Turmeric- the Spice of Life!

Turmeric- Hype? Trend? Fad? There are SO many health claims out there today that it’s difficult know to which is real and which is just another fad or trend. With the nickname “Spice of Life”, turmeric is about as REAL as it gets!

Turmeric is the root of the Curcuma Longa plant and has a long history in Ayervedic and traditional Chinese medicine. It’s bright orange flesh (be careful, it stains!) not only offers a long list of health benefits, it hasn’t any side effects! It’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and disease fighting properties are well established. The only downfall is that curcumin, it’s most active ingredient, isn’t well absorbed into our bloodstreams, therefore, needs help. It just so happens that adding black pepper (piperine) you can enhance absorption by up to 2,000%- and they are delicious together!

Some of turmeric’s health benefits are: fights inflammation, reduces symptoms of depression, helps maintain a healthy digestive system, slows or even prevents blood clots, boosts liver and skin health, reduces pain- especially arthritis, and can treat or prevent some cancers! Don’t just believe me, though, there are over 10,000 peer-reviewed articles published that prove the benefits of turmeric.

Add turmeric to your cooking- either fresh or dried. Luckily most supermarkets carry fresh turmeric now. The rhizomes look a lot like ginger. Be sure to pick a root that’s firm and smooth not soft and shriveled. Once cut, you can store the rhizome in an air-tight plastic bag or container for up to two week and can freeze for several months.

How can you start adding turmeric to your diet today? Try starting with Golden Milk. There are many recipes out there but here’s one of my favorites-

1 cup almond or macadamia milk, 1 3” stick or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 1” grated or thinly sliced root or 1/2 tsp dried turmeric, 1 1/2” grated or thinly sliced or 1/3 tsp ginger root, 1 Tbsp organic raw honey, 1 Tbsp coconut oil and 1/4 tsp black peppercorns. Whisk ingredients with 1 cup of water in small saucepan. Bring to low boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain through a sieve and serve!

Don’t want to bother with a recipe? There are now many pre-made blends on the market. Gaia, Garden of Life, Kintra Foods and Four Sigmatic all make blends. All you have to do is add the milk, water, honey and, if you want, coconut oil.

It’s the perfect drink as the weather begins to change and we begin to crave warm beverages again. Yum!

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