Turmeric is a yellowish-orange colored spice, most commonly used in Indian curries, and is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory and disease-fighting agents on the planet!
It has been used as a medicinal herb in India for years, and recently has been discovered worldwide for its medicinal properties. Studies have shown the benefits of Turmeric to be just as effective (and MORE effective in some cases) than Ibuprofen, Advil, and many prescription medications.
Here are some the proven benefits of curcumin, the most active ingredient in Turmeric:
- Help lower inflammation. (This is HUGE because low-grade chronic inflammation has been linked to many common diseases, from heart conditions to Alzheimer’s and cancer)
- Controls blood sugar spikes and insulin resistance
- Helps regulate high cholesterol (especially the bad type!)
- Boosts immunity and the antioxidant capacity of our body
- Works as a pain-reliever (Got a headache? Try turmeric instead of Advil next time!)
- Helps manage Arthritis symptoms
- Can lower the risk of heart disease
- Helps prevent the growth of cancer cells
- Can improve many skin conditions like Eczema, and more!
It's amazing, and a little goes a long way. Plus, it's so easy to incorporate into your diet. Here are some of my favorite ways to use turmeric:
- Add it to salad dressings
- Sprinkle on any food that I’m cooking – to any veggies when sauteing or roasting, to eggs, quinoa, soups, and even on ground meat/ chicken/ fish
- Use it to make warm “turmeric milk” – an amazing, comforting "tea" to enjoy before bed, especially great when you're catching a cold!
Note: Adding black pepper to turmeric increases the absorption of curcumin (supposedly by 2000%!), so add a pinch of fresh ground black pepper to your turmeric recipes to fully reap the benefits! Also, curcumin is fat soluble, so it helps to have turmeric with some healthy fats.
Here are 3 of my favorite recipes:
Another thing I LOVE to do is use this Golden Turmeric Milk to create an awesome Golden Chia Pudding. Instead of heating the milk, just combine the milk ingredients in a blender, then pour 1 cup of the milk into a jar with 1/4 cup chia seeds and refrigerate overnight. The next day, you’ll have a delicious, filling, anti-inflammatory creamy chia pudding, perfect for an on-the-go quick breakfast. For added antioxidants and energy, I like to add a serving of powdered "superfood" greens, and top off with some goji berries and shredded coconut; see recipe below!
Why wait? Go buy yourself some turmeric (the dried, powdered turmeric is easiest to start, but buy organic) and start adding to your daily meals. Use it regularly and your health will be better than ever!
Turmeric Photo Credit: Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media