How to Boost Your Health with a cup of Masala Chai

How to Boost Your Health with a cup of Masala Chai

What is Masala Chai?

Though the word “chai” simply means “tea” in many languages, Western culture began using the name chai to refer to a very specific type of tea. A tea that is truly warming and soul soothing. Though masala chai is still most popular in India, where the drink originated, it eventually became prevalent worldwide. This tea uses both water and milk as its base to create an especially creamy drink. Masala Chai is warm and rich with a plethora of spices such as cardamom, ginger, pepper, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon. Due to its extensive spice list, every café, vendor, and homebrewer have their own unique recipe or blend often passed down through the family for the perfect serving. No two cups will ever taste the same and that is the beauty of chai! Though the delicious flavors have captured tea lover’s taste buds for years, it is more than a flavorful drink. This tea also can improve overall health for those that drink it regularly. Find out all the health benefits of Masala chai below!

The Health Benefits of Masala Chai

Owing to its medley of spices, chai is packed with nutrients to aid the body. For those looking to take advantage of the many health benefits it offers, incorporate one cup of tea as part of a healthy breakfast or as a soothing evening drink following dinner. Though all its benefits have yet to be discovered, here are the top advantages of drinking masala chai.

  • Reduces inflammation – No matter the specific blend, all masala chai incorporates ginger into their recipe or brew. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe swollen muscles within the body, including the digestive tract or aching joints. In fact, this tea spikes in popularity when the weather gets cold as the anti-inflammation properties can also help clear up blocked sinuses and defend against colds and sinus infections.
  • Increases energy – Masala chai uses black tea as its base. Black tea is packed with caffeine that can give drinkers the perfect pick-me-up in the morning to start the day or during an afternoon slump. While high dosages of caffeine can lead to unwanted side effects, the abundance of spices in the drink can offset negative effects such as sugar crashes and headaches.
  • Improves digestion – Certain elements such as clove, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger all can calm and soothe an upset digestive tract. These spices produce a calming effect across the body which helps regulate and reduce swelling in the stomach and intestines. These spices also have strong anti-bacterial properties that prevent bacterial infections in the digestive tract. Additionally, the black pepper also used in chai tea can increase digestive enzymes responsible for proper food breakdown.
  • Balances cholesterol – Cinnamon, one of the most prominent spices in masala tea is also known to lower blood pressure. Early studies have shown promising results that those consuming cinnamon regularly reduce unwanted LDL cholesterol by nearly 30%. Black tea, the base of chai, has also been attributed to lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • The Perfect Brew

    Masala chai can be purchased at cafés, coffee shops, or even Indian restaurants. However, for those interested in making it themselves from the comforts of their home, chai can also be brewed to perfection right from your kitchen! Below are our top tips and tricks to achieving the perfect cup of tea.  

  • Play with potency! Chai tea is particularly flavorful and fragrant, and thus tea drinkers prefer it at varying strengths. Experiment brewing with less water and milk and gradually add more of each in to determine the perfect potency for you.
  • Similarly, also explore a variety of water and milk combinations. For those that like a sweeter, creamier flavor, try adding a heavy dosage of milk. For those that prefer a spicier, lighter cup, try a higher water to milk ratio.
  • Looking for an after dinner dessert? Masala chai can be the perfect sweet drink to end the night. If looking for a sugary finale to dinner, add an extra few dashes of sugar (or your preferred sweetener) and extra cardamom to your chai for a yummy dessert tea.
  • No matter what your preferred milk to water ratio or whether you drink it in the morning or evening, masala chai is an enjoyable Indian drink that not only offers a flavorful punch, but plenty of health benefits as well. Explore and experiment with different add-ins to discover your ultimate cup of tea. 

    Stir Me tea’s Masala Chai recipe:

    1 tsp of Stir Me black tea ¼ tsp of Stir Me masala chai spice ½ cup of water ½ cup of milk (use a full fat milk for a creamier tea or semi-skimmed milk is fine, or a vegan alternative such as unsweetened soy milk) Sweetener as desired (sugar, honey or natural jaggery is a great option) First add your water to a saucepan on a medium flame then add your black tea and chai spice. Leave to infuse until it begins to simmer. Add your milk and bring to a boil, when the tea rises, turn the flame onto low and leave to simmer for a stronger brew or using a sieve pour out into your favourite mug! You can add your sweetener now, stir and enjoy!

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