Turmeric is a spice that is used in cuisines around the world, including Indian, Middle Eastern, Thai, Indonesian, and Malaysian cuisine. It has active components that boast many health benefits, including cardiovascular health. There are so many delicious ways to use turmeric for health. And today I will share with you one extremely simple health-boosting beverage that you can kick-start your day with; AKA turmeric coffee!
If you are a coffee drinker, this will be a great alternative to regular, plain coffee (which also has health benefits by the way). And if not, perhaps you can give this recipe a try to help boost your health.
I truly hope you enjoy this recipe! Don’t forget to leave me a comment and rating below if you try this turmeric coffee!
Health Benefits of Turmeric
In my opinion, turmeric is a very underrated spice. It is a vibrant, yellow color that will stain your hands, countertop, or anything else it comes in contact with. But don’t let that deter you. The many benefits will outshine the yellow stains, I promise.
And the health benefits I speak of are contributed to the powerful polyphenol in turmeric called curcumin.
In fact, U.S. News and World Report lists turmeric as one of the top 7 best spices for health. We often think of foods as providing us with the nutrients we need, which is 100% true. However, herbs and spices also have health-promoting properties.
Studies show that consuming 500 mg up to 2,000 mg of turmeric per day can improve health (1). Here are a few of the many benefits you can receive from consuming curcumin:
- Powerful anti-inflammatory (2, 3)
- Antioxidant-rich (2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
- Immunity-boosting (3)
- Supportive to digestive health (1)
- Brain support and protection (1, 3, 7)
- Improved cardiovascular health (2, 3)
Really quick, let’s dive a little deeper into the research on these benefits before we get to the invigorating turmeric coffee recipe.
Turmeric and Inflammation
Additionally, what may interest some athletes or anyone who has ever experienced soreness or inflammation following physical activity, is that turmeric may help reduce exercise-induced inflammation (3).
Different types of arthritis are also associated with inflammation. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis have been shown to benefit from adding curcumin to your diet (3).
Turmeric and Antioxidant Properties
According to one review of the health effects of turmeric on human health, turmeric has similar antioxidant powers to vitamin E when it comes to ridding the body of dangerous free radicals (3). These free radicals are very unstable molecules that lead to increases in oxidative stress.
Reducing oxidative stress is important in the prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer. Turmeric can help by reducing lipid peroxides (a toxic bi-product that results when free radicals attack fat molecules) as well as other harmful free radicals (3, 4, 5).
Turmeric and Immune Health
The curcumin in turmeric may also help improve our immune system by helping to regulate a special protein involved in normal cell growth and division (3).
Studies on healthy individuals show the benefits of turmeric consumption as well. Turmeric’s active component, curcumin, can significantly reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines (components secreted by cells of the immune system and lead to inflammation) (3).
Turmeric and Digestive Health
The active component in turmeric can also prevent gastrointestinal disorders. These include inflammatory bowel disease, peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome (1).
Several studies on curcumin reveal reduced gastric and peptic ulcer formation with regular intake of curcumin as well as improvement in symptoms related to diseases that involve GI inflammation (1).
Turmeric and Brain Health
Next, there are the ever-important brain health benefits of turmeric and curcumin. Research shows that curcumin consumption is associated with a reduction of plaque formation in the brain (1, 3, 6). For reference, the formation of plaque in the brain is thought to be associated with the loss of neurons, leading to Alzheimer’s disease.
I will say, however, that the studies on curcumin and Alzheimer’s disease are quite small. More research needs to be done using more subjects and longer periods observing populations to find out just how beneficial turmeric could be to brain health.
Turmeric and Cardiovascular Health
Turmeric intake can also decrease the incidence of cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis, heart failure, and myocardial infarction (2, 3). Additionally, curcumin may also help improve total cholesterol, LDL, and non-HDL cholesterol levels.
And in rat studies, improvements in vascular function have also been exhibited. This makes turmeric a super spice to add to any dish if you want to prevent heart disease and improve blood flow through your vessels.
And these are only a few of the benefits!
Ingredients for Turmeric Coffee
Coffee– plain, black coffee is all you need. Do not use flavored coffee. The type of roast is up to you; light, medium, or dark roast.
Turmeric– I use ground turmeric. It will add an earthy flavor to this turmeric coffee. A little bit goes a long way, so if you’re not familiar with the taste of turmeric, only use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon in this recipe.
Black Pepper– adding a small amount of black pepper will actually increase the amount of curcumin your body absorbs!
Cinnamon– I love cinnamon, so I add a small amount to the turmeric coffee to add some familiar and warm notes.
Vanilla– the vanilla extract is a wonderful addition to add a sweet aroma and flavor that pairs so well with the cinnamon and honey here.
Honey– To help balance out the earthiness of the turmeric, I add a little sweetness using honey. If you want to keep this recipe vegan-friendly, feel free to use maple syrup or agave nectar.
Almond Milk– you could call this recipe a turmeric coffee latte or golden milk latte with the addition of almond milk. Either way, you can use whichever type of milk you wish (oat, soy, dairy milk, etc.). It serves as a great base to make the turmeric mixture.
Including black pepper (active component piperine) when you consume turmeric can help increase bioavailability by up to 2,000%!
How To Make
This turmeric coffee recipe is very easy to make. It does require a stovetop and saucepan to make the milk and spice mixture.
However, you can bypass the stove by heating the milk in the microwave then adding the spices and honey afterward if you prefer not to dirty more dishes than you need to. Trust me, I’m all about ease and making less work for myself (and you).
- First, make your spiced milk over the stove by adding the almond milk to a small saucepan over medium heat.
- When it starts to get warm (~1-2 minutes), add the ground turmeric, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and honey. Whisk until milk and spices are well combined. Turn off the stove and set this aside to cool slightly.
- While the milk is cooling, brew your black coffee as desired.
- Pour the milk and spice mixture into your freshly brewed coffee and stir.
- Serve your turmeric coffee hot, stirring once in a while to prevent the spices from settling.
The quantity of ingredients I use in this recipe can always be adjusted to your own taste.
You can add more or less turmeric. Keep in mind that it does have a distinct, earthy flavor. Add enough to reap the benefits without taking away from the coffee flavor. In the end, you still want to have a tasteful and pleasant beverage that you can enjoy again and again.
If you are not used to eating or drinking turmeric, you may experience some stomach upset if you take too much. For this reason, try to drink this beverage with other foods and not alone.
Additionally, research shows that adding a small amount of fat when consuming turmeric can also help to absorb the curcumin. Using milk with a higher-fat content or drinking your turmeric coffee with a meal with help with this.
I find that the magic amount of turmeric to add is around 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per 8 ounces of coffee. Turmeric powder contains 3.14% curcumin by weight, so 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric equates to ~94 mg of curcumin.
Other Ways to Add Turmeric To Your Diet
To get the recommended minimum dosage of curcumin per day, you’d have to drink over 5 cups of this turmeric coffee. I don’t recommend drinking that much coffee. However, there are other ways to incorporate turmeric into your daily routine. Here are a few ideas you can try:
- Sprinkling into scrambled eggs or frittatas
- Adding to soups and stews
- Adding to rice and grain dishes
- In sauces and marinades
- Making a spice rub such as this Easy Turmeric Chicken recipe from The Mediterranean Dish
- Golden Milk Recipe courtesy of Dr. Su-Nui Escobar, DCN, RDN from Menopause Better
- Turmeric Ball recipe
- Turmeric and Ginger Tea
Many of the health benefits of turmeric involve decreasing inflammation. Weight loss is no different in that overweight and obesity are related to chronic low-grade inflammation. Curcumin (an active component in turmeric) intake can help prevent metabolic syndrome which includes obesity (3).
Individuals with gallbladder issues or gallstones should use caution when consuming turmeric. Additionally, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Turmeric also has anticoagulant properties so those with blood coagulation disorders or taking anticoagulant medications should discuss intake with their doctor before regularly consuming turmeric (8).
Yes! Curcumin, the active component in turmeric is fat-soluble. Adding a small amount (1/4 tsp) of coconut oil or ghee to your turmeric coffee will help your body utilize the benefits of this beverage. Alternatively, you can use plant-based milk with a higher fat content.
Turmeric Coffee: A Simple Recipe With Many Health Benefits
- 8 fl. oz. black coffee
- 8 fl. oz. almond milk unsweetened
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp honey
- Make the almond milk and spice mixture by setting a small saucepan on the stove over medium heat and adding your almond milk.
- After warming the almond milk for about 30 seconds, add the turmeric, black pepper, and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
- Turn the stove off and add the honey and vanilla extract. Stir to combine and set aside to cool slightly.
- Take this time to brew your black coffee.
- Add the black coffee to your almond spice mixture and stir to combine.
- Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy!
- Adjust the spices to your own preference to get the desired flavors you enjoy.
- You can also adjust the type of milk used (soy, oat, dairy milk, etc.). FYI: Cow’s milk and soy milk will add more protein.
- To make this turmeric coffee recipe vegan, substitute maple syrup or agave nectar for the honey.
- If turmeric causes you stomach upset, cut back to 1/4 teaspoon-1/2 teaspoon per the entire recipe and make sure to consume it with a meal, not on an empty stomach.
Share with me: Don’t forget to leave me a comment if you try this turmeric coffee. I love hearing your thoughts and suggestions. In what ways do you use turmeric?
Feel free to pin this recipe to save it for later OR to share it with others!
Kiran Campbell is a registered dietitian and entrepreneur with 13 years of experience. She has a degree in psychology as well as dietetics. She is also a proud member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ and its Cardiovascular Health and Well-being Dietetics Practice Group among others. Kiran proudly presents and promotes the most up-to-date, science-based nutrition information on all things heart-related. She aims to serve not only individuals with heart disease, but also those wanting to protect against it. Learn more about Kiran by visiting her About Page.