Wondering why you should eat more turmeric? You may have heard about some of the many amazing benefits of turmeric – if not, here’s a quick run down.
Benefits of Turmeric (and why you should eat more turmeric now)
Turmeric (like this) is a root in the ginger family (and actually it looks quite similar to ginger) that has been used in Indian cooking and Chinese medicine for thousands of years. In the culinary world you typically see it used in dried powdered form but it can also be eaten fresh. In addition to adding a lovely warming flavor to your food, turmeric is among the most widely studied plants due to its medicinal and healing properties. The active ingredient in turmeric that generates all the good buzz is called Curcumin; in the body it acts as an anti-oxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent. Here are a few of the ailments and illnesses that turmeric is known to help alleviate:
Ongoing research has provided evidence of turmeric’s protective effects in various types of cancer, including gastrointestinal, breast, brain and bone. As the rate of cancer continues to rise, this is one major reason to eat more turmeric.
Studies show that those who regularly eat more turmeric have improved memory and cognitive function, particularly for individuals living with AD and current research is exploring its ability to prevent disease onset. This may be why elderly men and women living in Indian villages have some of the lowest rates of Alzheimer’s in the world.
The anti-inflammatory properties of this wonder root seem to stabilize blood sugar. Bad news for big pharma, great news for us.
There is growing evidence that turmeric is effective in alleviating inflammation and joint pain associated with osteoarthritis, a condition that effects nearly a whopping 35% of adults aged 65 + in the U.S. every year.
Turmeric acts as an herbal anti-histamine. It’s thought that the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of the Curcumin diminish swelling in the sinuses (1). Here’s a great natural allergy remedy you can whip up using ingredients already in your kitchen cupboards.
Curcumin stimulates bile production in the pancreas and may be the reason turmeric is helpful in calming indigestion. It’s also known to relieve heartburn, diarrhea and and bloating (2).
I don’t know about you but I’m sold. The only thing I was left wondering when I first learned about the health benefits of turmeric was how to find easy ways to start adding it into my daily diet. (I love Indian food but if anyone has tried an Indian recipe before you can relate to the LAUNDRY list of ingredients…so I tend to make Indian cooking night in our house more of the special exception instead of the general rule). But lucky for me, I get geeked up on researching so it didn’t take long to dig up an accessible list of easy to make recipes and ideas. Thank you google. Here are a few of my favorites:
Amazing Turmeric Recipes
Turmeric-ginger tea from thekitchn.com – I made this all winter. Best part is that the black pepper not only adds heat and flavor, but it makes the turmeric more bio-available so your body will actually absorb more of the Curcumin. Pretty cool.
Scrambled eggs with turmeric and black pepper from monamifood.com – this is an easy way to eat more turmeric first thing in the morning. And again, bonus pairing with black pepper.
Turmeric smoothie from collective-evolution.com – this is just one recipe idea, but you can easily add a teaspoon to any favorite smoothie you make at home. It’s such an easy way to eat more turmeric.
Turmeric stir-fry from tablespoon.com – again, feel free to make this your own and add it to any stir-fry staple.
Turmeric soup from deliciouslyella – I love this one, but you can also add in a couple of teaspoons of turmeric to just about any soup recipe you like (unless you DON’T want it to turn orange-beware, turmeric is a strong dye and will stain just about anything it comes in contact with!)
What’s your favorite way to eat more turmeric?