Super Food Highlight: Turmeric
It seems there’s always a new superfood on the horizon, but turmeric is truly timeless. This golden root’s anti-inflammatory properties have been celebrated for many centuries in Asia, so it’s about time we caught on to the Turmeric Latte bandwagon!
Read on for insight into this cancer-fighting, memory-boosting, heart-protecting superfood and how to incorporate it into your daily routine!
WHAT IS TURMERIC?
Turmeric is a bright yellow-orange colored rhizome in the same family as ginger. This powerful root is a native of Southern Asia and has been used as a cooking spice, a natural dye, and a staple in alternative medicine.
Since the 13th century, turmeric has been touted as a medicinal herb used for pain alleviation, digestive issues, and skin conditions. Nowadays, turmeric is used to add color to cosmetics, clothing, even food products like yellow mustard!
This spice is commonly found dried and powdered, fresh and whole from a grocery store, or in supplement form.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF TURMERIC?
The benefits of turmeric are numerous and stem mainly from the chemical compound that gives it the well-known golden color called curcumin. Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that studies have shown may prevent certain diseases. A study done by Duke University ranked curcumin above many pharmaceutical drugs in its effectiveness against certain chronic illnesses with little to no negative side effects.
The anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric may help ward off the growth of certain cancers, diminish the symptoms of arthritis, prevent heart disease, lower blood sugar for those at risk for diabetes, and even help slow symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. When incorporated into daily wellness routines, turmeric may contribute to improved digestion, smoother skin, and faster workout recovery!
HOW TO USE TURMERIC?
Luckily, it’s relatively easy to take advantage of the health benefits of turmeric and add it into your daily diet. Add a bit into your veggie curries - like this recipe for curried sweet potatoes or stir-fries. Sprinkle some into a smoothie for a mild taste and pop of color. Make homemade hot golden milk with almond milk, turmeric, cinnamon, a pinch of black pepper, and a touch of unrefined sweetener for a midday pick-me-up or nightcap. Or, simply grab some of our favorite organic, cold-pressed Project Juice blends like Turmeric Lemonade, Turmeric Mylk, Potion No. 10, or Beta Bomb!
Your best bet for bioavailable turmeric is with the fresh root, which is easily found at farmers markets, health stores, or Asian grocers. For ultimate freshness, keep it in the freezer and remove the amount you need for serving. Either grate it directly into your dish or juice it and use immediately. A less potent option is dried, powdered turmeric. With light and heat exposure, turmeric can lose some of it’s medicinal benefits, but this is generally the easiest form to find. Another option is to buy a good-quality turmeric supplement from a health food store and take it daily.
Expert tip: the health benefits of turmeric are more bioavailable when consumed with black pepper thanks to a compound called piperine - hence why they are often found together in curries, chai tea, and tinctures. Add a pinch to your dishes for a hint of spice and a punch of nutrition!
Photo credit Instagram: @gracielasgoodies & @mygoodnessg