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Golden Milk – As Good as Gold?

By Alexa Barad

What is golden milk?

If you consider yourself a foodie, you’ve probably seen this warm and foamy drink all over your social media sites. Golden milk, also referred to as turmeric milk, is made by blending the spice known as turmeric with milk. This bright yellow spice comes from the rhizome (underground stem) of Curcuma longa, a member of the ginger family. It has been used traditionally in Indian households for treating certain diseases as well as for overall good health.

The base of golden milk is turmeric and milk, but you can choose to add other flavorful ingredients like cinnamon, ginger, and some type of sweetener like honey. If you’re someone who likes things on the spicy side, try adding a pinch of cayenne pepper. Interestingly, adding black pepper to golden milk improves absorption of the turmeric and gives the milk a nice twist. You can also get creative when choosing your milk. Try low- or reduced-fat milk or milk-like beverages made from almond, soy, or coconut. It’s easier to mix turmeric in beverages with a higher fat content, so this may affect the beverage you choose when making golden milk.

What are the benefits of golden milk?

Chances are if you’re familiar with golden milk, you’ve heard about claims related to its potential health benefits. These claims tout turmeric as an agent that can reduce inflammation, fight bacteria and other germs, and help fight cell damage. The active compound in turmeric, curcumin, has been suggested to reduce inflammation associated with arthritis. Other claims include a role in cancer prevention and treatment, liver health, prevention of diabetes, digestive disorders, and heart disease.

But are these claims true? Well, the truth is, the jury is still out! The number of studies examining these claims is small. Most of these studies have been conducted in animals or small groups of people, and the results have not been very convincing. As a result, it’s not possible to justify the claims, at least not yet.

What are the risks associated with golden milk?

While the health claims attributed to turmeric need more research, there is no reason to avoid it except perhaps under certain conditions such as with the use of blood thinner medications. If you have questions about whether it is safe for you to use, talk with your healthcare provider.

How do you make golden milk?

Golden milk is easy to prepare and can be a tasty treat! If you’re looking for ways to add turmeric to your diet, golden milk is a great way to do so.

Here’s how I prepare this creamy, slightly spicy, but perfectly sweet drink:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Preparation:

Whisk unsweetened almond milk, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, black pepper, honey, and water in a small saucepan and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 7-10 minutes. Pour all contents into a blender. Blend and enjoy!