good-for-you glossary

Chai

Spice things up.

What It Is

In India, "chai" means tea. The basic components include black tea, cinnamon, ginger, clove, cardamom and black pepper.

What It Does

Enjoying chai in its most popular form—as tea—has many health benefits. Chai contains theanine, which is an amino acid that is said to reduce stress, and could activate areas of the brain known to increase attention and focus.

There are also important beauty benefits associated with chai, thanks to the various spices it contains. Cinnamon and pepper are known to be natural antioxidants and can help protect your skin from free-radical damage. Meanwhile, cloves stimulate circulation and increase blood flow to the neck and face, which may promote collagen production.

Chai may even help alter cancer genetics. Cardamom has been shown to have preventative effects against nonmelanoma skin cancer. Also, experts say cardamon could help lower blood pressure and prevent cardiovascular problems.

If you want to naturally boost your digestion, sip on chai tea after meals. The black pepper is said to support the pancreas and aid the body to digest fats and proteins that are hard to break down.

Why I Love It

Chai is good for you and is also eco-friendly. Many organic chai and chai-based products are grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers—which is so important when it comes to anything you consume on a regular basis. This time of year, I love to get a chai latte (non-dairy, of course!) to get into the holiday spirit!

Photography by Ivan Solis for Kourtney Kardashian