You might have heard about people drinking golden milk (also called turmeric milk); if you haven’t, that’s okay: We’re here to fill you in. Golden milk is a yellowish-gold beverage traditionally made with cow’s milk (but can be made with the milk of your choice), turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and some type of sweetener such as honey or maple syrup. Golden milk is often touted for its many health benefits…but have these benefits been proven? Let’s review!
Three of golden milk’s main ingredients – ginger, cinnamon, and curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) – contain anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies suggest that the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin are similar to those of pharmaceutical drugs without the side effects.
Ginger may help improve your reaction time and memory by boosting brain function. Studies also indicate that curcumin may raise levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a compound that helps the brain form new connections and encourages the growth of brain cells.
Contains Antibacterial, Antiviral, and Anti-fungal Effects
Some test-tube studies suggest curcumin has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties that likely help prevent and fight infections. However, though test-tube studies are promising, there is currently no evidence that golden milk can reduce infection. Likewise, lab test studies indicate cinnamaldehyde, the active compound in cinnamon, may prevent the growth of bacteria and help treat respiratory tract infections.
Loaded With Antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that fight cell damage and protect your body from oxidative stress. The curcumin in golden milk is a strong antioxidant, and due to its properties, it is conducive to oral health. In addition, research shows that ginger also contains antioxidant properties.
Golden milk is not only a tasty treat, but it can help keep your mood stable if you suffer from depression. In a 2013 study, people given curcumin experienced comparable improvements in their mood as those given antidepressants. Notably, the combination group benefited the most.
Cow milk and plant-based milk varieties are rich in calcium and vitamin D, two nutrients essential to keeping your bones strong. Making sure you are consuming plenty of calcium helps your body from taking calcium from your bones to maintain the right amount in your blood. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to brittle and weak bones, so if you use plant-based milk, make sure it is rich in both calcium and vitamin D.
Decreases Bad Cholesterol
The key ingredients in golden milk have proven to be beneficial to the heart. For example, research has shown that consuming 120 mg of cinnamon per day may lower “bad cholesterol” LDL levels and raise “good cholesterol” HDL levels.
Want to make your own golden milk? Try this recipe. Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!