Millions are raving about an incredibly healing and surprisingly slimming twist on a Starbucks latte. Called “golden milk,” the drink (featured in hundreds of thousands of social media posts!) is made by simmering coconut milk with chai spices and a magical dose of turmeric. “Science is now proving that turmeric has every power attributed to it by ancient healers: It eases joint pain, improves diabetes, stimulates brain function, ends fatigue, and so much more,” reveals Ayurvedic doctor Suhas Kshirsagar, author of The Hot Belly Diet ($16, Amazon). “Whether turmeric is in golden milk, added to food or even in a supplement, it delivers benefits quickly” — Especially on the scale. When Dr. Suhas’ patients increase turmeric intake, they shed up to 14 pounds in 14 days while totally revitalizing their health!
Raw turmeric root is similar to fresh ginger. When dried, the bright yellow powder develops an earthy-sweet taste. “It’s delicious as an herbal tea and adds kick to everything from smoothies and soups to vegetables and meat,” says Dr. Suhas, noting it’s the main spice in curry. He adds that there’s a huge advantage to pairing turmeric with black pepper and healthy fat: Both golden-milk ingredients help our bodies absorb about 1,000 percent more curcumin — the active compound in turmeric. And the more we absorb, the more transformative turmeric becomes.
How Turmeric Burns Fat
Thanks to modern-day factors like stress, pollution, and highly processed food, most of us have an ongoing hidden immune response inside our body that scientists call inflammation. Turmeric has been proven to reduce this inflammation by 59 percent. As a direct result, achy joints feel better, headaches disappear, and fat is released.
“When you have less inflammation in your cells, it frees your metabolism, allowing it to burn hotter,” explains Dr. Suhas. In fact, recent university research shows turmeric compounds spike fat burn by up to 560 percent! And that’s just the beginning: Fattening conditions caused or worsened by inflammation — including prediabetes, diabetes, and hypothyroidism —“are all going to be helped by turmeric, particularly if you’re adding the spice to a healthy diet that emphasizes other anti-inflammatory foods like salmon, veggies, and healthy fat,” notes Leigh Erin Connealy, MD, head of California’s Center for New Medicine, one of the world’s largest integrative medicine clinics.
Active compounds in turmeric are “as effective an antidepressant as Prozac,” says Dr. Connealy. And in one study, turmeric compounds were “100 percent effective in preventing prediabetes from progressing to full-blown diabetes.”
Soothing inflammation in your brain also means more energy, sharper thinking and deeper sleep. “Compounds in turmeric work as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs, but turmeric won’t destroy your gastrointestinal tract or stress your liver like the drugs do,” says Dr. Connealy. Quite the opposite: Recent studies have shown turmeric clears away fatty deposits clogging the liver. “It’s the body’s primary fat-burning organ. Anytime you improve liver health, the organ is able to burn more fat,” says Dr. Suhas. “A healthy liver gives you what I call a ‘hot belly,’ making metabolism and energy soar.”
As if all of that weren’t enough: “Studies show that curcumin helps suppress the development of new fatty tissue,” adds Dr. Connealy. According to a Tufts University team, the spice actually blocks blood vessels feeding our fat, causing a significant number of fat cells to “starve” and self-destruct!
Your Golden Ticket to a Slimmer Waist
For weight loss and health benefits, experts recommend about 2 tsp. of turmeric daily. To maximize results, enjoy healthy meals that emphasize protein, veggies and good fat. Though turmeric as a spice is generally considered safe, always get a doctor’s okay to try any new dietary approach. Want to try supplements? Talk to your doctor about the right dose for you.
Breakfast — Golden Oatmeal: Prepare old-fashioned oats per package instructions adding ½ tsp. turmeric and other optional spices along with the liquid. Top with fruit, nuts and a little honey.
Lunch — Salad and Magic Dressing: Top healthy, hearty salad fixings, such as greens, lean protein, even whole grains, with ranch dressing or a classic vinaigrette mixed with turmeric to taste.
Snacks — Turmeric Chickpeas: Munch on curried chickpea snacks, such as Saffron Road Bombay Spice brand. You can also add ½ tsp. turmeric to your favorite smoothie or soup.
Dinner — Curry in a Hurry: Rub trimmed boneless chicken breasts with curry powder and salt and sauté in olive oil or ghee. Serve with brown rice and veggies.
Golden Milk Recipe
This drink warms your soul as it heats up your metabolism!
- 2 cups light coconut milk or almond milk
- 1 tsp. turmeric powder
- ¼tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. honey or 1 date
- Pinch of black pepper
- In saucepan, heat all ingredients until hot but not boiling. (If using date, the date should soften enough to puree smooth.) Pour into a blender with a vented lid; blitz until frothy. Enjoy immediately.
Check out our guide for how to make a latte at home if you’re looking to recreate other coffee shop inspired drinks!
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.