Golden milk is a beverage that’s bang on trend, and a must-have for foodistas who are devotees of clean eating. But is it a health drink, or just a sweet treat? Let us demystify it for you.
While it is reminiscent of the mildness of milk and the warmth of the sun because of its yellow-orange colour, golden milk (AKA ayurvedic milk) is a real comfort drink that is excellent for your health. Better still, it is one of the secrets of traditional Ayurvedic medicine.
Golden milk is made from coconut milk and spices, chiefly turmeric and pepper (the latter being essential for efficient release and assimilation of the anti-inflammatory agents in the former). Its health claims even make it a natural remedy recognised as such by the World Health Organisation (WHO)! While it has been a go-to for those following a healthy diet for some years now, yogis and yoginis, meditation fans, Buddhist monks and Indian medical doctors have sworn by it for much longer.
The three hidden treasures in golden milk
- 1- Coconut milk. It is not merely a sweet treat, but also a concentrated source of good fats whose protective action on the brain helps prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. It also reduces the level of bad (LDL) cholesterol while increasing that of good (HDL) cholesterol. This thick, creamy coconut milk drink eases digestion while having antifungal properties. It also contributes to hormone balance thanks to its beneficial action on the thyroid gland in particular. And you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that it stabilises blood sugar levels. Combining coconut milk with turmeric and pepper, which potentialize each others’ benefits, makes for a winning trio.
- 2- Turmeric. The curcumin in this gold-coloured spice is high in polyphenols, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and even healing agents. Combined with turmerone, another active ingredient in the turmeric rhizome, it is said to have effects on the regeneration of brain cells. This is an avenue well worth exploring when it comes to research into degenerative neurological diseases. Curcuma which is a great anti-inflammatory, is taken by many to improve joint mobility while having an analgesic effect. It is known to alleviate digestive disorders, support biliary functions and prevent ulcers. Although it does not prevent the formation of cholesterol, it keeps bad cholesterol low… And since it is full of vitamins B6 and C, iron, potassium and manganese, it is tempting to take it in large amounts. But be aware that if you are prone to kidney stones, allergic to spices in general or due to undergo surgery within a fortnight, you should forget it, as it may prompt unpleasant drug interactions. Most importantly, turmeric doesn’t like to be alone and is at its most effective combined with fat, ginger or pepper… As it happens! What a great idea to combine turmeric and pepper in golden milk!
- 3- Pepper. The piperine in black peppercorns increases the potency of turmeric tenfold. Because it has a real cocktail of properties that goes far beyond pepper’s role as a season-all. It promotes the absorption of most nutrients and active substances, and lowers blood pressure. It also balances the digestive system by activating the pancreas’ enzyme production process. Moreover, by combatting helicobacter pylori (bacteria that infect the gastric mucous membranes and cause ulcers), the piperine in pepper prevents the formation of gallstones. It is also one of a number of cancer prevention foods (since piperine is said to impede the development of cancer cells, particularly in the breast). The cherry on the cake is that like curcumin, piperine is a powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
In conclusion, golden milk is an all-round health drink that prevents ailments and can be drunk once a day due to its optimal role as an anti-inflammatory, cholesterol regulator, antioxidant, antidepressant and more generally an immune system booster.
The golden recipe!
- 1 glass coconut milk
- 1 tsp powdered turmeric
- A sprinkle of cracked black pepper
- Optional: 1 tsp honey or a dash of maple syrup and a strip of fresh ginger.
- Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan and heat it on low without letting it boil.
- Take it off the heat, add the turmeric and pepper and the rest of your optional ingredients and use a whisk or fork to whisk it up until well combined. Enjoy it mindfully, and you’ll get the most out of the nutrients!
With thanks to holistic life coach and naturopath Marielle Alix for her pieces of advice.