Feel free to call it the golden spice. Turmeric deserves this name not only because of its yellow colour, but also because of its amazing health benefits that offers. Turmeric is the most known culinary spice which spans cultures. The turmeric is a major ingredient in Indian curries, and it turns American mustard yellow.
Despite its great use in cooking, turmeric has amazed scientists for really long time in terms of its medical uses. Turmeric is a tropical plant which belongs to the family Zingiberaceae. This yellow spice is a native to India and cultivated throughout the tropics around the world.
The legend says that when baby Jesus was born, three wise men from the East went to see him and brought him gifts. They brought him gold, frankincense and myrrh. There are some records that many people believed that gold actually refers to the commonly used spice of the time- turmeric.
Turmeric guards a special place in Indian tradition and religion too. It was used to worship Sun God. People also wore turmeric as a part of purification process.
Turmeric was also used by Buddhists monks, who travelled to different places around the world, to dye their robes. There is some evidence that turmeric was used as a part of Chinese medicine around 1000 years ago. By the mid 20th century, turmeric became popular in the western world too.
Health Benefits Of Turmeric
Turmeric consists of a wide range of antibacterial, anticarcinogenic, antioxidant, antimutagenic, antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.It is rich in many healthy nutrients such as iron, dietary fiber, niacin, magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, potassium, protein, calcium, copper, and zinc. Thanks to all these vitamins, nutrients and minerals turmeric is often used to treat a wide variety of health problems.
It has been shown that turmeric can help prevent prostate cancer, stop the growth of already existing prostate cancer and even destroy cancer cells. Many researchers have found that thanks to the active components found in turmeric, it is one of the best protectors against radiation-induced tumors. Turmeric can also prevent growth of tumor cells like T-cell leukemia, colon cancer and breast cancer.
Here is some excellent news for those who are trying to fight depression in a natural way. It has been shown that curcumin, the antioxidant that makes turmeric so fascinating spice can function as an antidepressant.
If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis you need to start consuming turmeric on a regular basis and experience relief from the moderate to mild joint pains and joint inflammation too. Moreover the anti-inflammatory properties that turmeric has are great for treating osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Boosts the immunity
Lipopolysaccharide is the substance found in turmeric which has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal effects which helps strengthen the immune system. A person who has a strong immune system is more resistant to colds, coughs or the flu.
For those who maybe sometimes will catch a cold or the flu, you will feel much better if you just mix one teaspoon of turmeric in a glass of warm milk and drink it once a day.
Sooths upset stomach
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory effects so it is useful in keeping stomach acid under control. Also turmeric is used to sooth heartburn and general stomach upset too.
With its strong antiseptic and antibacterial effects, turmeric can do wonders for your skin. If you have a cut or a burn, simply sprinkle some turmeric powder on it and help the healing process. You can also use turmeric in repairing damaged skin, treat psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Maintains healthy heart
Turmeric can be very helpful in protecting the most vital organ in our bodies. Turmeric helps to break cholesterol which is responsible for clogging up the arteries and causing strokes or heart attacks.
Maintains the ideal weight
If you are watching your weight or you are trying to lose some, you should definitely include turmeric in your diet. Take just one teaspoon of turmeric powder before every meal. A component found in turmeric helps increase the flow of bile which has a major role in the breakdown of dietary fat.
Prevents Alzheimer’s disease
Studies have shown that brain inflammation is responsible for cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric is good for overall brain health by helping in the removal of plaque build-up in the brain and by improving the oxygen flow. This will prevent or slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Protects the liver
Turmeric is a kind of natural liver detoxifier. The liver plays the major role in detoxification of our bodies through the production of enzymes and turmeric is responsible for increased production of these vital enzymes. Later those enzymes break down and reduce toxins in the body. It has been shown that turmeric also speeds and improves blood circulation.
Here are 7 incredible recipes on how you can include turmeric in your everyday diet.
1) Turmeric Tea
Chop up some turmeric and add it to your favorite tea or you can follow this recipe
• 1 cup hot water
• ½ tsp fresh grated turmeric
• dash of black pepper
• raw honey to taste
• squeeze of lime (makes turmeric more bioavailable)
Heat up the water until it boils. Add turmeric and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the water from the stove and strain the tea. Add the remaining ingredients. Let it sit for 10 minutes than pour it in a cup and enjoy!
2) Turmeric Juice
• ½ lemon
• 1 teaspoon turmeric powder or ½ inch turmeric root
• sea salt
Juice the lemon and turmeric, spice it with a pinch of salt, pour it in a glass and drink it. If you don’t have a juicer you can use fresh lemon, squeeze it and add turmeric powder and salt in it.
3) Turmeric Scramble
Add some turmeric on your traditional eggs in the morning.
4) Turmeric Soup
• 1 knuckle chopped/grated turmeric
• 4 cups veggie or organic bone broth
Heat up some water until it boils. Add both turmeric and broth and simmer for 15 minutes, strain chunks out, add some black pepper and enjoy in the new flavor of your soup.
Add some turmeric in your favourite smoothie or try this recipe
- 1 tsp turmeric powder/fresh turmeric
- ½ coconut or almond milk
- 1 tsp hemp seed hearts
- 1 ½ cups frozen pineapple or mango
- 1 tsp maca root
- 2 tbsp coconut flakes
- dash of black pepper
Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend to perfection. Enjoy!
6) Golden Milk
If you are in a hurry you can simply mix some warm milk with 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder. If you have some time to spare then you should definitely try the recipe below.
• 1 tsp turmeric powder/fresh grated
• ¼ cup water
• ¼ tsp ginger powder/fresh grated
• ¼ tsp vanilla
• dash of cardamom
• dash of clove
• dash of cinnamon
• 1 cup coconut or almond milk
• 2 tsp raw honey
Put all ingredients in a pot and simmer them for 1 min. Pour in a cup and enjoy.
7) Turmeric Kefir
• 1 gallon Filtered or Spring Water
• 1 cup of fresh Turmeric or ⅓ cup dried whole root
• 1 cup organic sugar or rapadure
• 1 cup of fresh Ginger
• ½ cup Water Kefir Grains
1. First you need to peel the ginger and turmeric and roughly chop.
2. Then pour the water into a pan, put it on the stove and bring to a boil.
3. Put the ginger and turmeric into the pot.
4. Lover the temperature, cover the pot and cook for an hour.
5. When is done move to the refrigerator to cool.
6. When it cools, strain out the ginger and the turmeric.
7. Then pour the liquid into a large one gallon glass jar.
8. Then add the sugar or rapadura and mix up until it is dissolved.
9. Lastly add the water kefir grains.
10. Cover the glass with a dish towel and let it sit for 3-5 days.
11. Try it- if it tastes tangy, a bit sour and is fizzy then it’s done.
12. Keep it in the refrigerator and enjoy it whenever you want.
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Sun.J, et al. Preventive effects of curcumin and dexamethasone on lung transplantation-associated lung injury in rats. Crit Care Med 2008;36(4):1205-13
Teayoun.K,et al. Curcumin activates AMPK and suppresses gluconeogenic gene expression in hepatoma cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2009;388(2):377-82