The Benefits of Golden Milk
Updated: Nov 19, 2020
This amazing cosy golden milk drink is recommended by many yoga teachers and it holds many health benefits. Here is a quick and easy recipe for golden milk and a look at some of its benefits.
What is Golden Milk?
Golden milk is a health drink that has its origins in India and is gaining popularity across the world. Traditionally, it is made by boiling cow's milk (or pant-based milk) with turmeric and other spices. The other ingredients vary, but cinnamon and ginger are commonly used. Golden milk is considered an immunity booster and is believed to offer numerous health benefits.
Making Golden Milk
Golden milk is easy to prepare. The process is simple and all the ingredients are easily available. You need about 120 ml (half cup) of milk. It’s best to use milk rich in calcium and Vitamin D.
You will need a teaspoon of turmeric powder, half a teaspoon each of grated ginger and cinnamon powder, and a pinch of pepper. A teaspoon of honey or maple syrup will act as a sweetener, but add it only if you can’t do without it.
Mix milk and the other ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, reduce heat and simmer for about ten minutes. Strain it into cups and top it with a pinch of cinnamon powder. Your healthy golden milk is ready.
The Benefits of Golden Milk
Milk is rich in calcium and helps in strengthening bones. Milk enriched with Vitamin D is more beneficial. It reduces the risk of bone diseases like osteoporosis. Plant-based milk enriched with Vitamin D and calcium will offer similar benefits.
Turmeric, a chief ingredient in golden milk, is a common spice used in Indian cooking. It improves the appearance of curries and removes the raw flavour from vegetables and meat. It is also used as a medicine in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine.
Turmeric contains curcumin, which is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are substances that neutralise free radicals and other oxidising agents in the body. Free radicals are highly active and unstable substances and can cause cell damage. Free radicals have been linked to diseases like cancer, heart disease, stroke and arthritis.
Chronic inflammation is linked to diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's disease. Turmeric is believed to reduce inflammation and some studies indicate that it is as effective as prescription anti-inflammatory drugs. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, there are no side-effects.
Some studies indicate that curcumin enhances compounds called BDNFs in the brain. They are critical for brain development including new cell production and making new nerve connections. A shortage of BDNF may be a contributing factor in brain disorders.
Some studies suggest that turmeric is a mood booster and may be beneficial to people with depression and mood swings. The ability of turmeric to improve BDNF levels could be behind this benefit as well.
Turmeric is considered good for the heart and the circulatory system. It is believed to improve the health of the inner lining of the blood vessels. It may also help fight infections. Some lab studies indicate that it has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. However, no study has conclusively proved that it can reduce infections in humans.
Turmeric is good for the stomach and helps relieve indigestion. It also appears to increase the secretion of bile, which is critical for digesting fat. It may also be helpful in preventing flareups in patients with ulcerative colitis.
Cinnamon reduces inflammation and is an antioxidant. It is believed to reduce tau protein build up in brain cells, which occurs for people suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Animal studies indicate that it may be beneficial to brain function and in diseases like Parkinson’s disease.
Some studies indicate that cinnamon lowers the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL and triglycerides) and increasing the levels of good cholesterol (HDL). This reduces the risk of heart disease.
Cinnamon may help lower blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance. It is also believed to slow down absorption of sugar in the intestines. This makes it easier to maintain normal blood sugar levels and should be good for diabetics.
Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde, which is believed to be antibacterial. Although it’s not supported by a proper study, cinnamon is believed to be helpful in treatment of certain respiratory illnesses.
Ginger is a common kitchen ingredient and is good for digestion. It is also an antioxidant. It is believed to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease. Ginger is believed to reduce fasting blood sugar levels, which reduces the long-term risks of diabetes.
Raw ginger contains a compound called 6-gingerol, which may help fight cancer, but this is not scientifically proven. Ginger may be good for respiratory infections like cold and flu. It may also help improve immunity to such infections.
Golden milk is a health drink recommended by many yoga teachers. It gives you the nutritional benefits of milk and the health benefits of turmeric and other spices. It is believed to be an immunity booster.