Golden milk, also known as turmeric milk, is a popular Indian beverage. You can make this yellow beverage by mixing turmeric and other spices, such as cinnamon and ginger with the cow or plant milk. Golden milk has many health benefits and is often used to increase immunity and keep you safe from diseases.
Contains Antiviral Properties
The ingredients in golden milk such as turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon have strong antioxidant properties, which can provide several health boosting benefits. Test tube studies show that curcumin in turmeric has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties that can help prevent diseases. In addition, ginger compounds can inhibit bacteria growth and may treat the prevalent cause of respiratory infections, the human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV). Similarly, laboratory test findings show that cinnamaldehyde, the active ingredient in cinnamon, may also stop bacterial growth by preventing respiratory tract infections triggered by fungi. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
The powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in golden milk can enhance your immune system and prevent diseases. Antioxidants are substances that fight against cell damage and protect your body from oxidative stress.
Enhances Bones and Joints Health
The best part about golden milk is that it can add value to your diet. Both cow and plant milk are usually rich in calcium and vitamin D. If your diet is inadequate in calcium, your body will remove calcium from your bones to keep your calcium at ordinary concentrations. This makes bones weak and brittle over time, increasing your risk of bone diseases like osteopenia and osteoporosis. In addition, golden milk ingredients can provide anti-inflammatory advantages. Diets rich in anti-inflammatory compounds can decrease the risk of joint problems. Research shows that ginger, cinnamon, and curcumin have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Studies even show that curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects are like some pharmaceutical medicines with less to no side effects. These anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin may reduce osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis joint pain. One study of 45 rheumatoid arthritis patients discovered that 500 milligrams of curcumin daily decreased joint pain. Similarly, in a 6-week study of 247 individuals with osteoarthritis, a ginger extract decreased pain and needed less pain medication than placebo patients. (13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21)
Vitamin D in milk helps strengthen the bones by increasing the capability of your gut to absorb calcium from your diet. For bone-strengthening benefits, choose milk that contains both calcium and Vitamin D. Ingredients in golden milk such as curcumin, cinnamon, and ginger have potent anti-inflammatory properties that can decrease osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis joint pain.
Prevents Heart Disease
Heart disease is one of the leading cause of death globally. Interestingly, cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric can lower the risk of heart disease as the key ingredients in golden milk. A review of 10 research, for example, found that 120 mg of cinnamon per day could decrease complete cholesterol, triglyceride, and “bad” LDL concentrations while increasing “good” HDL concentrations. In another study, they provided 2 grams of ginger powder per day to patients with type 2 diabetes.
At the end of the 12-week study, risk variables for heart disease were 23–28 percent less. Curcumin may enhance your blood vessel linings function known as endothelial function. For a good heart, proper endothelial function is important. In one study, a few days before and after the surgery, they provided individuals undergoing heart surgery either 4 grams of curcumin or a placebo. Those with curcumin were 65 percent less probable than individuals in the placebo group to experience a heart attack during their hospital stay. (22, 23, 24, 25)
Heart disease is a leading cause of death worldwide. Cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric in golden milk have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Curcumin may improve blood vessel lining function, also known as endothelial function, which are important for heart health.
Improves Brain Function and Mood
The active compound in turmeric (curcumin) appears to boost brain health and mood by reducing depressive symptoms. Studies show that curcumin may boost the neurotrophic factor brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is a compound that helps your brain build new links and encourages brain cell growth. Low BDNF concentrations may increase the risk of brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease. An accumulation of a specific protein in the brain, called the tau protein, is one of the major factor of Alzheimer’s. Test-tube and animals studies show that cinnamon compounds may also decrease this buildup.
Cinnamon in animal studies appears to decrease the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and enhance brain function. Ginger can also increase brain function by enhancing memory and reaction time. In addition, ginger seems to protect against age-related loss of brain function in animal studies. That said, to understand the effect of golden milk in memory and brain function, we need further human studies. (26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36)
Turmeric’s active compound (curcumin) appears to improve brain health and mood. Cinnamon appears to ease Parkinson’s disease symptoms according to the animal studies. Ginger can improve brain function by improving memory and reaction time. We need further human studies to understand the effect of golden milk ingredients on memory and brain function.
Reduces Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Golden milk ingredients, especially ginger and cinnamon, may help reduce blood sugar levels. For example, 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon per day can reduce blood sugar concentrations by up to 29%. In addition, cinnamon may decrease insulin resistance. Insulin-resistant cells are less capable of absorbing blood sugar, so reducing insulin resistance usually reduces blood sugar levels. Cinnamon appears to decrease how much glucose it absorbs into your gut after a meal, which may further enhance the control of blood sugar.
Similarly, adding small quantities of ginger to your diet regularly can help reduce blood sugar levels by up to 12 percent. A small daily dose of ginger may also reduce A1C concentrations of hemoglobin by up to 10% a long-term blood sugar control marker. However, these findings are limited or based on just a few small studies. To support these findings, we need more studies. (37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46)
Ingredients in golden milk, particularly ginger and cinnamon, may help lower blood sugar levels. Cinnamon appears to reduce the amount of glucose absorbed into your gut after a meal. Small quantities of ginger can also reduce A1C haemoglobin concentrations by up to 10%. We need more research to back up these findings.
Indigestion is frequently a symptom of a bigger problem, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers, or gallbladder disease, rather than a separate condition. It is defined as a persistent or recurring pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen, also known as dyspepsia. Delayed emptying of the abdomen is also a potential cause of indigestion. Ginger in golden milk can help ease this condition by stimulating the emptying of the stomach in individuals with dyspepsia.
Further research shows that turmeric, another ingredient used in the making of golden milk, may help decrease symptoms of indigestion. Turmeric can also enhance fat digestion by raising your bile output by up to 62%. Finally, studies show that turmeric can help keep adequate digestion and control flare-ups in people with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory digestive disorder that causes ulcers in the intestine. (47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52)
Indigestion is a pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen that is persistent or recurring. Ginger in golden milk can help ease this condition by stimulating stomach emptying. Turmeric, another ingredient in golden milk, may help ease indigestion symptoms.
Golden milk side effects
In moderation, drinking golden milk doesn’t cause adverse effects. Too much of it, however, can cause negative effects. These include blood-thinning effects, which can increase the risk of bleeding, as well as increased stomach acidity. People taking diabetes or heart disease medications should avoid drinking golden milk. Because it has the potential to interact with other medications that can lower your blood sugar and blood pressure. While there is no scientific evidence to support this claim, some people believe turmeric powder, which is the main substance in golden milk, can cause labour contractions during pregnancy. Pregnant women should avoid drinking golden milk or consult their doctor before doing so.
Turmeric may also cause an increase in bile output if consumed in large amounts, which can be problematic for people with bile duct blockages, gallstones, or liver disease. Again, if you have or have had any of these diseases, consult your doctor before drinking golden milk. People with lactose intolerance should use plant milk such as soy milk instead of cow milk to avoid embarrassing side effects. Keep in mind, there is much more coumarin in the cassia cinnamon, a toxic compound that can damage your liver. Always use Ceylon cinnamon, which is low in coumarin and is safe to consume in small quantities.
How to make golden milk?
Golden milk is easy to make at home. For a single serving of golden milk or about one cup, follow this recipe:
- 1 glass 8 ounces unsweetened almond milk or cow milk
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger powder
- A tablespoon of coconut oil (optional)
- A pinch of black pepper
- Honey or maple syrup to taste (optional)
Combine all the ingredients in a tiny pot and boil it to make the golden milk. Strain the drink into mugs and top with a pinch of cinnamon. You can also make golden milk ahead of time and store it in your fridge for up to five days. Just heat it up before you drink. Turmeric (curcumin) is difficult to be absorbed in the bloodstream when taken. To reap the health benefits of turmeric in golden milk, always add a pinch of black pepper. Piperine is a compound found in black pepper, which can increase turmeric absorption into the bloodstream.
Related: Health benefits of turmeric tea
Golden milk is a delicious beverage contains antioxidants, which can provide a range of health benefits, such as a healthier brain, heart, and pain-free joints. Many people sweeten their golden milk recipes with honey or maple syrup. However, the blood sugar benefits reduces if you add sugar to it. Use a calcium and vitamin D rich milk and avoid adding sugar, honey, or syrup to reap the most health benefits of this yellow beverage.
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