8 amazing reasons why you need to add turmeric milk to your diet
Turmeric may smell bitter, but the yellowish powder can turn any drink into a super drink due to the many properties it has. This is the reason why your grandmother has always been asking you to drink turmeric milk or golden milk before hitting the sack. From healing wounds to curing colds, turmeric milk has always been on the top list of home remedies in every household. If you’re wondering what makes it so healthy, you should know that there are several benefits of turmeric milk.
Health Shots asked Bhakti Samant, Chief Dietician, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai to share insights on the benefits of turmeric milk and what it does for your health.
Health benefits of turmeric milk
Originating from the roots of the Curcuma longa plant, turmeric is a yellow spice that offers health-promoting qualities attributed to an active ingredient found in it called curcumin. When combined with milk, the benefits of both turmeric and milk are enhanced, says the expert. Here are some of the nutritional benefits of turmeric milk:
1. Contains anti-inflammatory properties
Drinking turmeric milk can help keep problems like arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease at bay. It contains anti-inflammatory properties which help reduce inflammation in the body and reduce the risk of such problems. A study published in the Alternative Medicine Review found that the active ingredient curcumin in turmeric contains anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the risk of joint pain and inflammation in the body.
2. Rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are molecules that help combat free radicals in the body, which can damage cells and contribute to various chronic diseases. Curcumin in turmeric is a powerful antioxidant that helps maintain overall health and slow down the ageing process. It also reduces the risk of cancer, heart disease, and more such diseases.
3. Boosts immunity
If you’re someone who gets sick often, you should try including turmeric milk in your diet. It has immunomodulatory properties that help support the immune system and improve the body’s ability to defend itself against infections and illnesses, explains Samant.
4. Improves digestion
Are you having digestive issues such as indigestion and bloating? Drinking turmeric milk may help relieve the symptoms. The expert says that turmeric milk contains properties that stimulate the production of bile in the liver, helping in the proper digestion of fats.
5. Good for your brain
Drinking turmeric milk may even promote brain health. Samant says regular consumption may help delay or even reverse brain diseases and age-related diseases in brain function. A study published in the journal Neuropeptides found that curcumin can increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels, a compound that helps increase the growth of brain cells.
6. Helps in wound healing
Studies have shown that turmeric contains antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-allergic properties that help with wound healing. It speeds up the healing process and supports wound healing. It also helps combat various infections, including bacterial and viral infections.
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7. Improves heart health
Did you know heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the world? The key ingredient – turmeric in this drink can help lower the risk of heart disease, as well. A Review of Basic Research in Cardiology found that curcumin improves the function of blood vessel linings, known as endothelial function, which is crucial for maintaining a healthy heart. Drinking turmeric milk may also help reduce the risk factors like cholesterol, and blood pressure that lead up to heart disease.
8. Reduces anxiety and depression risk
Since drinking turmeric milk promotes brain health, it can also help to promote your mental health. The expert says that curcumin has antidepressant effects and may help reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
How to make turmeric milk?
The dietitian shares a simple recipe to prepare turmeric milk easily:
- Heat a cup of dairy or non-dairy milk in a saucepan.
- Add half or one teaspoon of turmeric powder or a small piece of fresh turmeric root in the milk.
- Add a pinch of black pepper. It contains a compound called piperine which can enhance the absorption of curcumin, she explains.
- Simmer the mixture for a few minutes and stir well.
- Strain the milk to remove any remaining turmeric particles.
Note: The curcumin content in turmeric can vary widely depending on factors such as the source of the turmeric and its processing. On average, turmeric contains about 2-5% curcumin by weight. To get approximately 100 mg of curcumin in the body from turmeric, you would need to consume approximately 2000 to 5000 milligrams (2 to 5 grams) of turmeric.
Keep this in mind
While you can enjoy this soothing and nutritious drink as a part of your daily routine, the expert says that it is not a replacement for medical treatment when required. You must consult your healthcare provider before including it in your diet or if you have any specific health concerns.