So, what’s the skinny on turmeric? This flavorful, colorful spice is typically used in Indian food; however, it’s gaining popularity. Turmeric is used in smoothies, lattes, teas, and veggie dishes. Supplements are flying off shelves. But why?
All the Rage
Turmeric is a plant and part of the ginger family. It’s native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. The spice is typically used in curry dishes, which gives the food its yellow color. According to Heathline, it’s been used in India for thousands of years not only as a spice, but as a medicinal herb.
Curcumin is the Star
Curcumin is the main component in turmeric. This powerful ingredient is a natural anti-inflammatory, which can be powerful enough to match the job of anti-inflammatory medicines. In other words, it aids in lessening muscle aches, headaches, and pain in the body. It helps with rheumatoid arthritis, slows the rate of cancer, and even benefits skin problems like eczema and psoriasis. Because curcumin acts as an anti-inflammatory and has antioxidants, it helps to repair visible signs of aging. This power ingredient also assists brain function by increased production in BDFN, which is a protein in the brain, and protects it from age related decline or damage. Low levels of BDFN have been linked to depression, even Alzheimer’s. This little spice that could even enhances weight loss.
Something of Note
When using turmeric, the curcumin in it isn’t easily absorbed by the body, meaning it won’t have much of an impact by sprinkling the spice on every dish you eat. But there are a few ways you can enhance the absorption. Add black pepper to get the most out of curcumin. Black pepper has piperine in it and helps the curcumin absorb. Turmeric is also fat-soluable, so if you add coconut oil, MCT oil, olive oil, or even butter, nuts, avocado, it will help the absorption process. Heat also increases its bioavailability.
If you are looking for supplements, be sure to find ones that have black pepper or fat in them. Do your research. Be aware of how much you’re taking, and definitely talk to a doctor before starting on any supplements. Too much turmeric can have side effects. If you’re pregnant, nursing, taking any other type of medications, or have gallbladder issues be sure to ask your doc before starting up on your curcumin journey.
I found out about this super-spice and its benefits a couple of days ago. Although I haven’t taken supplements yet, I did buy organic turmeric powder and ground cinnamon. I made a golden milk recipe, as well as a paste, to use throughout the week. It’s quite tasty.
There are recipes for turmeric lattes, smoothies, and you can even sprinkle the spice over your veggies. The sky is the limit with this amazing spice.
Turmeric Golden Milk Paste
In a saucepan on low heat mix approximately –
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of Organic Turmeric Powder
- 3 tablespoons water (add more if paste is too dry)
- Black Pepper (to your own taste – I added a few dashes and could’ve used more)
- Cinnamon (I added more of this since I love it)
- Ginger powder (This is up to you, but it helps with absorption as well. I didn’t have any)
- 4 teaspoons of coconut oil
Stir and mix ingredients until smooth and thick. You can store the paste in a small container in the fridge and drink every morning with a vegan milk, add to your smoothie, or make yourself a turmeric latte. The paste should be good for up to 2 weeks.
I took 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk and whisked in 1/4 teaspoon of the paste and added a plop of honey. You can double the amount or lessen as you see fit. It tasted wonderful and I can’t wait to try it in a smoothie.
Disclaimer – I am not a medical professional or nutritionist. Please consult with your doctor before beginning any type of diet plan or supplements. I was not compensated for this post.