Golden milk is a health fad that has increased in popularity with western audiences in the past few years, but it’s not a new drink to eastern households. Golden milk, or turmeric milk, is called haldi doodh in India, where people use it when they feel a cold or a cough coming.
This drink, which mixes the turmeric spice with your milk of choice, actually has more health benefits than boosting immunity. Here are some of the surprising health benefits of golden milk as well as our favorite recipe.
The nonprofit Arthritis Foundation says studies have shown turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties. One such study is the paper “Safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin: a component of tumeric (Curcuma longa),” published in a 2003 edition of Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, which says the spice may “exert its anti-inflammatory activity by inhibition of a number of different molecules that play a role in inflammation.” Add in ginger and cinnamon to your golden milk, like our recipe suggests, and you’ll have even more anti-inflammatory action.
Has antioxidant properties
The active chemical in turmeric, curcumin, is high in antioxidants, according to a 2013 paper published from India’s Punjab University in the Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine. Antioxidants are compounds that fight cell damage, protecting your body from oxidative stress and helping with cell function. A diet rich in antioxidants may help lower your risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer according to Healthline.
Boosts immune system
Here’s where haldi doodh becomes popular. The antioxidants in this drink help your body respond to infections from bacteria and viruses, according to 2014 review on these claims published in the journal BioMed Research International.
Although the recipes vary based on taste, all golden milk recipes have at least two ingredients: turmeric and milk. The type of milk can vary based on your preference and health needs, but each milk has a chance to strengthen your bones. Dairy milk is high in both calcium and vitamin D, while almond milk is high in calcium and coconut milk tends to have more vitamin D.
Our favorite recipe
There are a number of recipes tailored to individual tastes. Your family might even have a simple recipe passed through the generations. Due to a lower calorie count and the added health benefits of the selected spices, we’ve picked this Healthline recipe as our favorite. Enjoy this hot beverage when you’re feeling inflamed joint pain or the common cold, or else you can enjoy it if you’re just looking to stay healthy.
- 1/2 cup (120ml) of an unsweetened milk of your choice
- 1 tsp of turmeric
- 1 small piece of grated fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp of ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
- 1 pinch of ground black pepper
- 1 tsp of all-natural honey or maple syrup to sweeten (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.