Spice up your life with this golden Ayurvedic super spice: Turmeric. This brightly coloured relative of ginger has been used as a natural remedy for centuries in India and China. Curcumin, the main component inside turmeric is responsible for an abundance of health benefits. So next time you go to the supermarket, head over to the spice aisle and fill up your spice rack with this ancient superfood.
What are the benefits?
Turmeric can treat digestive problems such as bloating, digestive tract inflammation, and can also help with reduction of gas. For people suffering from Inflammatory Bowl Disease, curcumin can dramatically improve their condition by healing the gut, reducing the swelling, and supporting the growth of good bacteria (probiotics).
Helps heal wounds
Next time you accidentally burn yourself whilst cooking or cut your finger chopping vegetables, turn to turmeric to help treat your wound! Turmeric contains a wide range of antiviral and antibacterial properties making it a natural antiseptic agent, therefore it can be used as an effective disinfectant to help speed up the healing process.
Curcumin is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and pain reducing characteristics. Scientists tell us that it can have the same effects as Tylenol or Ibuprofen, it is just much safer on our bodies!
Balances blood sugar levels
Adding this natural herb to your diet can help with diabetes. It lowers blood sugar levels and reverses insulin resistance. A study discovered that this earthly spice is literally 400 times more potent than the common diabetes drug used to help reverse Type 2 diabetes! However, be aware that when turmeric is combined with strong medications, it can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia).
Helps with your mood
This miracle spice is nutritional gold for your brain, mental health, and overall well being. Studies have shown that depression, anxiety, and mood swings can be tamed by adding turmeric to your daily diet. It impacts depression by reducing brain inflammation and acting as a natural anti-depressant. Inflammation leads to changes in the brain’s ability to properly regulate hormones, produce serotonin (our body’s natural mood stabiliser), and to regenerate brain cells. Believe it or not: curcumin deals with all of these problem areas all at once!
Loosens stiff joints
Not only does its anti-inflammatory properties help with arthritis; alleviating pain and stiffness in the joints, but it also helps destroys free radicals in the body that damage cells. Many patients prefer using this natural remedy since it does not pose unpleasant side effects like most of the prescribed medications.
Retain Beta-carotene in foods
The use of turmeric can help retain the beta-carotene in certain foods. Beta-carotene, the orange pigment found in fruits and vegetables, is converted into Vitamin A – which gives us healthy skin, immune system, and good eye health. Therefore, the nutrients are retained when vegetables like carrots and pumpkins are cooked with turmeric.
Tip: To get the full effects of this natural spice, remember to add a pinch of black pepper to it. Black pepper contains “piperine” which has been proven to increase the absorption of turmeric into the body.
How to use it?
You can literally add this spice to anything you cook - meats, vegetables, eggs, soups, and even to boiling water when making pasta or rice!
These are great to take with you if you travel often. A daily dose of 500mg is recommended in capsule form. You can find these supplements in any pharmacy or health foods store.
You can buy them here:
This is one of the easiest ways to use and store turmeric. Make your own creamy paste by mixing these basic ingredients: turmeric, black pepper, coconut oil, and water. Blend the paste into your morning smoothie, a glass of warm milk, a bowl of soup, or even to your rice.
Start off your day with a turmeric smoothie (recipe below) or even add 1/4 teaspoon of the powder to a glass of hot water, squeeze in some lemon and honey for more flavour!
Check out this delicious Turmeric Smoothie recipe!
Published on Qatar Happening, July issue 2017.