October is here which means cozy season has begun. This recipe is the perfect thing to curl up in a blanket with on a cool autumn day, as the leaves transform into a bright, fiery orange – just like this latte!
This drink is chock full of warming spices making it perfect for this weather, but the real star of the show is the golden turmeric root.
If you're unfamiliar with turmeric, it's what gives curry its yellow color. It has been used in India for thousands of years as not only a spice, but a medicinal superfood.
Turmeric consists of bioactive compounds with powerful healing properties known as curcuminoids. The curcumin from these curcuminoids is the main active ingredient in turmeric that produces a wide range of health benefits including:
Curcumin is such a powerful anti-inflammatory compound that fights inflammation on a molecular level. In fact, it’s so powerful that it's as effective (if not more) as some anti-inflammatory drugs, but without the nasty side effects. It blocks NF-kB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of your cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. NF-kB is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases.
For example, it has been shown to be very successful in treating arthritis. In a study of 45 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, 500 mg of curcumin per day was more effective than the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac.
Curcumin is a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure, as well as boost the activity of your body's own antioxidant enzymes.
Research concludes that because of curcumins protection against free radicals, it has the ability to combat the growth of chronic pathological conditions such as cancer.
Turmeric has been proven to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety (and work as effectively as an SSRI anti-depressant, anti-anxiety medication).
In a controlled trial, 60 people with depression were randomized into three groups.
One group took Prozac, another group one gram of curcumin, and the third group both Prozac and curcumin. After 6 weeks, curcumin produced improvements in patients that were identical to Prozac.
Personally, every time I drink a cup of golden milk I genuinely feel a boost in my mood and an overall less worried feeling. It is truly happiness in a cup.
The active ingredient, curcumin, has also shown to improve overall brain activity and alleviate symptoms of degenerative brain disorders like Alzheimer's. Because of curcumins powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, research has shown that it stimulated cognitive functioning in patients with Alzheimer's disease.
Curcumin also gives the heart and arteries some lovin’.
One of the main benefits of curcumin when it comes to the cardiovascular system is improving the function of the endothelium (the lining of blood vessels and arteries), and thus improving blood circulation and pressure.
One study found that curcumin can also lower cholesterol and work as effectively as the drug atorvastatin, known as Lipitor, which reduces cholesterol and fat buildup in the arteries. The difference is that curcumin doesn't come with the nasty side effects.
Curcumins ability to combat inflammation and oxidation also plays a vital role in healthy heart functioning.
INGREDIENTS (1 serving)
1 tsp ground turmeric powder
1/2 cup (120 ml) water
1/2 cup (120 ml) plant milk (cashew milk, oat milk, etc.)
1 inch fresh ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp honey or agave nectar
a pinch of black pepper
You may be thinking... black pepper?! Unfortunately, the bioactive ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine, a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2,000%. Curcumin is also fat-soluble, so it's best to have it with a richer plant milk with some healthy fat like cashew milk. But do what you can! Don't ditch the black pepper though.
Boil the water. In the meantime, peel and thinly slice the ginger.
Add the ginger to a mug with the boiled water. Steep for 4-5 minutes and remove the ginger slices.
Combine and mix in the rest of the ingredients except the oat milk.
Warm the oat milk in a small saucepan. Then use a frother to froth the milk. If you don't have a frother, pour the milk into a jar with a lid and shake to froth.
Pour the milk into the mug and top with an extra pinch of cinnamon.
Talk about a total self-love moment.