Many people turn to tea as a relaxing hot drink, especially at the end of a busy day. But, an entirely different idea is to have warm turmeric golden milk instead. This type of drink is becoming increasingly popular, especially for cases where you don’t want caffeine.
For this reason alone, golden milk can be the perfect drink before bed. You could also have it first thing in the morning and some people even regularly replace their coffee with it. And, when you consider the turmeric golden milk benefits, that pattern really isn’t too surprising.
So, what is it?
Well, as you will have already seen, the drink is called turmeric golden milk (or often just golden milk), which should give you an idea of the content. But, the name is also misleading. In particular, the drink isn’t even milk, at least not in the traditional sense.
Instead, it is a healthy option that relies on the turmeric spice, along with coconut milk and/or coconut oil (depending on the recipe). The drink also makes a great way to regularly consume a range of healthy ingredients, including various spices that offer benefits of their own.
Why is Turmeric so Good for You?
The first reason for drinking turmeric milk is the turmeric itself. This spice is most commonly associated with Indian cuisine and is particularly significant as an ingredient in curries.
But, it is also so much more than that. Indeed, turmeric has a long history in traditional medicine, as well as in a style called Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurvedic medicine is considered to be one of the oldest holistic healing systems in the world, which may make it particularly relevant for health (1).
Now, traditional medicine is a great starting point. But, it isn’t always correct. Thankfully, turmeric has been the subject of considerable modern research as well. From this, we can see that turmeric truly is powerful (2).
There are many benefits associated with turmeric and I’ve covered these in detail previously. But, I do want to highlight some of the most significant ones here. After all, the impacts of turmeric directly affect what advantages you get from drinking turmeric golden milk.
- Decreasing heart disease risk (3,4,5)
- Reducing cancer risk (6,7,8,9)
- Lowering arthritis pain (10,11,12)
- Promoting brain health (through increasing a specific growth hormone) (13,14,15,16,17)
- Reducing risk or help treat Alzheimer’s disease (18)
- Helping to treat depression (19,20,21,22)
- Preventing or decreasing liver damage (23,24)
- Strengthening the immune system (25,26,27,28)
Many of the benefits of turmeric are specifically associated with one compound, curcumin. There are many roles connected to this compound, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions (29).
Indeed, curcumin is such a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that it matches some of the medications used for this purpose (30,31). Curcumin achieves this process by interacting with the inflammation pathways and targeting inflammation at the molecular level (32,33).
Now, inflammation may be a natural process but there is growing concern about the levels of inflammation in our society. In particular, our diets and lifestyles promote inflammation and chronic low-level inflammation may play a key role in many diseases (34,35,36). This makes an anti-inflammatory diet critical for long-term and short-term health. Turmeric may not solve this challenge on its own but it is a powerful component of such an approach, making it extremely relevant for health overall.
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Turmeric Golden Milk Benefits
You can get access to the health benefits of turmeric in many ways, especially if you regularly include curries in your diet. But, golden milk is a particularly powerful approach to get access to those advantages.
One reason is that active ingredient in turmeric tends to be poorly absorbed (41). However, some of the compounds in turmeric itself do help with this absorption. Additionally, piperine (the active ingredient in black pepper) can help with ensuring you absorb enough (42). Likewise, there is some indication that fat may help with absorption and you’re getting that with turmeric milk as well, through the coconut oil (43).
Besides that, turmeric can be somewhat tricky to include in the diet if you don’t consume curries frequently. So, golden milk can easily be a solution to the issue and a great way to get access to the health benefits of turmeric.
But, this isn’t the only reason for drinking the milk.
Another advantage is that you’re getting a healthy and wholesome drink that is free from caffeine.
Now, caffeine itself is connected to benefits, including the potential to aid with weight loss. Still, it isn’t something that you want all the time.
In fact, a caffeine-free drink may be particularly relevant in the evening or right before bed. If nothing else, this would make it easier to get to sleep – and sleep truly is critical for good health overall.
Likewise, turmeric milk is a good choice to get health benefits from other ingredients. For example, black pepper is a particularly common ingredient in turmeric golden milk, partly because of its impacts on absorption. But, there are also black pepper health benefits to consider.
For that matter, virgin coconut oil also offers benefits and it is a healthy fat to include in your diet. There are other examples too and I’ll talk about these in relation to turmeric golden milk recipes.
Finally, it’s important to note that the milk is suitable for many types of diet. For one thing, it uses non-dairy milk, so it may be particularly relevant for vegans. Likewise, golden milk is commonly used on a keto diet or simply a low-carb diet. The drink fits into a paleo diet as well.
As a result, it could easily help you with weight loss goals or with healthy eating in general.
If nothing else, turmeric golden milk is a great alternative to the various heavily processed and sugar-laden drinks out there.
How to Make Golden Milk
Like many drinks, golden milk allows for considerable variation. So, you can adjust the ingredients based on your specific preferences and what health benefits you are trying to access.
For example, adding in extra spices can be a good way to improve the taste and may be a way to get other ingredients into your diet as well.
On a side note, if you’re searching for recipes online, golden milk is sometimes referred to as turmeric tea.
The underlying concept is similar either way. However, it is worth mentioning that the term turmeric tea can also apply to a similar drink made with mostly water, rather than coconut milk.
Making Golden Paste and Golden Milk
In many cases, the first aspect of a golden milk recipe is golden paste. This paste serves as the basis for the milk and it is something that you can make ahead of time.
In particular, the paste can be stored in an airtight container (preferably glass) in the fridge for as long as two weeks. The idea is that the paste saves you time on the day that you plan to drink it and makes golden milk extremely easy to prepare.
The process of making golden paste tends to be simple. In most cases, you’re only going to be using a few ingredients. For example, one recipe is as follows:
First, heat the turmeric, black pepper and water in a pot to create a paste. This may take up to 10 minutes and you need to stir regularly throughout the process.
Then, take the pot off the heat and add in the coconut oil. This needs to be fully blended into the paste and a whisk can work well for achieving that outcome.
Once you have the paste, making the milk is easy.
In particular, you just need to heat it up in the pot, along with coconut milk. The exact ratio of turmeric paste to milk can be varied based on your preferences. But, a good place to begin is with around 1 teaspoon of the paste and 2 cups of the coconut milk.
Overall, this approach does result in an appealing drink that is simple to make. However, it is also relatively basic. With this in mind, there are various ingredients that you can add which alter the flavor somewhat and may also offer additional health benefits at the same time.
I’ll come back to these in a moment.
Making Golden Milk without the Paste
There are also recipes that let you make golden milk without the paste. Typically, these will require additional work at the time that you want the drink – but less beforehand. As a result, they may be more relevant to some people or situations.
The recipes do also vary in how you prepare them. For example, Wellness Mama offers an appealing recipe where you make the golden milk in a blender and then heat it.
In contrast, Epicurious has a recipe where you are preparing the drink directly in a pot, heating it as you go.
Another example is the video below and there are countless other recipes available online as well.
Additional Golden Milk Ingredients and Variations
There is no shortage of different options for golden milk – including recipes that rely on the paste and those that don’t use it at all. For that matter, there are countless recipe sites that feature golden milk recipes and they all tend to have their own twist on the idea.
For that matter, some of them may not even use coconut milk as an ingredient at all. Instead, they may replace it with another non-dairy option, such as almond milk. It is also possible to make turmeric milk with actual milk as well, although this is less common.
Another type of variation is creating iced turmeric milk or even a smoothie. Doing so may not offer all of the same benefits, as some people feel that the warmth of the drink is part of the reason for its advantages.
Still, there are some cases where a cold alternative could be appealing.
But, the most relevant differences come from the additional ingredients added. Many of these are associated with health benefits of their own and may also add to the overall flavor and complexity.
The most common examples of this are raw honey (as a sweetener), ginger and cinnamon. The links take you to information about the health benefits that they offer. At the same time, these all help to create a much more interesting flavor profile and elevate the drink considerably.
Other optional ingredients include the following – although there is no shortage of variation across recipes and sites.
- White peppercorns
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