteners, the black tea present in chai tea can reduce the number of calories that your body absorbs from food. There are no proven statistics that state that any tea should be used to target weight loss specifically. The ingredients present in various teas can cause the digestive system to react a certain way, but that does not mean that it is strictly for weight loss. 

What is in a quality cup of chai tea 

Caffeine 

The average cup of chai tea, depending on the size, has around 30 mg of caffeine in it. The average cup of coffee contains around 120 mg of caffeine. This can increase alertness and stamina, while also being a natural diuretic. It is less likely that the amount of caffeine in chai tea will make you as jittery as a cup of coffee. 

Vitamins and minerals

There are many vitamins and minerals present in chai tea. Calcium, manganese, potassium and  vitamin K work together to build immunity. These vitamins are known to build bone strength, provide the body with proteins and metabolizing carbohydrates and ensure proper function of the nerves. 

Sugar substitute

Depending on how it is brewed, chai tea can serve as a replacement to a sugary drink while still getting to experience the sweetness. The drink on its own is low in calories and is a good substitute to drinks such as hot chocolate and soda. A chai tea latte is a popular fall drink that gives you the taste of a spiced coffee with less caffeine.  

Organic 

If a brand of chai tea is organic, that means it is free of synthetic fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides. Organic tea is grown from healthy soil and relies on biodiversity of local conditions rather than chemical sprays. When purchasing chai tea, consider buying organic for added health safety. 

What chai tea should I buy? 

Yogi Chai Rooibos Tea

Yogi Chai Rooibos Tea

This all-organic chai tea puts a creative twist on a traditional chai tea blend. Rooibos is a red tea that is rich with antioxidants and includes cardamom, cinnamon and clove. The undertones of this tea are spicy and warm, perfect for the fall and winter months.

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Blue Lotus Chai- Star Anise Masala Chai

Blue Lotus Chai- Star Anise Masala Chai

The Blue Lotus chai tea features the authentic taste of Indian tea without any added sweeteners, milk or other additives. This tea is ready seconds after adding hot water and contains an aromatic mix of 100% certified organic powdered spices.

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Smith Teamaker Masala Chai

Smith Teamaker Masala Chai

This chai tea is rich and spicy and features tasting notes of ginger, cinnamon and cardamom to make a robust cup of chai. It presents a flavorful combination of assam teas with ginger root, cassia, black pepper, cloves and cardamom. The container is compostable and encourages greater leaf expansion.

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Teapigs Chai Tea

Teapigs Chai Tea

Teapigs tea uses whole herb loose leaf chai tea to present a strong and spicy all natural chai taste. This tea pairs well with plant milk for a latte style drink. This tea contains only one calorie and is contained in a biodegradable bag.

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Twinings of London Chai Tea Bags

Twinings of London Chai Tea Bags

This tea contains the finest hand selected ingredients and is blended to perfection. It features sweet and savory hints of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger to give you a line of great-tasting chai teas with a bold, spicy taste and rich, vibrant aroma.

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VAHDAM Original Loose Leaf Masala Chai Tea

VAHDAM Original Loose Leaf Masala Chai Tea

This loose leaf chai tea is made with crushed cardamom pods, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper. It has a rich flavor and works to detoxify the body, boost immunity and improve digestion. This tea contains 100% natural ingredients and no preservatives. The company that produces the tea is a carbon-neutral brand.

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