Soothing and comforting turmeric latte

by | Feb 3, 2019 | Anti-inflammatory diet

I want to share with you this soothing, comforting and anti-inflammatory latte, as the perfect alternative to your usual cup of tea or coffee. It’s completely caffeine-free, which is perfect for those of us that tend towards anxiety and can be overly-sensitive to the stimulating (and therefore, stress-inducing) effects of caffeine. I know I am.

 

 

The following recipe is adapted from the book The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution* by Aviva Romm. The original recipe contained green-tea which has a lot of health benefits but also contains caffeine so this has been omitted. It’s still a wonderfully rich and tasty drink, even without the caffeine.

 

So what are the benefits of turmeric?

  • Curcumin is the active component in turmeric which has anti-oxidant properties and supports the function of the body’s own anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are needed to fight free radicals which can otherwise damage cells within the body
  • Curcumin also has anti-inflammatory properties because it blocks inflammatory pathways in the body. There are lots of conditions linked to increased inflammation such as arthritis, diabetes, obesity, depression and Alzheimer’s
  • This paper discusses numerous studies about the health benefits of curcumin. One study in particular showed that curcumin was able to improve fatigue, memory, calmness and reduce psychological stress (1).

 

“Curcumin is great for reducing inflammation and boosting anti-oxidants, both of which are important for supporting mental health(2)

 

 

The only difficulty with gaining the benefits from curcumin is that it is poorly absorbed and rapidly eliminated from the body.
 

 

“Adding black pepper (3), heating (4) and taking curcumin with some form of fat (like coconut milk) (3) increases the absorption significantly”

 
 

Turmeric Latte Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp of fresh grated turmeric or 1 heaped tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp of fresh grated ginger
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Coconut milk or other milk (make sure it’s not a really low-fat or fat-free milk, as we want some fat for absorbing the curcumin)

Method:

  • Bring one cup of milk to the boil and turn off
  • Add the spices and steep for 10 minutes
  • Strain the liquid and if you like it hot, add the liquid back to the pan, bringing it to simmer
  • Pour into a cup and enjoy 1-2 cups daily!
 

Tips:

  • Wear some rubber or latex gloves when grating the turmeric as it really stains your hands!
  • You can buy fresh turmeric and ginger in bulk which you can grate or chop into usable sized chunks to freeze. When you want to use it in future, there’s no need to thaw it out, just grate from frozen or (if already grated) add it straight to whatever it is you’re making
  • This recipe contains ginger which has health-promoting properties such as lowering blood pressure, increasing blood circulation, it’s anti-inflammatory, anti-sickness and it’s also great for supporting digestion, reducing bloating and reducing indigestion (6)
 
*The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution is a 4-week programme designed to address and heal the root cause of imbalances within the body such as hormonal imbalances, lowered immunity, weight concerns, mood swings and fatigue through diet and lifestyle modifications. As the name suggests, it focuses on the adrenal glands and thyroid gland which control many different systems within the body. It’s a step-by-step guide on how to address gut issues, how to calm the mind and how to nourish the adrenals and thyroid to restore your health. It’s a wonderful positive book which provides lots of lovely recipes so you won’t feel deprived of food or stuck on what to eat. I highly recommend grabbing a copy and settling down with a cosy cup of turmeric latte to enjoy your read.
 

Drug-nutrient interactions

 
Turmeric can interact with some medications so it’s important to seek advice from your health care provider before using turmeric or curcumin. According to the Natural Medicines Database (7) turmeric interacts with the following:

 

Anti-coagulants: Turmeric might increase the risk of bleeding when used with anticoagulant drugs. Until more is known, use turmeric cautiously in combination with anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs.

 

Antidiabetic drugs: turmeric can lower blood sugar levels which may increase the risk of hypoglycaemia with anti-diabetes drugs

 

Cytochrome P540 3A4 substrates: Theoretically, turmeric and curcumin might increase levels of other drugs metabolized by the liver enzyme CYP3A4. Some drugs metabolized by CYP3A4 include some calcium channel blockers, chemotherapeutic agents, antifungals, lidocaine, losartan, fexofenadine, midazolam, and others.

 

Immuno-suppressants, anti-rheumatic drugs and anti-cancer chemotherapeutic drugs may also interact with turmeric or curcumin. Always check with your doctor before using turmeric or curcumin if taking any of these medications.
 
 

Interactions aside, turmeric has some wonderful health benefits which you can enjoy by drinking this anti-inflammatory turmeric latte. It’s a great choice when you are wanting something rich and frothy, and because of the ginger and black pepper, it has a subtle spicy kick to it. It’s also possible to supplement with curcumin and there are many products on the market. If supplementing, look for one that contains black pepper or one that states it is “liposomal”, for improved absorption. I am not affiliated with any supplement companies but I am happy to point you in the direction of good quality supplements, so please feel free to get in touch!

 

If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share on social media and spread the word.

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References
1. Hewlings, S. and Kalman, D., 2017. Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health. Foods, [online] 6(10), p.92. Available at: <http://www.mdpi.com/2304-8158/6/10/92>.
2. Salim, S., Chugh, G. and Asghar, M., 2012. Inflammation in anxiety. 1st ed. [online] Advances in Protein Chemistry and Structural Biology, Elsevier Inc. Available at: <http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-398314-5.00001-5>.
3. Jäger, R., Lowery, R.P., Calvanese, A. V., Joy, J.M., Purpura, M. and Wilson, J.M., 2014. Comparative absorption of curcumin formulations. Nutrition Journal, 13(1), pp.1–8.
4. Kurien, B.T. and Scofield, R.H., 2014. Oral administration of heat-solubilized curcumin for potentially increasing curcumin bioavailability in experimental animals. International Journal of Cancer, 125(1), pp.1–23.
6. Prasad, S. and Tyagi, A.K., 2015. Ginger and its constituents: Role in prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal cancer. Gastroenterology Research and Practice, 2015.
7. Natural Medicines Database. 2018. Interaction Checker: Curcumin. [ONLINE] Available at: https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/#. [Accessed 2 September 2018].

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