The truth is turmeric brings about its best health benefits when digested through everyday meals
It is one thing to read all the laboratory studies on mice, or to keep informed through news and research on natural health, but it’s another to hear it from the people who put theory it into practice. This is where the medical oncologist Dr. Saraswati Sukumar comes in, explaining how you can get the most out of the amazing spices such as turmeric.
Scientific facts about curcumin
Curcumin is a diarylheptanoid. It is the principal curcuminoid of turmeric, which is a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). Turmeric’s other two curcuminoids are desmethoxycurcumin and bis-desmethoxycurcumin. The curcuminoids are natural phenols responsible for the orange-yellow color of turmeric.
A survey of the literature shows that daily doses over a 3-month period of up to 12 grams are safe. However, several studies of curcumin efficacy and safety revealed poor absorption and low bioavailability.
Current clinical trials in humans are studying the effect of curcumin on various diseases, including multiple myeloma, pancreatic cancer, myelodysplastic syndromes, colon cancer, psoriasis, arthritis, major depressive disorder and Alzheimer’s disease.
The power of cooking with turmeric
Dr.Sukumar is a cancer doctor, but she is also a frequent user of turmeric in her cooking. She has acquired hands-on experience of how the substance curcumin (the active component in turmeric) can provide health benefits and how it can easily be put on your daily menu.
She uses it daily in her kitchen and has built a good portion of her professional reputation on touting the benefits of this powerful herbaceous (that is soft-stemmed) perennial plant.
“The health benefits are many, many. For example, for those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis (inflammation of the joints), those who have painful swelling (infection) in the knees, or those who suffer from diabetes turmeric is a great way to suppress the inflammation,” says Dr. Sukumar for A Woman’s Journey. “We have close to 300 publications (that cite turmeric) for its anti-cancer effects.
Many diseases, such as colon cancer and other types of cancer, are being traced to inflammation.” So, curcumin not only regulates inflammation which leads to certain types of cancer, but also cures certain types of cancer.
Natural News stated that curcumin actually seeks out malignant cancer cells and alters the regulation of DNA in order to kill them.
But, not all sources of curcumin are equal. As Dr. Sukumar points out, your body can get the most benefits when you spice your cooked dishes with it.
“The problem with the pill is that it is very insoluble in water,” said Dr. Sukumar. “The better way to take it, I feel, is to use it in your cooking very extensively. If you have any sauté, just sprinkle it in. The moment you heat oil and add turmeric to it, it becomes completely bio-available to you.”
Fortunately, turmeric is versatile. It has a mellow, smoky flavor despite its bright-yellow color. It tastes great in sautéed veggies of all kinds, and if you are a meat-eater, you can use it to make it healthier. Dr. Sukumar says she uses as little as ¼ to ½ teaspoon in her cooking, depending on the dish. But there is nothing wrong with using more of it in intensely flavored dishes like curry.
Here are 2 simple recipes with turmeric to rev up your metabolism and reduce cancer risk.
1. Sprouted Lentil Veggie Burger Recipe (dairy-free):
Makes 1-2 burgers
- 2 cups sprouted lentils
- 1 cooked sweet potato, mashed
- 2 tbsps. butter or coconut oil
- 3 tbsps. ground flax
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- Before making this recipe make sure you’ve sprouted the red lentils about 3 days prior.
- Cook the sweet potatoes by steaming them or by cooking in the oven. Remove the skin and mash.
- In a food processor combine ingredients and mix.
Form into patties and cook in a skillet with butter or oil on medium heat. After several minutes, when the bottom is browned, flip and cook the other side for several minutes.
Serve with cheese, avocado or other favorite toppings!
Anti-Inflammatory Frozen Watermelon Pineapple Smoothie Recipe
(Vegetarian, Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
We usually associate turmeric with savory dishes and don’t even think about putting it in a sweet dish.
Ripe red watermelon is a wonderful fruit to eat to protect your body against the effects of chronic inflammation.
Pineapple has a special enzyme called bromelain which helps promote healthy digestion by breaking down protein. Bromelain is also a potent anti-inflammatory that protects your body from the effects of chronic inflammation.
Makes 1 to 2 servings
- 2 cups frozen watermelon flesh, cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 cup frozen organic pineapple, cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 orange—peeled, white pith and seeds removed
- ½ cup organic coconut milk, preservative free
- 1½ cups organic coconut water, sugar free
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon organic turmeric powder
- 2-3 drops liquid stevia or 1 teaspoon raw honey (optional)
Place all ingredients in a high speed blender. Blend until smooth and frosty. Spoon into serving glasses and enjoy with a spoon or large straw.
Pairing turmeric with watermelon and pineapple seems like a very healthy fit and tastes delicious too.
So, give it a try!