We’re all familiar with that rich, golden colour and fragrant scent that accompanies a delicious bowl of curry. But turmeric is more than just a sensory spice. It also comes with a long list of health benefits that have been known for over 4,000 years. The good news is you don’t have to stick to eating curry to get your turmeric in. There are many other tasty ways you can add it to other foods and beverages and get the same healthy results.
A bit of background
Turmeric is generally known as a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants roam through the body and seek out and fight free radicals (unstable molecules) which are cell membrane and DNA destroyers. 1 Free radicals have a hand in the aging process and the perpetuation of disease. Eating antioxidant-rich foods keep this free radical fighting process going even though you’re not aware of it, it’s extremely important.
Are curcumin and turmeric the same thing?
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It’s extracted from the turmeric root, used in supplements and known for its effective anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Curcumin is also effective in preventing platelets from sticking together to form blood clots.
Turmeric in food is considered safe. Supplements containing turmeric and curcumin are also safe, as long as you follow the recommended dosages. If you’re diabetic, know that this medicinal herb can cause hypoglycemia if taken with diabetes medications. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid taking turmeric supplements. Also, stop taking turmeric two weeks before any surgery as it can act as a blood thinner.
Before you start, make sure to protect your clothes, countertops and dishware from yellow staining turmeric can leave behind.
Replace your hot cocoa with this antioxidant, anti-inflammatory rich beverage that soothes colds and sore throats, too!
1 – 11/2 inch piece of peeled and grated turmeric root
1 – 11/2 inch piece of peeled and grated ginger
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup unsweetened almond, cashew or coconut milk
1 pinch ground cinnamon (if desired)
1 pinch ground turmeric (if desired)
Mix grated turmeric root, ginger root and honey together in a bowl and crush together as much as possible. Heat milk in saucepan on medium-low. When small bubbles form around edges, reduce heat to low.
Take 2 tablespoons of heated milk and add it to turmeric, ginger and honey mixture. Stir and let mixture soften into a paste. Add paste to sauce pan, increase temperature again to medium low, and stir until heated and fully combined.
Pour into a mug and top with ground cinnamon and/or ground turmeric.
*Add one fluid ounce brewed espresso to turn beverage into a turmeric latte
Use this tasty broth as a base for your favourite vegetable or noodle soups or just sip it on its own for an antioxidant abundant and detoxifying meal.
1 tablespoon ground turmeric or 3 teaspoons finely grated fresh turmeric
1 tablespoon olive or grape seed oil
4 cups water or vegetable or chicken broth
2 carrots peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
5 black peppercorns (black pepper aids in turmeric absorption)
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Heat oil in saucepan and add turmeric, stir for one minute. Add remaining ingredients and salt to taste. Simmer for 30 – 40 minutes and strain. Drink as is or add some of your favourite soup ingredients.
Keep this mixture in your cupboard and take at the first signs of a cough or cold.
100 grams of organic honey plus 1 tbsp of turmeric powder.
Mix and keep in a glass jar until needed. On day one of cold symptoms, take ½ tsp every hour during the day. On day two, ½ tsp every two hours during the day, and on day three, ½ tsp every three hours.
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