There is a tea that, in recent years, has undoubtedly conquered what we know as the West. The exotic spicy taste and health benefits of chai tea have made the public fall in love with it. Do you already know the taste of Indian spice tea and what it can do for your health?
An introduction to chai tea
Mix of black tea, milk and spices, the famous Masala Chai was born in India, when this country was an English colony. During the time, the English introduced tea to society but the local population, accustomed to the intensity of its gastronomy, found the drink bland. Little by little, different spices were added to the tea, as well as milk and sugar to turn it into an Indian-style drink.
Today, chai tea has become a state-of-the-art drink. It is easy to find photos of different influencers and celebrities drinking it in various countries around the world. Now, did you know that in addition to being delicious, chai tea has several health benefits? Here we tell you everything about it.
Health benefits of chai tea
The benefits of chai tea start from its base, black tea, but are added to various properties provided by the numerous spices used in its recipe. Among them we find anise, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, pepper, star, cinnamon, cloves and, in some cases, fennel. If you want, you can see the breakdown of the properties of each element in this article.
Let’s see below the general benefits that these ingredients provide to our body.
Stimulates concentration and memory
Black tea contains caffeine and L-theanine, two components that help maintain a state that experts define as relaxed alertness that is more stable, smooth, and long-lasting than the state of excitement produced by coffee. On the other hand, specialists have of black tea is associated with an improvement in memory, probably due to the greater concentration achieved by the two substances mentioned.
Reduces the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases
Black tea is rich in polyphenols and flavonoids, substances that have antioxidant properties, while cloves also exhibit antioxidant potential. This means that these molecules have the ability to combat free radicals, protecting the body from cell damage that ultimately generates cardiovascular and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, strokes, and even cancer. In this way, one of the main benefits of chai tea would undoubtedly be its great antioxidant power.
Specifically speaking of cancer that the theaflavins in black tea, mainly EGCG and ECG, fight against the damage that free radicals cause to DNA while polyphenols inhibit the proliferation of tumor cells and catechins, for their part, they inhibit tumor angiogenesis.
Protect the heart
Several studies have concluded that regular consumption of black tea helps reduce cardiovascular risk by reducing cholesterol, blood sugar levels and regulating blood pressure. In fact, research found that drinking three cups of black tea a day may be beneficial for protecting your heart.
Take care of gastrointestinal health
Did you know that your body needs “good” bacteria to function properly? As you read, your intestine needs bacteria in its flora to properly perform its functions. Problems appear when they are colonized by harmful bacteria such as Salmonella or Streptococcus. Now, experts have discovered that black tea protects the good bacteria while inhibiting the appearance of the bad ones in the digestive system. Through this mechanism, one benefit of chai tea would be to influence the growth of healthy intestinal flora thereby promoting good health.
Anise, also present in this tea, is highly recommended to relieve discomfort caused by indigestion and to eliminate gas, as is ginger.
Helps lose weight
The cinnamaldehyde present in cinnamon generates increased protein production by aiding in lipid metabolism and fat burning, as has been observed in studies in mice.
Chai tea also contains fennel, a spice with diuretic and carminative properties that helps, on the one hand, to eliminate fluid retention and, on the other, to eliminate gas and reduce abdominal swelling.
Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
An animal study noted that regular consumption of black tea lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels. For this reason, its usual intake is usually recommended to those who suffer from these discomforts. It is worth noting that high cholesterol is one of the risk markers for cardiovascular disease, while high blood sugar levels can lead to diabetes.
The high LDL patients studied who consumed five cups of black tea per day for three weeks reduced their values by 11%.
If we add to these benefits those that cinnamon also provides, we discover that chai tea is an excellent option for controlling blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. This is because there is evidence that consuming cinnamon helps those with type 2 diabetes to inhibit the enzyme that inactivates insulin receptors, thereby leveling blood sugar.
Furthermore, eating between 1.3 and 6 grams of cinnamon per day lowers LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol, as well as triglycerides.
Maintains healthy blood pressure levels
Drinking black tea regularly helps reduce high blood pressure, as pointed out by a study. This research ensures that those who consumed tea achieved a significant decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure values, compared to the placebo group. Although there is no specific study, these effects would extend to the benefits of chai tea due to its composition based on black tea.
Improves blood circulation
Chai tea contains ginger, one of the most widely used spices in alternative medicine. Among its health benefits, it stands out for having antihypertensive agents, that is, it lowers blood pressure, one of the main problems that generate poor circulation. For this reason, its intake is usually recommended to improve blood circulation.
As you can see, the combination of black tea and spices has created a tasty, intense and delicious drink, as well as being extremely beneficial for health. Do not hesitate and join the trend of chai tea.