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Golden Milk: A Dreamy Nighttime Drink to Soothe Your Nerve!

Golden Milk: A Dreamy Nighttime Drink to Soothe Your Nerve!

You must have heard of golden milk mentioned in health websites every now and then. In case you are wondering what exactly golden milk is, well, it’s a healthy drink packed with the goodness of turmeric, black pepper and virgin coconut oil mixed with your favorite milk for a drink that bursts with health benefits.

More and more people are discovering the various health benefits of golden milk – though an Ayurvedic version of this is quite commonly used in the Indian subcontinent as a cure for just about everything – colds, fevers, skin ailments or congestion. [1]. Even though golden milk can be made with any milk be it soy, dairy, nuts or even coconut – the Indian haldi doodh (turmeric milk) is made by boiling freshly ground turmeric root in milk, adding a teaspoon of ghee and a dash of pepper and sweetening it with jaggery or honey…

Can Golden Milk Be Made At Home?

Once you source all the ingredients of golden milk, it’s a drink you can easily prepare within the comfort of your home. What you need is:

  • A glass of your favorite milk: Dairy, soy, coconut milk or even nut milk like almond or cashew: This forms the base of your drink and even if you are allergic to dairy or soy or are a vegan – nut milk is always a great option.
  • Fresh turmeric root or organic turmeric powder: Fresh turmeric is easily grown in the tropics but if the fresh root is not so easily available where you live then you can use 100% organic turmeric powder.
  • Freshly ground black pepper: All you need is organic peppercorns loaded in a pepper grinder, ready to go.
  • Ghee or virgin coconut oil: The healthy fats of ghee or virgin coconut oil further aid in the absorption of the healthy properties of turmeric.
  • Honey or jaggery: Unsweetened golden milk can get a tad bitter or sharp – the jaggery or honey will add some healthy sweetness to your preferred glass of golden milk.

Each of these ingredients come loaded with health benefits, and together, the combination that makes golden milk can really up to your health quotient in so many ways…

Are All the Ingredients of Golden Milk Healthy?

The jury is pretty much still out on whether dairy is actually healthy or not, and should humans even drink the milk of other mammals. Plus there are many studies that also point out to the fact that pasteurization of milk is increasing lactose intolerance in us. [2]. That said dairy fans can still use the milk they like, as can vegans or people with a preference for soy, coconut or even nut milk.

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  • Turmeric is, of course, a super ingredient, and has multiple benefits from cancer prevention to pain relief, anti-inflammatory benefits, and antibacterial benefits as well. Research is proving that turmeric improves the immune system, is helpful in easing arthritic pain, and might have anti-cancer and Alzheimer-fighting benefits as well. It also reduces cholesterol thereby lessening future chances of heart troubles as well. [3]
  • Black pepper comes with its own set of health benefits which include it fighting off colds and respiratory disorders, coughs, constipation, indigestion, anemia, impotency, muscular strains, dental disease, pyorrhea, diarrhea, and heart disease – to say the least! [4]
  • Similarly, the healthy fat content of ghee [5] or virgin coconut oil [6] make you lose weight, keep your skin healthy and boost the immune system as well.
  • The healthy sugars of honey [7] or jaggery [8] also aid in digestion, and detox your body while adding some yummy goodness as well.

What Are the Straight Up Benefits of Golden Milk?

Obviously, with such healthy ingredients that complement each other as well, golden milk has to be bursting with many a health benefit. Here are some of them…

Reduces Pain and Inflammation

Turmeric, black pepper and the healthy fats of virgin coconut oil or ghee work together to provide anti-inflammatory benefits to anyone suffering from joint problems. [9]

Aids In Optimum Digestion & Weight Loss

Turmeric eases heartburn and indigestion, and the healthy fats of ghee or coconut oil aid in it. The spiciness of black pepper and the fibrous goodness of jaggery further aid in the optimal absorption of nutrients and prevent constipation as well. [10]

Is Good For the Heart

All the ingredients of golden milk work in some or the other way to aid in heart health – by reducing cholesterol, blood pressure and even thinning out the blood. [11]

Can Help Diabetics Control Sugar Spikes

Turmeric and coconut oil can help the body regulate its insulin levels and basically prevent sugar spikes in diabetics. [12]

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Can Improve Brain Function

Black pepper, turmeric as well as the healthy fats of ghee or coconut oil get metabolized in the liver and are turned into brain food – in total, golden milk helps prevent degenerative diseases of the brain like Alzheimer’s and also improves memory and lowers depression. Golden milk also has anti-stress properties, since turmeric stimulates the brain’s neurotransmitters and promotes happy thoughts. [13]

Have A Better Immune System

Most of the ingredients of golden milk have antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties; which means that only does this drink help you fight off infections but also give your immune system a solid boost to get well faster… [14]

Aid in Weight Loss

The combination of all these ingredients – turmeric, black pepper, honey or jaggery and ghee or coconut oil boost metabolism, reduces those hunger pangs without suppressing appetite and also help to burn body fat quicker – thus helping you in your fitness and weight loss goals. [15]

Prevent Cancer

Studies are still on but turmeric has shown great promise in cancer prevention since it has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and early studies have shown that it helps to suppress the start, progress, and metastasis of tumors. [16]

Are There Any Side Effects of Golden Milk?

While turmeric is a wonderful herb that nature has made for us to partake, too much of a good thing can be bad as well. Obviously, if you are allergic to one or more of the said ingredients, do not drink golden milk or substitute those ingredients for safer ones.

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The active ingredient of turmeric – curcumin, can be reactive in a number of medical conditions. People undergoing surgery, pregnant or breastfeeding women, diabetics, those with gallbladder stones, GERD, infertility, hormonal problems or fertility issues may want to check the safety of golden milk with their doctors before having it. [17]

What Kind of Turmeric Is Best?

The spice that we know as turmeric is obtained from the root of the turmeric plant – when fresh; it has a raw, earthy smell. This root can be washed and juiced to get the ideal turmeric extract to make golden milk. However, if and when the fresh root is not available, use organic turmeric powder instead.

What Is the Procedure of Making Golden Milk?

Golden milk can be made in the modern way or the traditionally Ayurvedic way. We give you two equally beneficial recipes:

1.Ayurvedic Golden Milk

    The traditional Indian recipe calls for milk as in dairy and a rather simple way of making the milk.

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    Here’s the Ayurvedic Golden Milk recipe from Maharishi Ayurveda.

    2. Golden Coconut Milk

      The golden milk cult following seems to have taken the world by storm with more and more people actually preferring to have golden milk lattes over teas and coffee.

      Here’s a slightly more exotic and complicated golden milk recipe from Epicurious.

      What’s The Best Time to Have Golden Milk?

      The enlivening properties of golden milk are best enjoyed at night; say an hour before bedtime. This revs up your sleep time digestion, alleviates stress and gives you a good night’s sleep.

      So basically, unless you have a medical condition in which you have to avoid turmeric, there are no reasons not to have golden milk, but plenty of reasons to say cheers and drink up. Happy health to you!

      Featured photo credit: The Violet Fog via violetfog.com

      Reference

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      Rima Pundir

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      Last Updated on August 15, 2018

      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

      Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

      Video Summary

      Why is it important to train up our core strength?

      There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

      This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

      Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

      In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

      One Exercise, multiple benefits

      There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

      By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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      When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

      Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

      In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

      What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

      What will happen when you start doing planks every day

        1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

        Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

        • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
        • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
        • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
        • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

        2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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          Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

          Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

          3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

            Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

            4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

              Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

              A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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              A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

              On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

              5. You’ll improve overall balance

                Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                  Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                  7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                    Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                    How to hold a plank position

                    1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                    2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                    3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                    4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                    5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                    6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                    7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                    Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                    Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                      How to improve your plank time gradually

                      1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                      2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                      3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                      Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                      Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                      You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                      • Prolapse
                      • After prolapse surgery
                      • Pelvic pain conditions
                      • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                      • Previous childbirth
                      • Overweight

                      Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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