You’ve likely seen gorgeous steaming yellow mugs on menus, food blogs, and social media (#goldenmilk has nearly 85,000 posts on Instagram alone). The warm drink, called a golden milk latte which is of Indian origin, mixes turmeric with other spices and plant milks. And, it’s no surprise the trend has taken off because of the health benefits of turmeric.
But can sipping on these brightly-hued brews really benefit your health? Turmeric has powerful antioxidants as well as important nutrients, says nutritionist Torey Armul, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. And research links curcumin, one of the molecules that makes up the spice, with anti-inflammatory properties and benefits including pain relief. (Read also why turmeric can make you happy). 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: 5 Easily Available Protein Jackpot).
And if you’re looking for a delicious, caffeine-free afternoon pick-me-up, golden milk lattes will definitely deliver!