Turmeric is a popular spice from India that has been valuable in culinary, medicinal, and personal care applications for many centuries. You may also hear this spice referred to as curcumin. Its active ingredient is curcuminoid, which is the compound that gives the spice its sunny yellow color and astounding health benefits.
Because turmeric is derived from the root of the turmeric plant (Curcuma longa), the exact amount of benefits delivered vary depending upon the type of plant from which it is derived (medicinal or aromatic) and the way the product is processed.
Unprocessed, raw turmeric root always delivers more benefits than dried turmeric powder. Nonetheless, any type of turmeric delivers some benefits, and it is always smart to add it to your diet.
In this article, we will share information that will help you add this health-giving spice to your daily diet in many enjoyable ways. Read on to learn more about the health benefits of turmeric and how you can reap them.[toc]
How Does Turmeric Help You?
Indian and Chinese medicine have widely used turmeric for many centuries. Today, it is being recommended more and more frequently by Western medical practitioners as a daily health safeguard and as a support for Western style treatments.
According to numerous clinical studies and years of dedicated research conducted by doctors and scientists in both western and eastern labs, curcumin possesses powerful antiseptic, analgesic, antioxidant, and natural anti-inflammatory properties.
The powerful anti-inflammatory properties of this spice have been proven to be extremely effective against the pain and inflammation caused by any illness. In fact, in measured doses, turmeric even helps ease the pain of ulcers and ulcerative colitis.
Turmeric can help ease digestive issues because it stimulates the gallbladder. This results in the production of more bile, which can assist in digestion. For this reason, turmeric is approved by the German equivalent of the FDA for use as a treatment for digestive difficulties.
Because inflammation is a painful aspect of many chronic diseases, it is easy to see that adding curcumin to your daily diet can be helpful in treating symptoms of any pain-producing ailment ranging from chronic acne to rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, adding turmeric to your daily diet can bring a tremendous amount of relief for pain caused by musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis and bursitis.
Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties have been credited with blocking the formation of a substance known as beta-amyloid. This is what causes the buildup of plaque in the brain that marks the development of Alzheimer’s, a condition that is almost non-existent in India where turmeric is regularly consumed.
Other illnesses that are quite uncommon in India are cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Studies have proven the link between a high turmeric diet and the absence of these diseases. Turmeric curcumin are also included in Budwig diet which an effective complementary protocol that helps prevent and treat cancer.
Because turmeric is a powerful antioxidant, adding it to your daily diet can help protect you against all means of cancers and help you lose weight. If you are recovering from cancer, adding turmeric supplements to your daily diet will support any therapy you are undergoing.
Smart Ways to Get More Turmeric
Here are some ways to add turmeric to your diet. In India, turmeric is a natural part of the daily diet and healthy eating. It is the main ingredient in curry dishes, which are a staple in traditional Indian foods. Curries naturally combine turmeric, black pepper, and a host of other health-giving spices and healthy oils. If you enjoy curry dishes, you can feel good about indulging yourself. In fact, all the spice products included in a good curry mix are beneficial to your health.
If curry dishes are too hot and spicy for you, try preparing curry recipes using turmeric instead of the curry mix. This can produce a tasty, milder alternative. Just be sure to include a pinch of black pepper and a teaspoonful of healthy oil (e.g. coconut oil) to help enhance absorption of the curcumin.
In addition to curries, you can enjoy turmeric in tea and in a delicious treat called Golden Milk. Here are some quick and easy turmeric recipes.
In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, Golden Paste is frequently prescribed as a daily tonic and as a go-to medication for soothing a variety of ailments. It is easy and inexpensive to make and keep on hand. It can be used as the base for tasty, health-giving “Golden Milk”, and it makes a suitable addition to several other dishes.
The paste is a mixture of turmeric powder, black pepper, and coconut oil that, when combined, add up to a synergistic powerhouse.
Even though turmeric alone is a healthy addition to any diet, combining it with black pepper can boost the bioavailability of turmeric benefits by as much as 2000 percent. Coconut oil has its own valuable healing properties, and adding oil to turmeric also helps improve its absorption.
Adding this 4000-year-old recipe to your daily diet provides excellent immune system support and can help heal what ails you by reducing overall inflammation caused by arthritis, digestive problems, skin ailments, cancer, and more.
To make Golden Paste, you’ll need:
- Half a cup of powdered turmeric
- 8-12 ounces of purified water
- Half a tablespoon of black pepper
- Five tablespoonsful of coconut oil
Here’s what you’ll do:
- Measure the turmeric powder into a saucepan over a burner set at low heat, and gradually stir in the water until you get a paste-like consistency. You may not need to use the full 12 ounces of water. Stop adding water when you have arrived at the consistency you desire.
- Heat and stir for about 8 minutes and then add the coconut oil and black pepper. Continue to stir constantly for another minute or two and then remove the mixture from the heat.
- You can keep this mixture in a container with a tight-fitting lid in your refrigerator for up to 14 days. To use it, you can simply take a teaspoon of turmeric mixture daily as a tonic or use it as an ingredient in Golden Milk, soups, sauces, curries, smoothies, and more.
What Is Golden Milk?
You can enjoy Golden Milk several times a day, and it is a delightful and simple way to get your daily dose of turmeric. There are lots of different Golden Milk recipes, and you can create your own by adding your unique adjustments and tweaks. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Basic Golden Milk Recipe W/Turmeric Paste
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Organic, raw, unfiltered honey for taste
- A cup of milk (dairy, coconut or almond milk)
- A quarter teaspoonful of turmeric paste
- A teaspoonful of coconut oil
- Honey to taste
Here’s what you’ll do:
- Place all the ingredients except honey in a saucepan over low heat. Warm the mixture gradually, stirring constantly until the coconut oil and turmeric paste have melted and blended into the mixture.
- Be careful not to boil the mixture as heat can damage the benefits of the ingredients. When a few tiny bubbles begin to form around the edges of the mixture, it is ready to serve. Pour it into a cup and add honey to your liking.
Easy Golden Milk Recipes
If making Golden Paste seems like too much trouble for you, you can still enjoy a tasty, healthy cup or two of Golden Milk every day.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A half tsp of dried turmeric or a 1-inch piece of unpeeled turmeric root sliced thin
- A half tsp of dried ginger or a half-inch piece of unpeeled root sliced thin
- A pinch of dried pepper powder or a quarter tsp of dried peppercorns
- A half tsp of dried cinnamon or a 3-inch cinnamon stick
- One cup of milk (dairy or nut)
- One cup of filtered water
- A tablespoonful of honey
- A tbsp. of coconut oil
Here’s what you’ll do:
In a small saucepan, combine the water and all the other ingredients except the honey. Warm gradually over medium heat, whisking constantly to combine. Bring the mixture to a low boil and then reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes (stirring frequently).
Pour the mixture through a fine-meshed strainer or a coffee filter. Add honey to taste. Dust with cinnamon powder if desired. Enjoy!
If using dairy milk, you may wish to whisk the water and spices together first and bring this mixture to a low boil for a minute or so before slowly adding the milk. Boiling helps reduce the bitterness of the turmeric extract and helps make its health benefits more available to you, but you want to avoid bringing dairy milk to a full boil.
Once you have added the turmeric milk to the water and spices, heat the mixture on low to medium heat, stirring constantly until bubbles begin to form around the sides of the pan.
Alternately, if you have trouble getting the powdered spices to blend in thoroughly, you may wish to use your blender for part of the process as demonstrated in this video.
Quick Microwave Alternative
If you are not averse to using a microwave, you can use this very quick recipe.
- In a large (8-12 ounces) mug, measure:
- Half a teaspoonful of turmeric powder
- Half a teaspoonful of powdered ginger
- A pinch of powdered black pepper
- A dash of salt
- Pour in just a little bit of the milk of your choice and stir with a fork to blend the spices thoroughly. Once the spices are blended, gradually fill the mug with milk, stirring as you do.
- Warm the milk on high in the microwave for one minute. Stir and test the temperature of the beverage by tasting or using your fingertip. If it is not warm enough, heat for another minute or 30 seconds. Stir and test. If needed, continue to heat in increments until the desired temperature is reached. Stir after each warming.
- Note that it is very important to heat in increments and to stir because this will help prevent boiling over. You do not want to heat the milk to the boiling point. Just heat it to the point at which it is hot and still comfortable to drink.
- Once your milk is the temperature you desire, add a teaspoonful of coconut oil and honey to taste. Although this version is probably not as beneficial as slowly simmered stovetop versions, it’s a nice alternative that you can prepare in the break room at work or in other situations where you may have limited time and resources.
In Japan, people enjoy turmeric by drinking copious amounts of Turmeric Tea. This habit is touted as being responsible for the fact that people in Okinawa live longer than most others on the face of the earth and suffer from few inflammatory illnesses. Drinking Turmeric Tea is a convenient way to take your daily dose of turmeric, and it’s very easy to make.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 cups of filtered water (boiling)
- A pinch of ground, black pepper
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat. Gradually add the dried spices, stirring constantly with a whisk to blend. Simmer the mixture for ten minutes. Remove from heat and add honey and/or lemon to suit your taste. Pour through a fine-meshed strainer or a coffee filter and enjoy.
- Please note that you can alter the amounts of the ingredients or even leave out the ginger if you wish. Be sure to keep in the black pepper, though. It is filled with essential nutrients, such as vitamin K, iron, and manganese. Additionally, it is vital in enhancing the bioavailability of the health benefits provided by turmeric.
Do the Best You Can To Enjoy Turmeric & Be Creative!
There is a difference between medicinal curcumin or curcumin supplements and dietary turmeric. If you are going to reap your curcumin benefits through turmeric, you’ll need to consume quite a bit, so be creative!
While it is perfectly acceptable to use dried spices for all the recipes presented here, if you can get fresh turmeric and ginger roots, you are sure to enjoy the fuller, richer flavors and the naturally added benefits of using fresh ingredients as opposed to dried. If you are not, simply do the best you can with powdered spices. They are very beneficial to your health, too!
You can add turmeric to your diet in many ways. It is an excellent addition to any egg or poultry dish, beans, rice, and veggies. If you like spicy foods, try using curry mix in your Golden Milk and Turmeric Tea recipes.
Turmeric supplements in capsule form are also available in the market. They contain the same amount of anti-inflammatory effects which is needed by the body for healing.
The many beneficial effects of turmeric and curcumin are well documented through both clinical research and anecdotal evidence. This time-honored tonic has been likened to an entire pharmacy of nutrients that work together in perfect harmony to reduce inflammation and pain, regulate blood sugar and prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, many people use turmeric for weight loss due to its astounding effect.. Adding tasty turmeric (fresh or dried) to your daily health routine is a total win in every way.