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You’ve heard about green smoothies and juice cleanses, but how about “golden milk”? The latest craze in miracle elixirs is a blend of milk, turmeric and sometimes coconut oil. Black pepper may often be added as well. Used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, people swear by this concoction to cure everything from bloating to depression, and say it can work for weight loss as well.
One of the star ingredients here is turmeric, and specifically the curcumin present in the golden spice. A 2013 study showed that curcumin has therapeutic properties for human diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Curcumin also offers a number of other health benefits, including increased antioxidant capacity of the body and the ability to neutralize free radicals. It’s also said to improve brain function, lower the risk of heart disease and help those suffering from arthritis by reducing inflammation.
Coconut has also become a super-popular ingredient in all its forms, due, in part, to its purported health benefits. One reason coconut oil is being lauded is the caprylic acid present in it.
“It has antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties,” Dr. Frank Lipman, a functional and integrative medicine specialist and author of “How to Be Well,” told Reader’s Digest of caprylic acid. “It fights inflammation and is very beneficial for combating yeast/fungal overgrowth in the intestines.”
However, critics say the health halo that some put on coconut oil is undeserved and warn that the ingredient poses health risks as well. The American Heart Association points out that coconut oil also raises LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, a culprit in cardiovascular disease.
And although studies have indicated possible health benefits coconut oil, some experts say it’s not enough to make definitive claims about its abilities.
“There are many claims being made about coconut oil being wonderful for lots of different things, but we really don’t have any evidence of long-term health benefits,” Dr. Walter C. Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told CNN.
Still, that hasn’t stopped those who swear by golden milk from gulping it down. If you want to give it a try for yourself, there are a number of recipes out there.
This five-minute version from Minimalist Baker is vegan and calls for almond and coconut milk, coconut oil, turmeric, plus a few other ingredients.
Also called “turmeric tea,” this golden milk recipe from Well Plated integrates honey and vanilla extract. The blogger, Erin, says her recipe can help with relaxing and unwinding before bedtime — we’ll drink to that!
What do you think? Would you give golden milk a try?