Gold Standard for building immunity and fighting infections: Golden Milk
10 Benefits of Golden (Turmeric) Milk
Golden milk — also known as turmeric milk — is an Indian drink that has been gained popularity all over the world.
This bright, golden yellow beverage is traditionally made by warming up cow’s or plant-based milk with turmeric and other spices, such as cinnamon and ginger.
It’s known for its many health benefits and often used as an alternative remedy to boost immunity and fight infections.
Here are 10 science-based benefits of golden milk — and a recipe to make your own.
1. Key Ingredients Are Loaded With Antioxidants
The key ingredient in golden milk is turmeric, a yellow spice popular in Asian cuisine, which gives curry its yellow color.
Curcumin, the active component in turmeric, has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries due to its strong antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants are compounds that fight cell damage, protecting your body from oxidative stress.
They’re essential to the functioning of your cells, and studies regularly show that diets rich in antioxidants may help lower your risk of infections and disease (2, 3Trusted Source).
2. May Help Reduce Inflammation and Joint Pain
The ingredients in golden milk have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Chronic inflammation is thought to play a major role in chronic diseases, including cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and heart disease. For this reason, diets rich in anti-inflammatory compounds may reduce your risk of these conditions.
Research shows that ginger, cinnamon and curcumin — the active ingredient in turmeric — have potent anti-inflammatory properties.
These anti-inflammatory effects may reduce joint pain from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
3. May Improve Memory and Brain Function
Golden milk may be good for your brain, too.
Studies show that curcumin may increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is a compound that helps your brain form new connections and promotes the growth of brain cells.
Low levels of BDNF may be linked to brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease.
What’s more, cinnamon appears to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and improve brain function in animal studies.
Ginger may also boost brain function by improving reaction time and memory.
4. Curcumin in Turmeric May Improve Mood
It appears that turmeric — more specifically its active compound curcumin — may boost mood and reduce symptoms of depression.
Depression may also be linked to low levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). As curcumin appears to boost levels of BDNF, it may have the potential to reduce symptoms of depression. However, more research is needed to confirm this.
5. May Protect Against Heart Disease
Heart disease is the worldwide leading cause of death. Interestingly, cinnamon, ginger and turmeric — the key ingredients in golden milk — have all been linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
What’s more, curcumin may improve the function of your blood vessel linings — known as endothelial function. Proper endothelial function is important for a healthy heart.
6. May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
The ingredients in golden milk, particularly ginger and cinnamon, may help lower blood sugar levels.
7. May Reduce Your Risk of Cancer
Cancer is a disease marked by uncontrolled cell growth.
In addition to conventional treatments, alternative anti-cancer remedies are being increasingly sought after. Interestingly, some research suggests that the spices used in golden milk may offer some benefits in this regard.
8. Has Antibacterial, Antiviral and Antifungal Properties
In India, golden milk is often used as a home remedy against colds. In fact, the yellow drink is touted for its immune-boosting properties.
Moreover, compounds in fresh ginger may inhibit the growth of some bacteria. Ginger extract may fight the human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV), a common cause of respiratory infections.
9. Ginger and Turmeric May Improve Digestion
Chronic indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is characterized by pain and discomfort in the upper part of your stomach.
Delayed stomach emptying is a potential cause of indigestion. Ginger, one of the ingredients used in golden milk, may help relieve this condition by speeding up stomach emptying in people suffering from dyspepsia. Turmeric may also help relieve symptoms in people with ulcerative colitis.
10. Calcium and Vitamin D Contribute to Stronger Bones
Golden milk may contribute to a strong skeleton. Both cow’s and enriched plant milks are generally rich in calcium and vitamin D — two nutrients essential for building and maintaining strong bones. If your diet is too low in calcium, your body starts removing calcium from your bones to maintain normal calcium levels in your blood. Over time, this makes bones weak and brittle, increasing your risk of bone diseases, such as osteopenia and osteoporosis.
Vitamin D contributes to stronger bones by improving your gut’s ability to absorb calcium from your diet. Low levels of vitamin D in your body may thus lead to weak and brittle bones, even if your diet is rich in calcium.
Though cow’s milk naturally contains calcium and is often enriched with vitamin D, not all plant milks are rich in these two nutrients.
If you prefer to make your golden milk using a plant-based milk, choose one that is enriched with both calcium and vitamin D for more bone-strengthening benefits.
How to Make Golden Milk
Golden milk is easy to make at home. For a single serving of golden milk or about one cup, simply follow this recipe:
1/2 cup (120ml) of an unsweetened milk of your choice
1 tsp of turmeric powder
1 small piece of grated fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp of ginger powder
1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder or 1 small cinnamon stick
1 pinch of ground black pepper
1 tsp of honey or maple syrup (optional)
To make the golden milk, simply mix all ingredients in a small saucepan or pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until fragrant and flavorful. Strain the drink through a fine strainer into mugs and top with a pinch of cinnamon.
Golden milk can also be made in advance and stored in your refrigerator for up to five days. Simply reheat it before drinking.
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Disclaimer: Any or all the benefits outlined here are not medical advice. The information provided above is based on research done through various websites on the internet and do not constitute the opinion of the author. If you have any specific medical conditions, please consult your doctor before consuming this. This is in no way a substitute to any medication prescribed by your doctor.