Turmeric latte

Do turmeric lattes and kombucha improve our health? Should we drink celery juice every day? Are placenta pills good for us?

A new episode of The High Low podcast - Debunking Wellness Myths (2 July) - looks at some of the wellness trends present in society and whether there’s any truth behind them.

Presenters Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton speak to dieticians Rosie Saunt and Helen West about the privilege of wellness and what really constitutes a healthy diet.

Drinking celery juice, for example, is a fad popularised by ‘Medical Medium’ Anthony William, who claims he speaks to a “spirit of the future” that offers health advice and claims drinking celery juice every morning can cure a number of illnesses and chronic ailments.

Another is turmeric latte. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which apparently has anti-inflammatory effects when tested in a lab - but there is little evidence that these translate to the human body.

These are just the sorts of trends which play into “middle-class anxieties” and become a “distraction that stops us staring into the face of our own mortality”, say Saunt and West.

Although these fads are not necessarily dangerous, the psychological effects can be problematic, we learn. Especially if people become obsessed with the trends or believe things like “coffee enemas” will cure cancer.

This podcast is well-informed and nicely produced. Funny anecdotes and stories provide insight into the psychology behind wellness - but a serious point is also made.