Updated: Oct 23, 2020
Chances are you have heard of Turmeric. Not only does it have unbelievable health benefits as an anti-inflammatory, but it also works well in a variety of recipes. I take a turmeric supplement every day as part of my healthy habits. In this blog post, you'll learn:
Why is turmeric good for you?
Turmeric supplement benefits
What does turmeric taste like?
Turmeric recipes to try
WHY IS TURMERIC GOOD FOR YOU?
Turmeric is a spice that has long been used in traditional Indian culture. In fact, if you've eaten curry, then you have had turmeric. Turmeric gives curry its yellow color.
Turmeric is well known as an herbal medicine used for rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory conditions, sinusitis, improve blood circulation, digestive health issues, reduce gas and bloating, skin cancer, small pox, chicken pox, wound healing, urinary tract infections, and liver ailments. With so many health benefits, turmeric may be the most powerful herb you aren't taking.
Gut health, immune health and liver health are very popular topics so let's look a little deeper into how turmeric is good for each of these areas.
Turmeric plays an important role in digesting that food. Because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric contributes to healthy digestion. It’s used in ayurvedic medicine as a digestive healing agent.
Western medicine has begun to study how turmeric can help with gut inflammation and gut permeability, two measures of your digestive efficiency. Turmeric is even being explored as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome.
Turmeric stimulates the stomach to produce more gastric acid. If you have low stomach acid, turmeric is an appropriate natural solution to help your body digest food better. While this helps some people’s digestion, it may hurt others. (Source: Medical News Today)
Never before has our immune system health been so important. Taking care of the immune system is a double whammy. We need to first take care of the gut because 70% of our immune system is found in the gut.
The immune system is very complex and crucial for our body to fight viruses, colds and flu's. Turmeric has anti-bacterial properties and is a powerful antioxidant. This means it can help reduce the symptoms of a cold, virus or flu. Turmeric won't prevent getting a cold, virus or flu. But neither will a vaccine.
The liver is probably the second most important organ (in my opinion) in the body. The liver's main job is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body. The liver also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. As it does so, the liver secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines. The liver also makes proteins important for blood clotting and other functions. (Source: WebMD)
The question becomes: is turmeric good for your liver? In general, turmeric is safe for the liver. There are studies that suggest turmeric can help reduce inflammation in the liver. One study showed a curcumin diet significantly reduced bile duct blockage and curbed liver cell (hepatocyte) damage and scarring (fibrosis) by interfering with several chemical signaling pathways involved in the inflammatory process. (Source: Science Daily)
TURMERIC SUPPLEMENT BENEFITS
The good news is you can take a turmeric supplement to gain the health benefits listed above as well as to solve many others. The use of turmeric as a spice and as a household remedy has been known to be safe for centuries. To date, no studies in either animals or humans have discovered any toxic effects associated with the use of turmeric and it is clear that turmeric is not toxic even at very high doses. (Source: National Institutes of Health)
Turmeric supplements are available as a powder, capsule, gummy and even as tinctures. It's a good thing turmeric supplements come in all types of forms because if you want to experience the full beneficial effects, it would be hard to get it just by using the cooking spice alone. You need to take a supplement that contains significant amounts of curcumin, which is the active ingredient in turmeric.
Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine, a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2,000%. The best curcumin supplements contain piperine, substantially increasing their effectiveness. (Source: Healthline)
I often get asked the question: How much turmeric should should I take? Studies typically use doses of 500–2,000 mg of turmeric per day. (Source: Healthline) It will depend on your current health and if you are trying to resolve a health problem. If you are generally healthy without health conditions, 500 mg a day would be enough.
As I mentioned, turmeric supplements are great for resolving a lot of health concerns. But while turmeric supplements are supportive for a healthy body, getting to the root cause is very important. Without understanding what is causing your health issue, any treatment will simply be a band aid.
Getting to the root cause on your own can be confusing and difficult to figure out. But I am here to help!
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WHAT DOES TURMERIC TASTE LIKE?
Turmeric has a very distinct taste. This spice is mildly aromatic, giving off light scents of both ginger and orange. Its flavor is earthy, bitter, and pungent. To those with particularly refined palettes or specific sensitivity to the flavor of ginger tend to note gingery undertones to this spice as well. (Source: Spiceography)
The taste of turmeric can take sometime to get used to. This is another reason why I take a supplement. However, I do not take turmeric gummies. Turmeric gummies tend not to have black pepper as part of the ingredient list. As I mentioned earlier, black pepper helps increase the effectiveness of turmeric.
Now that you've learned about how powerful turmeric is for our health, I've found some great recipes to share. But don't think you have to follow a recipe to take advantage of adding turmeric to your cooking routine. Turmeric is great to sprinkle into soups, use in homemade salad dressings, mixed into white rice with black pepper and butter (or ghee), or as part of a veggie stir-fry. To get to the recipe, simply click on the name of the recipe.
Anti-inflammatory Turmeric Smoothie From Happy Healthy Mama. This smoothie proves how delicious turmeric can be when paired with ginger, mango and pineapple. Perfect for a healthy breakfast on the go or afternoon snack.
Turmeric Scones From Fresh Planet Flavor. These scones are paleo friendly and just plain delicious. What a great way to start the day!
Turmeric Rice Bowl From A Couple Cooks. This is a great example of how to incorporate turmeric into a simple dish. Add more veggies for a perfect plant-based dinner or make the recipe as is for a side dish. Either way you can't go wrong.
Cauliflower Steaks From The Kitchn. Another great Meatless Monday idea with Turmeric or can be a simple side dish.
Spiced Kale Scramble From Healy Eats Real. What I love about this recipe is instead of eggs, tofu crumbles or soy-free crumbles can be used to make it vegan. However, if you like eggs, they would work well in this recipe.
Turmeric Tea Recipe From Down Shiftology. This turmeric tea recipe is a great way to soothe the body while getting the health benefits of turmeric. The tea uses ground turmeric, which is easily found in the spice section of any grocery store. Make sure to strain it well to avoid that gritty feeling of the powder.
I hope you enjoyed learning more about why turmeric is good for you. It is a spice that has been studied for treating a lot of health conditions and is safe to use. While turmeric is a great supplement to take every day, if you aren't getting to the root cause of your health condition, it will just be a band aid. Working with a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, such as myself, can help you get healthy so you can stop suffering and get back to living.
Do you think you will add turmeric to your healthy routine? Let me know by leaving a comment below.