We’ve been hearing about turmeric for the last year or so, but it’s true–it’s a super-powered spice!
Add boiling water to a mug, with a teaspoon or so of turmeric. Add cinnamon, a small splash of real vanilla, fresh ground black pepper, and a half teaspoon of honey or maple syrup. Add a touch of grass fed butter too–it’s absorbed better in the presence of fat. Enjoy!
Turmeric has some of the world’s most powerful fat-burning and healing qualities of any food or spice. It is a potent anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial substance.
Turmeric grows as a shrub in India and tropical parts of Asia. The roots are ground up to make turmeric. Its active ingredient is a substance called curcumin and it is bright yellow.
Ayurvedic medicine has used this spice as a whole body cleanser, an aid for digestion, and in treatments for fevers, infections, liver and gall bladder problems and arthritis. It helps to burn fat, and is also very effective as a preventative for heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
The rich stores of anti-oxidants are very effective against the free radicals which contribute to premature aging, disease and cancer. Many natural practitioners actually recommend turmeric when a potent antioxidant is needed.
Turmeric helps to digest fats by stimulating the flow of bile in the gall bladder and therefore is very effective as a digestive aid and fat-burning compound. Studies also show it is highly effective at reducing the inflammation from arthritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease and a hundred other inflammatory conditions.
It also contains strong anti-platelet substances which help prevent the blood from clotting too easily, and so is very effective against heart attacks and strokes. In addition, homocysteine, a chemical component in the body, which is one of the primary predictors of heart attacks, is significantly lowered in the presence of curcumin.
As an anti-inflammatory it has been used effectively for a treatment for all types of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and for joint pain.
Turmeric is a powerful weapon against cancer cells as well. Studies show that this super spice can actually prevent cancer tumors from growing and in those who already have cancer, turmeric slows the growth and spread of cancer. The curcumin in turmeric is also highly effective when combined with the anti-oxidant quercetin (found in red onions, apples and cherries) against pre-cancerous polyps in the colon.
One of the most exciting new studies has shown turmeric’s value against Alzheimer’s. Studies of the Indian population who have a high intake of turmeric in their curry dishes show a very low incidence of Alzheimer’s and dementia in the elderly.
How to get turmeric into your diet:
-I put it into smoothies–especially my favorite pumpkin smoothie.
-Add to soups
-Make tea or turmeric milk
-Add to other baked or cooked meals. The flavor is mild when used by itself.
-Add to homemade applesauce
-Add to sautéed apples, or steamed cauliflower, green beans and onions, or any of your favorite veggies.
-For a great, low-calorie dip, try mixing turmeric and dried onion with a little omega 3-rich mayonnaise, salt and pepper.
-Turmeric is also a great spice to complement recipes that feature lentils. -Give salad dressings an orange-yellow hue and a little extra flavor by adding some turmeric powder to them.
Once you start using turmeric on a regular basis, it’s fun to find new ways to use it in recipes. My favorite way to use it is to add a pinch of it to egg salad. It adds a great flavor, and gives the egg salad a delicious rich yellow hue.