In praise of turmeric, the magic yellow spice.
Two nutritionists that I worked with on my healthy eating book Eating Well Made Easy introduced me to the benefits of Turmeric. It is hard to believe that this ochre coloured spice could have such powerful properties. I have used it in a couple of my dishes as just an ingredient, but now I use it every day for its alleged medicinal properties, some of which I will list below. A while back I happened upon an article which was reporting on a study of the longevity of a group of people in an area of Japan. This place had the largest concentration of centenarians in the world. The researchers found that as well as eating lots of tofu, seaweed, grains and vegetables, the inhabitants of Okinawa consumed copious amounts of turmeric multiple times a day. The magic is in the Curcumin which is the potent compound within turmeric. I thought well that seems like a good thing and so have been eating it by the tsp load ever since. I have it in my green smoothie in the morning or in my protein shake. It is recommended to add a few twists of black pepper to the turmeric to increase the amount your body absorbs.
It’s far more scientific and wordy than that, but hopefully, I am giving you the general idea. You need turmeric + black pepper so that your body can absorb it well. I take about 3g of organic turmeric powder in my green juice with a few twists of black pepper. I then add in some ginger too to cover up the taste of everything.
Fresh turmeric is good to use also, but a little fiddly, not as easy to get. Plus it does stain the fingers. Someone on Instagram was concerned about getting yellow teeth if they were to have some turmeric tea. I explained that the way forward would be to use a straw, just in case and to rinse the mouth well after consumption.
I went to a gym recently and drank a delicious turmeric latte (pictured). The lady serving me looked very surprised when I asked her for some black pepper to add to it. “Wouldn’t you prefer to have some cinnamon dear? ” she asked “well, just for the fun of, it… you can put that in too” I replied. If you want to make a turmeric latte at home, I found this on Amazon, but I have not tried it myself yet.
To make turmeric tea, I pop a tsp or so of turmeric into a pan with 2-3 mug fulls of water. Bring this to the boil and then simmer it for a few minutes. Then add a good twist of black pepper and pour into a mug through a small strainer.
So what does turmeric do then?
- Good anti-inflammatory
- Can help upset tummies
- Can help with IBS
- Can help with bloating
- Is being heavily researched regarding its ability to treat or prevent cancer
- Can help with headaches
- Can help with bronchitis
- Is a powerful anti-oxidant
And dozens more benefits. So as studies are done on this to find out just how beneficial it is, I like to keep drinking it as it only takes a second to add to things. As with all new stuff, contacting your doctor before launching into any new way of eating is often advisable. (my disclaimer there). Of course you can just add turmeric to your cooking if you are not feeling drinking the stuff.
Let me know how you get on with your turmeric tea! #eatlivebalance on social media if you make it with your picture so I can see your beautiful creations! Have a lovely day. Big love Lorraine x
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