If I were stranded and could only choose one beverage, I would probably take chai. A powerful blend of tea, herbs and spices, chai has been cherished for centuries in India to preserve health and increase peace of mind. But, the more we learn about chai, the more benefits we find. In addition to improving digestion, chai enhances the immune system, fights inflammation and has antioxidant properties. It has also been suggested that chai has antibacterial and anti-cancer effects.
Chai is made using different formulas, depending on the region where it is being consumed, but there are a number of standard ingredients: black tea, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, clove and black pepper. When analyzing chai’s health benefits, it’s important to examine each ingredient in turn. Though they act synergistically to increase each other’s benefits, the separate botanical components have powerful health benefits on their own.
It’s no secret that tea is full of antioxidants. However, the antioxidants in tea may provide more far-reaching protection than we suspected. For example, black tea may protect LDL (good) cholesterol, helping prevent cardiovascular disease. In addition, some research has shown black tea has anti-viral and anti-cancer properties.