Do you prefer a steaming hot pumpkin spiced latte, a caramel mocha, or warm cider? When it comes to your favorite fall drink, we don’t want to mess with your autumn groove. But we do want to introduce you to a festive spice blend that promises to be as delicious as it is healthy: the golden milk spice mix.
This unique spice blend originated in India and creates a tasty, golden-colored latte that will satisfy your seasonal cravings. All four ingredients – turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, and ginger – contain a wealth of health benefits. In fact, these ingredients work together to heighten the effects of one another.
Golden Milk Spice Mix Is Packed With Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients
One of the reasons golden milk spice mix is so healthy is because it contains turmeric. Turmeric is rich in curcumin, a potent antioxidant that gives the spice its yellow-gold color. Curcumin works to reduce inflammation in the entire body, and studies have shown that it can help treat inflammatory diseases like arthritis.
However, the body has a difficult time absorbing the curcumin in turmeric. Certain spices like black pepper greatly enhance the absorption rate so that curcumin can more effectively treat inflammation and other issues. That’s why golden milk spice contains both turmeric and black pepper.
Black pepper, cinnamon, and ginger also have anti-inflammatory properties of their own. Black pepper contains piperine, an antioxidant that gives pepper its strong flavor. Piperine has anti-microbial properties as well and is well-known for boosting the absorption of many nutrients, not just curcumin. The nutrient reduces inflammation by protecting cells in the body from oxidative damage, or damage caused by reactive molecules.
According to a study from the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, cinnamon and ginger both reduce inflammation from cell damage and may even reduce muscle soreness after a tough workout.
How Golden Milk Spice Sharpens Memory
Good news for those of us who are feeling forgetful! Turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, and ginger all have memory boosting capabilities. A study from the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry shows that curcumin in turmeric improves the memory of adults who don’t have dementia. Another paper from the Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology states that curcumin can improve memory in Alzheimer’s patients.
As for cinnamon, an animal study from the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology found that the spice improved memory and learning. The reason? It positively affects the hippocampus, or the area of the brain dedicated to memory. Even just smelling cinnamon may enhance your performance in certain memory tasks.
Black pepper may boost your cognitive function overall by stimulating chemical pathways to the brain. One study from Food and Chemical Toxicology shows that piperine in black pepper can protect against the degeneration of brain cells caused by Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, research in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine demonstrates that ginger enhances memory and fights brain damage.
Making a Festive Drink With Golden Milk Spice Mix
If you’re apprehensive about the flavor of golden milk spice, don’t be! While the turmeric and black pepper add a savory, unusual twist to the mix, many people report that it still has a pleasing flavor. Those who have tried it describe it as warm and comforting, albeit a little bitter. If you’re turned off by the bitterness, try enhancing your drink with a little sugar.
Because the curcumin in turmeric is fat soluble, it’s a good idea to create a golden spice drink that contains a little fat. Coconut milk, which already has fat, pairs well with the flavors in golden milk spice. Regular milk also works well with this spice blend.
If you don’t want to go to the store to buy a golden milk spice mix, simply blend together four tablespoons of ground turmeric, two teaspoons of ground ginger, two teaspoons of ground cinnamon, and one teaspoon of ground black pepper. Feel free to add more ginger and cinnamon to create a better balance with the earthy flavors of turmeric and black pepper. For an enhanced fall flavor, sprinkle in ground nutmeg and clove, about an eighth of a teaspoon each.
Add a heaping teaspoon of the spice blend, one to two teaspoons of your favorite sweetener, and two teaspoons of water to a saucepan. Mix the ingredients into a loose paste, then add your milk of choice and stir it all together. Pour your concoction into a mug and enjoy!