Turmeric is the spice that everyone’s talking about. We all know it’s healthy, but why? To get a bit of background, turmeric comes from the Curcuma family. It’s bright orange in colour, is mildly aromatic (with a slight gingery scent), and has a pungent earthy flavour. It’s been used in Asian cooking for thousands of years – it’s key to most Indian curries and gives it the distinct colour – but only recently have we in the West realized it’s superpower capabilities.
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The Health Benefits
Turmeric is an incredibly potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is what gives it these medicinal properties. Curcumin helps with a number of health concerns such as arthritis, eczema, IBS, and other autoimmune diseases because it helps reduce inflammation in the body. It also aids digestion because it reduces bloating and gas. As well, many studies have shown that curcumin has anticancer effects, particularly that it can kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. One 2007 study on mice showed that curcumin helped stop the spread of breast cancer cells to other parts of the body. It makes sense that turmeric is considered one of the world’s healthiest foods!
*It’s important to note that the body cannot absorb curcumin well on its own. As a solution, make sure you consume it with pepper. Piperine, the active ingredient in pepper, enhances curcumin’s bioavailability by 2000%!
4 Ways To Use Turmeric
To reap the best benefits of curcumin, it must be consumed repeatedly over long periods of time. Many people actually take curcumin pills daily. If that’s not your thing though, just keep stockin’ up on the other recipes below.
1. Turmeric Paste
This is an easy paste you can whip up and store in the fridge. It’s great in curries, soups, or stirfires. You can also mix it with other spices and add to Golden Milk (see below for recipe).
½ cup filtered water
¼ cup turmeric
½ tsp ground black pepper
Add all ingredients to a small saucepan. Heat on medium high. Stir constantly until it forms a thick paste, around 5-7 minutes, and add more water if need be. Transfer to a glass container or mason jar and keep in the fridge. It should last for up to 2 weeks.
2. Golden Milk
Filled with cinnamon, cardamom and ginger, this flavourful, comforting beverage is perfect for a cold fall evening or a midday pick-me-up.
3. Healing Lentil and Farro Soup
Loaded with tons of veggies, farro, and protein-rich red lentils, this soup is healthy and hearty to the max. Most ingredients can be conveniently found in your pantry too! Store leftovers in your freezer for recurring heartiness.
4. Make Turmeric Chia Pudding.
What are your favourite ways to sneak in this super spice? We’d love to hear them!
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