We’re going to tell you all about turmeric - its health benefits, how it works in the body, and what to make with it.
Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric is a spice native to South Asia. Bright orange in color, turmeric adds spice and flavor to many dishes. The main active compound in turmeric is curcumin, which has several health benefits.
Even though turmeric is touted as the “gut healer,” it’s great for your brain and the rest of your body as well. This amazing spice can add years to your life and increase its quality.
Here are a few of the benefits of turmeric for your body and your brain.
Turmeric (and the curcumin within) is great for your gut. It decreases inflammation in your gut lining and helps repair any damage done by inflammation. Turmeric does this especially well when paired with other gut-healing spices, such as ginger.
If you have chronic gut issues, you’re more at risk for other health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes. However, turmeric can lower the risk of contracting those diseases by keeping your inflammation low.
While turmeric supplements and turmeric recipes are primarily used for healing a sick gut and reducing inflammation, there are several other health benefits. Turmeric has antioxidant properties as well, which increases your immune system and helps fight off illnesses.
Antioxidants and anti-inflammatories are both extremely useful in preventing heart disease. If you’re at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, the combination of anti-inflammatories and antioxidants in turmeric could help.
Believe it or not, turmeric can naturally reduce your risk of cancer, and help with chemotherapy symptoms! It does this by reducing the inflammation of cancerous cells at their molecular level.
While turmeric does not prevent cancer and shouldn’t be used instead of traditional medicine, a turmeric supplement may help ward off the worst of the post-chemotherapy symptoms and help to prevent the regeneration of cancerous cells.
One of the primary causes of premature aging is inflammation in the body. It causes the body more stress and brings on the effects of aging. However, if your body is healthy and not inflamed all the time, you’ll be able to feel better for longer.
Turmeric doesn’t stop you from aging, but it can be part of a healthy lifestyle. If your inflammation is lower, then your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer is lower. These risk factors can decrease your longevity, so your body will thank you for including turmeric in the diet!
Turmeric for Your Brain
Studies have shown that turmeric can boost your brain’s productivity. It does this by helping your levels of brain protein reproduce and increase. In the short term, this will help you learn faster and remember more.
However, there are more benefits than just a better short-term memory. With increased brain activity, you lower your risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease (and can treat symptoms). Turmeric can help with depression, anxiety, and overall forgetfulness as well.
3 Great Recipe Ideas
Turmeric has many health benefits, but it also tastes amazing! It pairs well with meats, vegetables, and even in teas and coffee.
Here are three delightful and healthy recipes that showcase turmeric.
NOTE: if you plan on cooking with turmeric, remember that it stains very easily! Be prepared to have some yellow cooking utensils, especially if you use wood or plastic to mix them. Glass and metal are the least likely to stain.
Turmeric Chicken and Rice
For a simple twist on chicken and rice, try Food and Wine’s Turmeric Chicken and Rice recipe. It’s a one-pot meal, which means it’s both easy to make and easy to clean up after. This recipe is simple and delicious, and chock full of healthy spices, vegetables, and low-fat meats.
A chicken and rice dish is a great way to start cooking with turmeric. If you’re unsure how your family will like it, you can start with a small amount and add more as they get used to the flavor.
Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup
Looking for something with fewer carbs? This Ginger Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup by Bowl of Delicious is the perfect low-carb dinner option. The soup is easy to make and fits with a paleo, Whole-30, and vegan diet!
Turmeric and ginger are a powerhouse duo to fight inflammation and help cleanse your digestive tract. The butternut squash adds some sweetness and makes this the perfect fall dish (it even looks like fall).
Turmeric Coconut Chicken Curry
Of course, turmeric is often used in Eastern Asian dishes, and spiced curry is a classic. This curry is easy to make with spices you can find from the store. It’s creamy, filled with veggies, and can be customized to the ingredients that you have on hand!
If you don’t want chicken, you can use chickpeas, potatoes, or another kind of meat instead! Chicken curry is an amazing way to get the traditional Indian spices and as many vegetables as you can get. It’s the ideal way to add turmeric to your diet!
If you don’t want to take the time to make an entirely new recipe, there are several ways to add turmeric to the food you are already making! Here are some easy ways to incorporate turmeric into your diet:
-Add it to scrambled eggs
-Use it in soup
-Put it in your smoothies
-Brew it in tea or coffee (golden turmeric lattes are delicious)
-Season meat with it
-Roast veggies in it (with olive oil)