Golden paste: a powerful anti-inflammatory food

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Have you heard of golden paste or golden milk? Golden milk is an ancient drink from Ayurvedic medicine featuring the bright orange spice turmeric. The many benefits of curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, are borne out by both tradition and science. It’s a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, is fantastic for joint pain, and has potential for reducing risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and dementia. Unfortunately, absorption of curcumin is very poor, so simply adding turmeric to your diet is unlikely to have much of an impact. However, centuries of use of turmeric as a medicine has yielded some tricks which have been demonstrated to substantially boost the absorption and availability of curcumin. Black pepper contains piperine, which increases bioavailability of curcumin by 2000%! Curcimin is fat-soluble, and absorption into the bloodstream is enhanced when taken with fat. What's the most common way turmeric is traditionally consumed? In dishes such as curry, which typically contain - surprise! - both black pepper and some sort of fat or oil. 

Golden paste is a traditional method of preparing turmeric using black pepper and fat. Making golden paste is so simple and easy!

  • 1/2 cup turmeric powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp finely ground black pepper 
  • 1 tsp ginger powder 
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil

Mix turmeric and water in a small pan. Heat gently while stirring until it becomes a thick paste. Whisk in the coconut oil, pepper, and ginger. Pour into a jar and store in the fridge. 

To make golden milk, simply stir a spoonful of golden paste into hot milk, almond milk, or coconut milk. Add a bit of honey if you like. I like to make a broth drink with chicken bone broth and golden paste; adding some coconut milk makes it even better. Golden paste is great added to all kinds of soups, curries, and stirfries. Try adding some to a smoothie or scrambled eggs! Warning: turmeric is VERY orange and will stain everything it touches!

Adding a regular dose of turmeric to your diet, properly enhanced with pepper and fat, is an easy change you can make to reduce levels of inflammation and pain and reduce your risk of chronic disease. And it tastes great!