Turmeric has been making headlines lately as an important addition to a healthy diet. It is now being featured more often in smoothies, juices, and even lattes! Although turmeric has been prevalent in Indian cuisine for centuries its benefits are now being seen and embraced by Western medicine.
Why Turmeric is Good for You
Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin. Curcumin is special because it targets a multitude of biochemical pathways in the body, leading to a variety of different effects when it is consumed. Most prescription drugs don’t have the ability to affect multiple pathways, which makes the properties of turmeric extra valuable as it can solve a lot of issues all at once.
The Health Benefits of Turmeric
Curcumin (as well as other properties within turmeric) has been shown to have positive results in preventing or reducing:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Heart disease
- Several types of cancer
- Free radicals
- Symptoms of depression or anxiety
The big item is inflammation as it is the key component that is prevalent in almost all modern day health issues, and also linked to all other items on this list. Inflammation isn’t just what you feel in aching joints, but it is the body’s basic response to working towards healing itself, from attacking viruses and bacteria to repairing damaged tissues and wounds.
How to Incorporate Turmeric into Your Diet
You can always use supplements (be sure any product you purchase is from a reputable brand), however cooking with turmeric is fun and easy! Use ground turmeric powder or buy whole turmeric root in the produce section of your grocery. It looks a lot like ginger root, just smaller and more orange colored.
To use more turmeric every day, simply add 1 tablespoon to:
- Your morning smoothie. (Try this Mango, Turmeric, and Lemon Smoothie – yum!)
- A hummus recipe.
- Any Indian-style dish, such as curried vegetables over rice.
- A stir-fry recipe!
- Chicken, as a marinade.
- A healthy Turmeric Tea recipe.
- Warm almond or coconut milk, with 1 teaspoon of maple syrup.
No matter how you use it, turmeric is a beneficial addition to any healthy diet. Although over-the-counter drugs for inflammation may be better for quickly aiding a headache, turmeric is the best choice for long-term pain management, preventative care, and overall wellness.