The good news about turmeric just keeps growing. Besides giving food a spicy zing and bright yellow color (it’s one of the main ingredients in curry), turmeric’s active component, curcumin, offers substantial health benefits. Scientists tell us curcumin can keep us healthy by reducing inflammation and pain, fighting infections and treating digestive problems. Here are a few easy ways to add this potent disease-fighter to your diet.
Add to your daily supplements.
Turmeric gets an extra boost when combined with black pepper, which substantially increases turmeric’s bioavailability (i.e how well it’s absorbed by the body). Try turmeric and black pepper supplement combos—especially those made with whole food ingredients—for the best benefit, like New Chapter Turmeric Force Liquid Capsules or MegaFood Turmeric Strength for Whole Body.
Brew a beverage.
Turmeric tea is a simple, tasty way to get your daily curcumin. Just boil 2 cups of water and ½ teaspoon of ground or powdered turmeric spice (or 1 teaspoon fresh grated), simmer for 10 minutes and strain. Cool and pour over ice for a great iced tea, or drink warm with a little honey.
Another drinkable option: Golden Milk, which is an ancient Ayurvedic drink that balances all three doshas, especially in winter months, with a warming blend of milk (dairy or otherwise) and flavorful turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and pepper. Traditional recipes call for freshly grated turmeric, but powdered turmeric works fine, too. Here’s the basic recipe:
Heat 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or almond or soy milk)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh turmeric root
1-2 teaspoons peeled, grated fresh ginger
(if using powdered spices, use 1 teaspoon turmeric and ¼ teaspoon ginger).
Add 3 or 4 black peppercorns, cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
The liquid will be reduced to about 1 cup. Strain, sweeten with honey if desired and drink to your health!
Want an even easier way to drink up? Whisk Gaia Herbs’ new Golden Milk powdered supplement into a cup of warmed milk, then heat, stirring often, until mixture is quite warm but not boiling.
Turmeric can be added to soups, stews, casseroles and marinades for an earthy taste with aromas of orange and ginger (try this Turmeric Lemon Chicken recipe with a yummy turmeric, garlic and lemon marinade). Or when you whip up a batch of pumpkin, spice or corn muffins, add a teaspoon of turmeric powder for a pretty golden color and extra health benefits (or better yet, try it in these blueberry-granola breakfast muffins).
Spice up your smoothie.
A spoonful of Gaia Herbs Turmeric Boost Restore gives a chai-flavored twist to smoothies. With organic turmeric root powder, black pepper fruit extract and a prebiotic blend of warming spices like cardamom, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and vanilla, it’s a perfect cold weather boost.
Make Golden Honey to amp up your immune system.
At the first sign of a cold or flu, mix up a batch of Golden Honey by mixing 1 teaspoon turmeric and 7 teaspoons honey. Dissolve ½ teaspoon in your mouth every few hours to battle the bug and help speed up your body’s healing process.