Have you ever had Asian food?
If you have, chances are you’ve probably consumed a good amount of the powerful anti-inflammatory spice known as turmeric!
Turmeric is best known as the main spice in curry that gives it the notorious bright yellow color.
The golden spice is one of my favorite spices because it’s so versatile and has so many health benefits. It belongs to the same family as ginger and has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat several conditions with its powerful medicinal properties.
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I remember when my mom bought me my first-ever turmeric package – I had no idea how to incorporate into my meals. I knew it had many health benefits so I tried sprinkling it on my oatmeal and in drinks … but since I was using it wrong, I was immediately put off by the taste.
Because turmeric has such a strong taste and is very grainy, it has to be combined a certain way to taste good and to help your body absorb all the benefits.
Once I learned how to incorporate turmeric into my daily diet, I became obsessed with using it in my everyday meals to reap all the amazing benefits it has.
Benefits of Turmeric
The benefits of the bright yellow powder are often the result of the curcuminoids it contains.
The most common and most important one is called curcumin, and it’s the main active ingredient in turmeric. Because of curcumin, turmeric is known to be one of the most powerful spices in the world.
Many chronic diseases are caused by inflammation including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and other various conditions.
2. Powerful antioxidant
Loading up on antioxidants is a sure-fire way to boost your health. Antioxidants naturally protect our bodies and cells from free radicals.
When free radicals damage cells, DNA, and collagen it leads to disease in the body. Curcumin not only fights the free radicals in the body but also boosts the body’s own antioxidant ability.
3. Improves brain function
Turmeric helps keep your brain sharp and healthy. Turmeric is known to increase concentration and boost memory retention.
The curcumin in the spice also boosts levels of hormones (BDNF) in the brain that fight the onset of various diseases like depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s.
4. Improves heart health
Keeping your heart healthy is so important as you age. Because it contains Vitamin B6 and curcumin, turmeric promotes stronger blood vessels and balances cholesterol levels.
5. Fights Cancer
Cancer is so prevalent these days that we need all the protection we can get. Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant agent that has been directly linked to a reduction in colon cancer cells and can also hinder tumor growth.7 Health Benefits of Turmeric Click To Tweet
6. Boosts skin health
Don’t we all wish we had perfect skin? By reducing bacteria and oil secretion, Turmeric helps to keep pimples and acne scars at bay.
Turmeric can even be used as on cuts, scars or as a face mask to fight signs of aging like wrinkles and pigmentation.
7. Detoxifies the body
Your liver is one of the most important organs of your body because it clears toxins from your blood.
Turmeric gives your liver the boost it needs to improve liver function and helps to reduce the levels of toxicity in the body.
How to consume turmeric
While turmeric has many benefits, it’s only about 3% curcumin by weight. That’s why the more you consume the golden spice, the better. It’s also recommended to take an extract that contains significant amounts of curcumin to get the full effects.
Even then, curcumin is poorly absorbed by the body which is why black pepper and/or healthy fats are usually used with any recipe that requires turmeric.
Black pepper is known to increase curcumin absorption by 2000%! Black pepper and fats activate the curcumin in the turmeric and help your body get all the benefits it provides.
Ways to get the most out of turmeric with healthy fats:
- Sprinkle it on an avocado
- Add coconut oil or ghee in your tea
- Stir it in olive oil and toss it on veggies
- Rub it on chicken thighs or legs (they’re naturally more fatty than breasts)
Ways to consume turmeric
I like to buy my turmeric in powder form but you can also buy the root. You can find turmeric root in the produce aisle of most grocery stores and the powder in health stores and online.
Turmeric tea is the ultimate cozy tea. It also tastes great combined with its sister-root ginger. Boil water and add turmeric, coconut oil, cinnamon, honey (optional) and a pinch of black pepper. Once I pour it into my cup, I love squeezing in some lemon juice for some added flavor.
You can find a turmeric/curcumin supplement at your local health store. Since your body struggles to absorb the pill on its own, it’s recommended to take it with fat-rich foods like cheese, nuts or olive oil.
Turmeric is a spice just like salt and garlic. You can incorporate into your everyday cooking very easily. Use it on roasted veggies, meats, soups or even in your oatmeal, but remember to add oil and a pinch of black pepper to reap the benefits.
“Golden Milk” Turmeric Latte
“Golden milk” turmeric latte is my favorite way to consume turmeric, partly because the ingredients mix so well that the strong turmeric taste is hardly noticeable!
This cozy and soothing drink is the perfect morning or nighttime drink. A turmeric latte tastes slightly earthy and sweet and savory at the same time. It is just as delicious as it is nutritious!
So how exactly do you make a turmeric latte? I’m glad you asked!
A word of caution: Turmeric stains really easily. The yellow tint eventually comes off, but since we have white countertops, I put towels in the area to avoid any stains.Reap all the benefits of turmeric with this 5 minute golden milk latte recipe Click To Tweet