Written by Sharon Lee
Unless you're completely tuned out of the world of health and wellness, you've probably heard all the craze around the "miraculous" healing properties of turmeric. In fact, turmeric is starting to outshine the coconut (gasp!), although the two work really well together. This post will highlight the amazing benefits of consuming turmeric daily and why this natural remedy truly is a superfood.
What is turmeric? Turmeric is a spice that stems from the same family as ginger and is used most recognizably in curry dishes. If you've never seen a whole turmeric, it looks very similar to a ginger root but with a deep orange color. Turmeric has long been used in Indian (and several other) cuisines. You can consume turmeric in its most accessible state, powder form, or as a supplement. For the benefits of turmeric to really take affect you will generally need to consume it in high dosages (you should check with your doctor).
The Benefits of Turmeric. Although there haven't been any significant studies done about the benefits of turmeric, clinical research has supported some of its promising effects. Of course, there are countless testimonials from people who also rave about the positive effects of adding a daily dose of turmeric. In general, curcumin, a substance found in turmeric, is a strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial agent with a significant number of health benefits. "In lab tests, curcumin seems to block the growth of certain kinds of tumors. One study showed that turmeric extract containing curcumin could -- in some cases -- stabilize colorectal cancer that wasn't helped by other treatments. But more research is needed. Other preliminary lab studies suggest that curcumin or turmeric might protect against types of skin diseases, Alzheimer's disease, colitis, stomach ulcers, and high cholesterol. Based on lab studies, turmeric and curcumin might also help treat upset stomach, scabies, diabetes, HIV, uveitis, and viral infections." (taken from WebMD). The powerful effects of turmeric can also hep prevent heart attacks and strokes by breaking up cholesterol. To read about the benefits of turmeric and how to incorporate it into your life, read here.
Turmeric alone is good, but turmeric in combination with certain foods is even better. Depending on the dosage ratios, black pepper significantly increases the bio availability of turmeric by 2000%! Also, turmeric is not water soluble so consuming it with coconut oil will increase its effect by allowing the turmeric to be directly absorbed into the bloodstream . This site really goes into how black pepper and turmeric work together and the benefits of daily consumption.
How do I consume turmeric? Ah, this is where Golden Milk comes into play. I recently learned about Golden Milk from a Mimi Ikonn vlog. Golden Milk is essentially a hot drink made with turmeric paste. I use 1 cup of almond milk, slowly warmed on the stove with 1.5 tablespoons of turmeric paste and some raw honey. Interested in making a batch of turmeric paste? You can make yourself a warm Golden Milk or use the paste in your smoothies or in any dish!
Ingredients for Turmeric Paste (recipe from Deep Roots at Home)
Combine the turmeric and water in a pan and turn the heat on low. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until your mixture becomes a thick paste (appx. 6-10 minutes). Don't worry if the paste seems too thick or too thin - the consistency changes after it cools down. Add the pepper and the coconut oil and keep stirring to ensure that all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Turn the heat off and let the paste cool completely. Store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Note: Please check with your doctor before incorporating turmeric into your routine. Turmeric does have some side effects and may not be safe for everyone.