If you have been keeping up with my blogs you should all know by now how much of a fan I am of “trends with benefits”. Turmeric, a close relative of ginger (another one of my favorites, check out my ginger blog), is another example of how a spice not only enhances the flavor of a dish but also enhances your overall well-being. I am sure this is not the first you are hearing of this trendsetting spice since Google named it the “breakout star” in their most recent Food Trends report. Turmeric has a vast amount of health benefits and the best part is you can put it in just about anything!
Turmeric’s most notable compound is curcumin which not only gives it the vibrant color but all of the related healthfulness as well. Studies have shown that incorporating turmeric in your diet has been known to help with inflammation, diabetes, high cholesterol, your immune system, skin wounds, weight management, Alzheimer’s, and digestion. With all of the benefits associated with turmeric, how could you not want to spice up your life with it?
For myself personally, I enjoy turmeric for the anti-inflammatory properties that come in handy after my more challenging workouts. It is important to remember that inflammation after a workout is not a bad thing, inflammation actually occurs in order to help the body deliver vital elements to our muscles so they can heal and recover from intense training. Turmeric is an important element because chances are if you workout like I do, you may have inflammation occur more often than not. If the inflammation doesn’t reduce fully before your next workout or strenuous activity, you are setting yourself up for potential muscle fatigue or even injury. This is where turmeric becomes essential. The curcumin in turmeric works on a cellular level and halts the gene responsible for inflammation, therefore letting you recover faster and continue with your routine.
Turmeric originated from Southern Asia and is most popularly associated with their cuisine. Now with all the buzz on this spice in the US and other countries worldwide, you are seeing turmeric being incorporated into many different cuisines and recipes. One thing to keep in mind is that turmeric is fat-soluble, meaning in order to get full absorption of all its amazing benefits it needs to be consumed with a fat. You can sprinkle a little on some avocado, dissolve in oil for a curry dish or season your sauteed vegetables with it, or my personal favorite, a paleo version of golden milk (see recipe below). Don’t forget to incorporate some black pepper with it as well. Black pepper’s main compound piperine helps the body absorb the curcumin before it metabolizes, therefore maximizing the benefits you can receive from turmeric.
Even though turmeric is “so hot right now” I have a feeling it will stick around for a while since the list of benefits keeps growing as more and more research is dedicated to this spice.
Golden Milk Recipe by paleohacks.com:
1 ½ cups non-dairy milk
½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ tbsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. turmeric
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. black pepper
- Add ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
- As the milk heats, whisk the ingredients until it becomes frothy and smooth (3-5 minutes).
- Simmer a few more minutes on low, then transfer to a cup and enjoy!