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All You Need To Know About Turmeric

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Turmeric is a wonder herb that not many consume. It has high amounts of curcumin, a compound that has studies to support its effectiveness against cystic fibrosis, cancer prevention, prostate cancer, childhood leukemia, crohn's disease and Alzheimer's. Turmeric also has a high amounts of vital minerals such as manganese, magnesium, calcium, vitamin c, zinc and phosphorous. A herb that should definitely make it to your everyday diet.

Turmeric is one of my absolute favorite spices I use in cooking because of it’s amazing health benefits and flavour. Who cares if you stain your clothing, hands, countertops or new kitchen linens, while using turmeric in the kitchen, it’s all in the good of health and vitality, right? So let’s explore this gem of a spice!

Did you also know the rich golden yellow color of turmeric is also responsible and is often used in standard mustards to “color” the mustard yellow?

I honestly can’t live without turmeric. The health benefits are so powerful yet so often over looked and under used in the Western culture that it amazes me. To no fault of our culture, turmeric simply isn’t predominant in our region or cuisine. Your views and opinions may quickly turn in favor of using this yellow spice more often than not after today (at least I hope so, *fingers crossed*).

Throughout history turmeric has been used in several fields from a healing remedy for a variety of ailments to a textile dye. The flavor profile of turmeric is earthy, warm, slightly peppery, and sometimes a bit bitter. It has also been called “Indian saffron” due to it’s deep yellow-golden color, which is similar to saffron red.

How To Use Turmeric

  • Curries
  • Season meat/poultry/fish/beans/tofu/tempeh, etc.
  • Season roasted vegetables
  • Season rice, quinoa, other grains/legumes
  • Use a dash in hummus
  • Use in broth like soups/stews
  • Sneak it into your smoothies (why not?)
  • Turmeric Milk
  • Curried Nutty Cauliflower Soup – coming soon
  • Roasted Ginger and Turmeric Cauliflower Steaks
  • Natural food colouring

Why Turmeric Rocks?

Turmeric has powerful medicinal properties due to it’s high content of nutrients, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds and phytonutrients that have been studied in depth especially for cancer prevention. The attention should be on curcumin. Curcumin is the main component found in turmeric that is responsible for its medicinal benefits and properties. Turmeric and curcumin have been used in studies: improving IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), Crohn’s disease, immune health, rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis, cancer prevention / inhibits cancer cell growth, prevention of colon cancer , pancreatic cancer/tumor growth, prevention of prostate cancer, reducing risk of childhood leukemia, improve liver function, diabetes, cardiovascular benefits/protection, cholesterol, wound healing, and Alzhiemer’s. Now that’s some valuable information on how awesome turmeric is.

As with most studies, active compounds and components of food are studied in large doses, so how do we make this applicable to daily life? Most of the research studies use anywhere from 2-7g of curcumin to test, this would be a lot of turmeric to eat, especially when pure turmeric is comprised of about 3.14% by weight of curcumin. I recommend using it daily if you like and checking with your physician in case you’re on certain medications, but again, I understand this is may be a new spice to use in your cooking so use as you see fit.

My Breakdown of Turmeric
*based on 100g

  • Manganese
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin B| B6 (pyridoxine), B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B9 (folate )
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Antioxidants
  • Phytonutrients

Note: Turmeric may have an interaction with anticogulant/antiplatlet drugs (i.e. Plavix, Coumadin, etc.) which may increase the risk of bleeding in some people; turmeric is in the group of herbs that may interact with these types of medications: garlic, ginseng, ginger, willow, red clover, clove, and others. Just a heads up, speak with you physician if you think this may impact your lifestyle or if you plan to consume loads of it.

Emma Olliff
Expert

Emma is a qualified Nutritional Therapist (DipNT CNM) and is registered with BANT (British Association for Nutritional Therapy) and CMA (Complimentary Medical Association). She is passionate about helping her clients achieve optimum health through diet and lifestyle.

Emma Olliff
Expert

Emma is a qualified Nutritional Therapist (DipNT CNM) and is registered with BANT (British Association for Nutritional Therapy) and CMA (Complimentary Medical Association). She is passionate about helping her clients achieve optimum health through diet and lifestyle.