Today we’re covering one of our favourite topics – chai latte health benefits. Isn’t it lovely when your favourite treat makes you feel good, but is actually good for you, too?? We think so!
When blended and brewed in the traditional way, chai latte is actually very healthy, even though it’s earned a bad rep for being full of sugar (more on that below). Many years ago it was an Ayurvedic health tonic – designed to especially during the cold and rainy seasons. Although nowadays we have modern medicine it is still used by many herbal healers to rebalance the doshas and (read more about chai latte and Ayurveda here). To enjoy the full potential of chai latte health benefits it’s important to choose an authentic, whole spice, loose leaf blend without added sugar – like Aura Chai.
Here we’re sharing our top five chai latte health benefits. Of course we must say that our blends are not intended to treat or diagnose any illness. This is simply anecdotal evidence and wisdom passed down through the ages – with some modern studies to back it up!
Let us know if we’ve missed any of your favourite chai latte health benefits!
Warming – improves circulation
Several of the spices contained within traditional chai latte recipes have been associated with improved circulation and blood flow – namely cinnamon. Combined, spices like cinnamon, clove and ginger have a warming effect – which is such a treat for body and mind on a cold day!
“The herbs in chai tea are strong herbs — it’s more than a tea, it’s like a traditional medicinal formula,” Neka Pasquale, herbalist, licensed acupuncturist, and founder of the plant-based food company Urban Remedy, explains in Well+Good. “The ingredients in chai are very warming, which makes it a perfect winter tonic.”
Stimulates appetite and supports digestion
Some of the key spices found in chai latte blends have been found in studies to help support good digestion and stimulate the appetite. Ginger in particular can help combat nausea, especially during pregnancy. Cardamom can also help with nausea caused by stomach bugs and digestive diseases.
According to The List, studies have also shown that other chai essentials, such as cinnamon and cloves as well as cardamom and black pepper, possess antibacterial properties. These properties can prevent digestive problems resulting from bacterial infections.
“It isn’t one herb or spice in general that aids in digestion but the combination of many acting together,” Pacific College of Health and Science explained. In addition, boiling these ingredients into tea stews together unique flavors. “Digestion begins with the mouth, and while sometimes we equate bad tastes and smells with beneficial attributes, such is not the case with chai,” the college continued. “It represents a harmonious blend of all five tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salt, and spice) recognized by the taste buds that is also pleasing to the other senses.”
Calming and nourishing
One of my favourite things about chai latte is how calming it can be. Brewing and pouring a chai is a ritual, enfolded in love and patience. Inspiring Law of Attraction guru Sarah Prout swears by chai as one of her go-to meditation aids and for a calming ritual pre-manifestation. To enjoy these benefits, find some space to take at least half an hour of quiet time. Brew your chai (preferably in a chai tea pot), find a comfy, cosy spot to sit and slowly pour yourself one cup at a time, savouring each sip.
When you do this, you can feel the spices warming you from the inside out. You can really taste each fragrant, aromatic flavour. And you can really slow down and treat yourself to a little down time 🙂 I like this best when I’ve got a good book by my side – rainy day optional!
Authentic chai blends contain cinnamon and black tea. According to Healthline, several studies have shown that black tea can contribute to lower blood pressure levels. In one study drinking more than three cups of black tea per day was linked with an 11% decrease in heart disease risk. Meanwhile, a recent review found that 120mg of cinnamon per day can reduce levels of cholesterol by up to 30%.
Inflammation is a bit of a buzzword right now in natural health circles – with good reason. More studies are identifying chronic inflammation in the body as a pre-requisite for a variety of chronic and acute conditions – which can be caused by an array of aspects of modern life including stress and poor diet. Many of the spices found in chai latte possess potent anti-inflammatory properties – including ginger, cinnamon, clove and black pepper. Our Turmeric Chai – which also contains black pepper, features organic, premium grade Turmeric renowned for its high curcumin content.
How to maximise chai latte health benefits
One thing to note if you are looking to enjoy alll the chai latte health benefits is that not all blends are created equal. For example, the chai latte you’re served in the big-chain coffee shops is likely a powdered blend. Powdered chai latte blends usually contain HUGE amounts of sugar – and fillers like Maltodextrin, milk powders and not-so-nice chemical sweeteners like Aspartame. For chai latte to be truly healthy, you want to avoid sugar and sweeteners. That’s where Aura Chai comes in! Our blends are 100% authentic – made to be brewed and enjoyed in the traditional way. And just like the masala chai of times gone by, our blends have been created to maximise health benefits with no sugar added, no nasties and no preservatives.