Otherwise known as ‘golden milk’ for its ochre colour, turmeric lattes have been growing in popularity since 2015 – adopted by coffee oligarchs including Starbucks. An unlikely combination of nut milk and juiced turmeric root it became 2016’s drink of choice and has continued to grow in popularity from Sydney to San Francisco and all the way to London.
Turmeric lattes have been growing in popularity since 2015
After ghee, homemade yoghurt and coconut oil, turmeric is the latest health-food trend to originate from the south Asian pantry. Turmeric and milk is a fairly well-entrenched drink in the Indian sub continent’s food culture where it is considered restorative. Turmeric is also part of Ayurvedic medicine – a holistic, all-natural approach to health that has been practised for centuries in India – and it is a ubiquitous ingredient in curries and rice dishes.
The belief is that turmeric is a good anti inflammatory
‘Clean eating’ advocates have taken up the trend with aplomb, the belief is that turmeric is a good anti inflammatory, can help relieve pain and swelling in people with osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. It’s also generally believed to be an antioxidant and generally good for you.
The magic ingredient is called curcumin, responsible for the yellow pigment, and this is the particular area of interest, which has been looked at and studied in detail. There’s no doubt that it does have positive benefits, but here’s the big question – is there really much benefit in a turmeric latte or should we just be enjoying them because we want them?
The magic ingredient is called curcumin
On the highly popular culture podcast, The High Low, hosted by journalists Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton last week, the two contemplated the trend and interviewed a dietician and co-founder of The Rooted Project, which busts food myths, who commented: “curcumin is only found in turmeric in levels as low as 2-3% which means you would probably need to eat a huge amount of numeric to get any beneficial effects, far more than would be in the numeric latte you would be buying.”
So there you go, drink your turmeric lattes, and enjoy them, but perhaps don’t rely on them as a bona fide health food…
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