Ah, caught your attention didn't I? I have discovered that when an article has information about weight loss it, that article:
- Flies around the internet at break-neck speed and
- Gets more reads than almost any other topics I write about.
Wait! Just one second there, don't you go clicking "delete!" I am a woman of my word and I DO promise to deliver on my weight loss information but I am wrapping it in a package with so much more. I want to sing the praises of Chai tea:
- the health benefits of the spices and the black tea, (herbs and spices are so medicinal!)
- the calming ritual of making and enjoying it (sharing it with loved ones too; like how about a Valentine's Chai Party with Girl Friends?! Guy Friends too! Share the Chai Love!), and
- the thermogenic and weight loss benefits of sipping a bit of Heaven.
So how does Chai tea help with weight loss?
1. Herbs and spices can help boost your metabolism.
- Black pepper increases your body’s metabolism and burns unwanted fats, including the fat on your belly. Black pepper stimulates blood and lymphatic circulation. Better fluid movement in the body creates better nourishment, better oxygenation, and better waste removal from body cells. This all stacks up to better metabolism and weight loss benefits. Black pepper contains a substance called piperine which blocks the formation of new fat cells.
- Black tea has caffeine like compounds that stimulate metabolism. A healthy weight loss plan includes eating a 100% whole food diet and moving your body. Adding black tea can help keep your metabolism humming along at a healthy rate. (No, black tea will not help you burn the extra calories when indulging in high calorie foods. Whole food eating for weight loss is the answer. And, black tea's caffeine like properties are easier on the body than coffee. Coffee, in excess and over the long haul of life, tends to burn out the adrenal glands from over-stimulating them. Black tea has 1/2 the caffeine punch of a typical cup of coffee, unless you long brew - steep your tea bag or loose tea. Black (and green) tea has the balancing ingredient called l-theanine, an amino acid which promotes GABA uptake in the brain and is thus calming and helps to counter epinephrine surges. L-theanine also increases Dopamine. Thus, one can enjoy a nice combination of both focus and calm from tea. Tea is not as hard on the adrenals as coffee.)
- Cinnamon (real Ceylon cinnamon, not cassia bark) increases your body's circulation of fluids. See black pepper above. Cinnamon contains compounds called polyphenols and the mineral chromium. Both of these compounds help improve how your body uses insulin in turn regulating blood glucose. Cinnamon has been shown to increase glucose metabolism by about 20 times, which would significantly improve your ability to regulate blood sugar.
- Cardamom is another thermogenic herb that helps boost your metabolism and may boost your body's ability to burn fat.
- Ginger is a warming spice that has anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger may have thermogenic properties that help boost your metabolism, as well as an appetite-suppressant effect. See ginger for its potential role in your weight management goals.
- Nutmeg is a good digestive aid. When we properly digest food we better use the nutrients in the food. When body cells are better fed, better nourished, we do not crave food in unhealthy ways.
- Some Chai recipes include turmeric as a spice to add to the mix. Curcumin, turmeric's most active ingredient, reduces the formation of fat tissue. Turmeric suppresses the blood vessels needed to form new fat tissue (it is an anti-inflammatory herb and excess fat formation is an inflammatory response) and therefore may help prevent fat build-up. Curcumin use, from turmeric, results in improvements in insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and other inflammatory symptoms associated with obesity and metabolic disorders.
- Cayenne. Ok, this is not a regular chai spice. It just happens to be in the honey I gently sweeten my chai tea with. Cayenne is another thermogenic herb. Capsaicin is the compound that gives cayenne peppers their heat. Cayenne may help fight obesity by decreasing a person's calorie intake, lowers blood fat levels, and helps to shrink existing fat tissue.
2. Regular consumption of chai spices stimulates digestive and pancreatic enzymes.
- See nutmeg above. Good digestion is key to obesity prevention, reduction, and healing.
3. There is also improved oxygen uptake and fat breakdown with chai spices.
- This has to do with better circulation throughout your whole body, better digestion, and the stimulation to all body cells from improved circulatory effects.
Healing Suggestion: Herbs and spices of the thermogenic nature work best in the context of a whole food eating and whole health living plan. Herbs cannot help shed excess weight within the context of an unhealthy diet that is comprised of calorie dense and nutrient poor manufactured foods.
Making Chai Tea
First, I gather my chai ingredients:
- black tea (sometimes I use loose black tea)
- cayenne and ginger raw honey
- a spice blend of cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon (I keep this pre-mixed in my cupboard)
- I recently added star anise and cloves (use 1/4 cup each spice EXCEPT the nutmeg and cloves, 1 heaping tbsp of nutmeg, slightly less than 1 tbsp cloves)
- black pepper corns in the mortar waiting to be ground
- raw, local goat's milk
- missing in the picture is the organic vanilla extract
Making the tea:
- Bring 1 cup water to boil and turn off heat.
- Add black tea, cover, and steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Yes, time this.
- Remove black tea from how water.
- Add 1 tsp. of chai spice mix.
- Cover and steep 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup full fat milk from well raised and well fed lactating animals.
- Cover pot and re-warm gently on low heat for a minute or so. Do not walk away or you will over heat and scorch the milk.
- Grind the black pepper so you are not tempted to walk away to get that load of wash started.
- Pour tea into tea mug.
- Add a bit of vanilla.
- Add ground pepper.
- Add 1/2 tsp. or so of local, raw honey.
- Stir, sip, enjoy, and relax!
Are you looking at all the steps and saying... I don't have time for this Paula? Can't I just use one of those Keurig cups of chai tea? Sure go ahead but the above results are so much tastier. And the process becomes a meditative ritual. Think Asian Tea Rituals... sacred time.
Compare the taste a cup of Keurig coffee to a cup that you fresh grind the coffee beans and brew in a time honored fashion. There is no comparison.
Fast and easy is, well, fast and easy.
But taste is so much more! Would you prefer instant mashed potatoes or homemade mashed potatoes from local, organic potatoes cooked with the skins still on, mashed to perfection with plenty of butter from grass-fed cows, and a splattering of full-fat local raised, raw milk. Your choice! I am very clear on which one I would choose!
Share your thoughts. It is good to hear other's voices, thoughts, ideas...