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Turmeric Golden ‘Milk’ to Support Immune Health

Mon 17th Sep, 2018 - 11:41am by Emma Cockrell

We are just two weeks back into the new school term and already the sore throat and cold germ is on the attack.

Turmeric Golden Milk is a warming and comforting drink made with turmeric, ginger and coconut milk. This combination of spices may help support the immune response and fight off infections, while soothing an irritated throat

Turmeric

Turmeric, the spice that gives curry its yellow colour, contains a number of powerful compounds, the most important being curcumin. There is extensive research on the many benefits of curcumin, from blocking inflammatory cytokines and enzymes – making it useful for arthritis, to a possible reduction in the risk for cancer.

However, the effectiveness of taking turmeric, rather than curcumin isn’t so strong, That said, while taking a supplement of curcumin may benefit specific ailments, adding turmeric liberally into the diet may support maintenance of health. We do know that turmeric has antioxidant properties, and to support good health we want to get as many antioxidant-rich foods into the diet as possible. Golden Turmeric ‘Milk’ is just one delicious way to use this fragrant spice and enjoy its benefits. To get the most from turmeric’s beneficial compounds, it should be taken with black pepper and healthy fats. Coconut milk is a good source of healthy fat, and you can add a pinch of black pepper when serving.

It is important to bear in mind that turmeric does have some natural anti-fungal properties. This being so, if you are currently working to reduce intestinal yeast and already taking an ‘antifungal’, introduce turmeric slowly into the diet.  This will help prevent a build-up of ‘die-off’ toxins as intestinal yeast is killed.

Ginger

This ‘milk’ recipe combines turmeric with ginger, another warming spice with a reputation for helping digestion, reducing nausea and supporting the fight against flu and the common cold.  Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, responsible for much of its medicinal properties. It has reputed  anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Using dried ginger keeps this recipe quick and simple.

Coconut milk

These two spices are heated with water and coconut milk and served hot. I suggest 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of coconut milk as a starting place. My coconut milk of choice at the moment is pure frozen coconut, available with frozen sauces in some supermarkets (Tesco). Alternatively, dilute a desert spoon of creamed coconut into a cup of water. My favourite creamed coconut product is by The Groovy Food Company, and really is too delicious!

You can also use tinned coconut milk – again diluted 50:50 with water, or carton coconut milk – which shouldn’t need any diluting. Using coconut milk provides a good source of healthy fats. Not only is this helpful for the absorption of turmeric’s beneficial compounds, but it also helps to balance blood sugar. Healthy oils take a number of hours to break down in digestion, thereby providing a very slow and gradual release of energy. This makes including Golden Milk at breakfast an ideal start to the day. Likewise, if you drink Golden Turmeric Milk as a night-cap, the coconut milk will help to keep blood sugar balanced through the night. This may prevent waking up in the early hours.

If you don’t like or can’t tolerate coconut milk, use any milk of choice, such as unsweetened almond milk. This won’t need to be diluted with water as it is not as heavy as coconut milk.

Turmeric Golden ‘Milk’ Ingredients – per person

  • 1/2 cup frozen or canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water NB Use a full cup of milk and no water if using carton coconut milk or almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
  • Pinch black pepper
  • Extra ginger  to serve

Method

  • Place liquid in a small pan

 

  • Add the ginger and turmeric, and whisk well

  • Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 2-3 minutes

  • Pour into a mug, and sprinkle with a little dried ginger or black pepper to serve.