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Why You Should Eat Turmeric & How To Incorporate It

What if I told you there was food that was anti-aging, cancer preventative, mood boosting, anti-inflammatory and has been correlated with reversing many chronic diseases? Well guess what? This food exists, and it’s called Turmeric (latin name Curcumin). For those of you who aren’t culinary or herbal savvy, Turmeric is an orange root (technically a Rhizome) that is most notably used in Indian food and is the spice that makes yellow curry yellow.

This amazing root packs a huge health punch. I recommend it to just about all of my patients. Here are the top things I recommend turmeric for:

  • Inflammation: most modern chronic diseases are caused by inflammation, so just about everyone could use a little anti-inflammatory power for prevention to aid healing for their current ailments. Also pain = inflammation. The following inflammatory conditions have been shown to benefit from turmeric:

  • helpful in healing ulcers (1)

  • inflammatory bowel disease and colitis (2)

  • arthritis

  • inflammatory skin conditions: acne, eczema, psoriasis,

  • fatty liver (3)

  • leaky gut https (4)

  • Cancer prevention (5)

  • Heavy metal toxicity and detox (6)

  • Anti-aging: enough said.

One of the many things that I love about Turmeric is it’s incredibly accessible. Many grocery stores have the fresh root in the produce section. If they don’t, then you should at least be able to find ground turmeric in the spice section and/or turmeric tea in the tea aisle.

Another thing I love about Turmeric is that you can put it in just about anything without it being overbearing. The taste is unique, but you can hide it well even if you’re not a huge fan. My advice: start small. Add a dash here or there and work your way up.

How to use it:

The healing compounds in turmeric are best absorbed when paired with black pepper. So use them together!

When adding turmeric to food, you can really use either the fresh root or the ground. I generally use fresh root when I have it on hand, but keep powder as a back up.

Before you get started, keep in mind that turmeric is also used as a dye and it stains. Pretty much all of our dish towels have yellow turmeric stains, and I’ve ruined countless manicures grating turmeric (I guess it’s not so bad if you’re going for a yellow tinged topcoat).

Here are some of the things in which I incorporate turmeric:

  • Smoothies: add a dash of organic ground pepper or shred some of the fresh root

  • Soup: I put turmeric in anything from chili to lentil soup

  • Tacos: Add it with the other seasonings

  • Spaghetti sauce: this one sounds weird, but you honestly won’t even know it’s there. Try just adding a 1/2 teaspoon and, if you can tolerate it, then try a full teaspoon next time.

  • Curries: any time I cook Indian to Thai food I add it to the recipe. Even if it’s not called for.

  • Roasted veggies: I toss the veggies (it could be Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, etc.) in avocado oil then add turmeric power, pepper, pink salt. Bake at 420 until soft and, voila, you’ve got a delicious side.

  • Turmeric tea: use either a pre-made tea bag (Trader Joe’s has a delicious organic turmeric and ginger tea), or you can make you own tea by steeping sliced fresh turmeric and ginger, a cinnamon stick and a few peppercorns in boiled water. Let steep for 15 minutes, strain and drink.

What’s your favorite way to incorporate turmeric? Leave me a comment below!

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