The herb turmeric has been getting a lot of attention recently. Everywhere I turn, there is another article about the health benefits of this amazing spice! There is good reason for this. Turmeric has been used not only for cooking, but also medicinally, for thousands of years. It has just been recently that the Western world have started to see the benefits of this herb, and the health benefits are many. GreenMedInfo even has an article about 600 reasons why turmeric may be the world’s most important herb.
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Now, let’s get started!
A Little Info on Turmeric
Turmeric’s most well known health benefit is for having powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin, the primary polyphenol in turmeric, is being widely studied and shows a lot of promise in helping a wide range of health conditions. If you do a PubMed search, you will find TONS of research on curcumin and/or turmeric. These will be all peer-reviewed studies and the summaries are all free for public access. At the time of this writing, I found a total of close to 9,000 studies! That said, I believe that whole foods are better, so I prefer to use turmeric as a whole spice, rather than just the one isolated compound in a supplement.
Because of the research I have been doing on turmeric, I decided to start incorporating more of it into my diet. While I often ate turmeric in curry (it is one of the primary ingredients in curries and Indian dishes), I never really consumed it much other than that. I have a humongous bag that I just purchased recently, so I have lots to use up. Might as well start eating it! Here are the ways I have started using it:
- Add it to my soup. I eat soup for lunch every day. I add a couple teaspoons to my soup, along with a couple tablespoons of coconut oil. Turmeric works better when it is consumed with some sort of fat. Also, using turmeric with black pepper enhances the bioavailability of the spice.
- Sprinkle it over baked chicken, steak, roasts, veggies, salads, etc. UH-MAZING!
- Make tea out of it. Sounds weird, but mixed with lemon and ginger, it’s not half bad.
As some of you know, I am working towards getting my autoimmune disease under control. One thing that comes hand-in-hand with autoimmune disease is inflammation. And, as we are all learning, inflammation really is at the root of all disease. Most of us, even those without an autoimmune disease, have chronic inflammation caused simply by living in the world we do today. We are constantly bombarded with toxins, GMOs, poor quality food, EMFs, and lots of stress. All of these can lead to inflammation, and in many cases, you won’t even know you have it!
But, from the sounds of it, turmeric could be one powerful ally in our fight against inflammation. Eating it through our food (along with some fat and black pepper) is the best way to incorporate it into our diets. Raw turmeric is going to be ideal, if you can find it, but high-quality, organic dried turmeric is good too. Check your Asian markets for fresh turmeric. I see it all the time at the ones around here. Make sure you check out the bottom of this post for some recipe ideas and information on where to source high-quality organic turmeric.
21 Health Benefits of Turmeric
According to research and anecdotal data, turmeric may offer the following benefits:
- Reduce inflammation in the body (which can help overall health, as well as specific diseases like arthritis, heart disease, and more)
- Cancer inhibiting properties (in a wide variety of cancers)
- Destroy multi-drug resistant cancers and cancer stem cells (it operates on a cellular DNA level!)
- Powerful antioxidant, helping us fight free-radical damage.
- Protect from radiation damage
- Protect the liver from damage.
- Reduce the levels of heterocyclic amines (carcinogenic compounds that are formed when meats are barbecued, boiled, or fried).
- Antiseptic / antibacterial properties
- Immune system booster
- Metabolism booster (weight loss benefits)
- Help prevent or alleviate Alzheimer’s symptoms
- Help protect against heavy metal toxicity
- Help treat depression
- Help protect the heart from plaque build-up
- Help treat diabetes
- Help improve circulation and thin the blood
- Help improve digestion
- Help improve skin health (from elasticity to skin flora)
- Help female reproductive systems and PMS
- Support healthy skeletal and joint systems
- Help improve eye health
How Do I Get More Turmeric Into my Diet?
The easiest way to get more into your diet is to start adding it to your foods, or make teas and other beverages from it. I prefer this way first and foremost. If you want to take it in supplement form, do your research and make sure you only get supplements with 100% organic ingredients and no fillers or other additives. Some people report that the supplements work well, others have reported that they don’t work, so like anything, it will vary from person to person. Keep in mind that on the whole, the actual spice is going to be waaaaay cheaper than supplements. You can usually find fresh turmeric at your local Ethnic market and sometimes health food stores. You can also purchase online from a variety of places. For information on where to purchase high-quality organic herbs and spices, visit my resources page here.
Here are some ideas on how to add more turmeric to your diet:
Autumn Veggie Bake with Turmeric from Studio Botanica
Turmeric Lime Soda from It Takes Time
Turmeric Tea from Nature Had it First
Ginger Turmeric Tea from Home Grown and Healthy
Ginger Turmeric Tea from Studio Botanica
Pain Relieving Turmeric Juice from So Let’s Hang Out
Nature’s Flu Shot by Health Extremist
Paleo Turmeric Scones by Grok Club
Turmeric Apple Chips by South Beach Primal
Curried Chicken by Red and Honey
Healthy Condiments from Nourishing Joy
Real Food Mac-n-Cheese from The Simple Moms
Here are 10 more amazing turmeric recipes from Healy Real Food Vegetarian
Do you use turmeric? Have you had any notable experiences with it? Leave a comment below!
“The Spice that Supports Your Body’s Astonishing Immune System” | Mercola.com
“600 Reasons Turmeric May Be The World’s Most Important Herb” | GreenMedInfo.com
“Health benefits of turmeric” | The Times of India
“Turmeric Health Benefits: Have a Happy New Year With Turmeric” | Dr. Andrew Weil
“The amazing health benefits of turmeric” | Mother Nature Network
“Turmeric” | GreenMedInfo.com
“Science Confirms Turmeric As Effective As 14 Drugs“ | GreenMedInfo.com
“Is Your Period the Pits? Get Real Relief with this Amazing Natural Remedy” | Whole New Mom and Nature Had It First
“Super Spice Turmeric” | Mindful Meals
“The Most Powerful Food Combinations” | Men’s Health
“Dosage and Method: Turmeric” | The Epicurean Digest
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