Today’s post is a simple introduction to one of the world’s healthiest spices, turmeric.
Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant. This plant grows well in South Asia and is used throughout the region. In particular, turmeric is often used to help impart the warm, peppery flavors of Indian food. I dig Indian food. The rich, aromatic, deep flavors of the curries, the fluffy, crisp naan bread, the creamy yogurts, the vividly colorful sauces…I could go on and on.
Turmeric can be used in place of saffron to add that distinctive golden color to chicken or rice dishes. If you don’t love the flavor of cumin but dig Indian style cuisine, turmeric can be substituted in equal amounts. A sprinkle of turmeric is splendid boost to foods like pinto beans, peppers and onions.
Perhaps the most exciting facet of turmeric is not its flavor or color, but its health properties. In a previous post, I briefly mentioned curcumin, which is the main compound that comprises the spice. Turmeric has long been used in traditional medicine, and current clinical trials are promising. Curcumin is being studied in Alzheimer’s patients, cancer treatments, people with liver problems and several other health issues. It has also been demonstrated to be a safe and effective anti-inflammatory.
If you’ve over-indulged in a food that hasn’t agreed with your belly, turmeric has also been proven to reduce the symptoms of indigestion.
From Mother Nature Network:
“Natalie Kling, a Los Angeles-based nutritionist, says she first learned about the benefits of turmeric while getting her degree from the Natural Healing Institute of Neuropathy. “As an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiseptic, it’s a very powerful plant,” she says.
Kling recommends it to clients for joint pain and says that when taken as a supplement, it helps quickly. She advises adding turmeric to food whenever possible and offers these easy tips. “Raw is best,” she said. “Sprinkling it on vegetables or mixing it into dressings is quick and effective.”
Let me know if you decide to partake in dash or two.