The bright orange color of ground turmeric is highly recognizable and has been used in cooking for centuries. A relative of ginger, turmeric is one of the main spices in curry and is one of the healthiest ways to add flavor.
The compound in turmeric that produces the vibrant color is called Curcumin. Curcumin has strong anti-inflammatory effects and is a powerful antioxidant.
Studies have shown health benefits from adding turmeric to your diet from easing heartburn symptoms to fighting cancer and potentially improving overall memory in Alzheimer's patients. The Huffington Post did a wonderful job summarizing some of the most relevant studies to show 6 Health Benefits of Turmeric.
For me personally, some of the most exciting research on curcumin that is still underway has shown a potential ability of curcumin to block the development of melanoma in the laboratory and cause existing melanoma cells to die. However, more human clinical trials will still need to be completed.
Mind Body Green has also compiled a wonderful list of 25 potential health benefits of this "Golden Spice."1. Turmeric is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
6. Turmeric is a natural liver detoxifier.
7. Turmeric may prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.
14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
20. Turmeric may help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
...Read the full article here.
Here are some wonderful ways to incorporate more turmeric into your life:
1. Make Turmeric Tea
Dr. Andrew Weil recommends this simple way to use turmeric – Just bring 1 cup of water to a boil and then stir in ¼ teaspoon of ground turmeric or fresh grated turmeric. Allow it to simmer for 10 minutes and strain before drinking. You can stir in honey or fresh lemon juice for added flavor.
Trader Joe's also sells an Organic Turmeric & Ginger Tea that is delicious!
2. Add it as a spice to almost any dish
I love to sprinkle turmeric it on my Avocado Toast and add it to my smoothies!
3. Use turmeric mixtures as topical treatments for strains, sprains and inflammatory skin conditions.
Mix ground turmeric with water, coconut oil, almond oil or sesame oil and apply to the affected area for 15 minutes. Warning: this topical mixture will temporarily stain the skin orange, so please take caution when using on areas of the body that are visible or not easily covered.
PLEASE NOTE, with every good thing there are also risks. Turmeric does interact with certain medications and medical conditions, such as slowing the bloods ability to clot. Do not start any therapy or supplement without speaking to your healthcare professional to make sure that this will not interact with any condition or anything you are currently taking.