Bright mugs of turmeric milk are popping up all over social media. We looked into the nutrition benefits.
You've likely seen gorgeous steaming yellow mugs on menus, food blogs, and social media (#goldenmilk has nearly 17,000 posts on Instagram alone). The warm drink, called a golden milk latte, mixes the healthy root turmeric with other spices and plant milks. It's no surprise the trend has taken off: "Turmeric has become really popular, and Indian flavors seem to be trending as well," says nutritionist Torey Armul, R.D.N., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
But can sipping on these brightly-hued brews really benefit your health? Turmeric has powerful antioxidants as well as important nutrients, says Armul. And research links curcumin, one of the molecules that makes up the spice, with anti-inflammatory properties and benefits including pain relief. (Check out The Health Benefits of Turmeric.) Plus, recipes for golden milk often include other healthy spices like ginger, cinnamon, and black pepper.
Unfortunately, though, one latte isn't enough to make a big difference to your health, says Armul. That's because you need to consume a lot of turmeric to see real benefits... and a latte is only going to have a little bit. That's not to say you should quit drinking them; little benefits can add up. Plus, says Armul, you may be getting some real nutrition from the other main component to your latte: the plant milk. Coconut, soy, almond, and other plant milks all have different nutritional profiles, but they could be giving you a healthy dose of protein, calcium, and vitamin D, especially if they're fortified. (Related: 8 Dairy-Free Milks You've Never Heard Of)
And if you're looking for a delicious, caffeine-free afternoon pick-me-up, golden milk lattes will definitely deliver. Start with this turmeric milk latte recipe, from Happy Healthy RD.
And if it's too warm out for a hot drink, taste the trend with this golden milk turmeric smoothie recipe from Love & Zest.