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The Drink That People Choose to Replace Coffee/Tea: Golden Milk

The Drink That People Choose to Replace Coffee/Tea: Golden Milk

Imagine a drink that could help you in over 150 different ways. Sounds pretty good, right? Well, golden milk is a warming drink containing turmeric, a spice which has over 150 potentially therapeutic activities.[1] Drinking golden milk in place of your usual cuppa could have all sorts of benefits, from helping reduce inflammation to supporting healthy cholesterol levels and improving wound healing.

Read on for full details on exactly what golden milk contains, how it could help you, and how you can make your own.

Golden milk has been used in Ayurvedic medicine

Golden milk contains one key health boosting ingredient: turmeric. Turmeric is part of the ginger family, and originates from the root of the Curcuma longa plant. Turmeric has been widely used in India for many years, but has only recently started to gain popularity in the western world.

In Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric is used to treat:

  • Indigestion
  • Common colds
  • Throat infections
  • Liver problems
  • Wounds and sores

Turmeric is so highly regarded in India that it’s often used as part of religious ceremonies and weddings. [2]

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How can golden milk benefit your health?

There are so many ways that turmeric can benefit your health, and we’ve listed some below.

Potential benefits of turmeric [3]

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve skin conditions
  • Regulate metabolism
  • Maintain healthy cholesterol levels
  • Improve digestion
  • Boost immunity
  • Reduce inflammation

When combined with black pepper, the effects are even more powerful

In golden milk, turmeric is often combined with black pepper – and it’s not just about taste. Even a tiny amount of black pepper massively increases the absorption of turmeric into your bloodstream, maximizing your chances of seeing health benefits.

Turmeric contains an active compound named curcumin, while black pepper contains piperine. Piperine inhibits drug metabolism, meaning that larger amounts of curcumin are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. [4]

How to make golden milk

This magical milk is usually made using a mixture of coconut milk, turmeric and black pepper. Recipes vary though, and you could swap coconut milk for another variety like soy, almond, oat or rice milk. Extra spices can also be added for flavor, with cinnamon being a popular option.

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Golden Milk Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of your favorite milk (rice, almond, oat, dairy, etc)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • Pinch of black pepper

Method:

Heat milk gently in a saucepan, before adding the rest of the ingredients and simmering gently for 3 – 4 minutes.

Golden Milk Powder Recipe

Ingredients:

1 cup turmeric powder

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1/2 cup cinnamon powder

2 teaspoons of black pepper

Method:

Simply mix the powders together and store in a jar, then add two teaspoons to two cups of warm milk anytime you fancy a drink. Add ginger, cayenne pepper or sugar/syrup to taste.

Golden Milk Paste Recipe

Ingredients:

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  • 1 cup turmeric
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 10 tablespoons virgin coconut oil

Method:

Cook the water, turmeric and black pepper over a low heat for 10 minutes, until it forms a thick paste. Then, whisk together with coconut oil and store in a glass jar. Keep refrigerated.

Heat one teaspoon of paste along with two cups of milk for quick and easy golden milk. Whisk if necessary.

Where to get turmeric

Turmeric is available in most health food shops and large supermarkets, and can often be found in ethnic supermarkets. It’s worth shopping around to compare prices, especially if you plan to buy large amounts of turmeric. Ordering online is often the best option when buying in bulk.

Who should drink golden milk?

It’s worth giving golden milk a try if you:

  • Suffer from stomach aches
  • Have skin problems
  • Are trying to manage your weight
  • Struggle with high cholesterol
  • Struggle with high blood pressure
  • Want to boost your immunity against coughs and colds

If you’re pregnant, have a pre-existing health condition, family history of heath problems, or are on medication, consult your doctor before drinking turmeric milk.

Next time you fancy a cup of tea, try golden milk instead. You might be surprised by how many benefits you see.

Reference

[1] Mercola: What is Golden Milk?
[2] Wikipedia: Turmeric
[3] Live Science: What Is Turmeric?
[4] NutritionFacts.org: Why Pepper Boosts Turmeric Blood Levels

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Eloise Best

Eloise is an everyday health expert and runs My Vegan Supermarket, a vegan blog and database of supermarket products.

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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