Why Is Turmeric Good For You?Lisa Kilgour, Nutritionist
October 18, 2017
Have you noticed a distinct yellow hue popping up in many smoothies and drinks lately? This gorgeous colour is coming from one place – the incredibly healthy and incredibly trendy food, turmeric. By now many of you may be wondering: Why is turmeric good for you?
Turmeric may seem new and hot, but it’s actually as old-school as you can get. So old school that many of its health benefits date back thousands of years. And the best part – it really is as healthy as it’s cracked up to be.
Anti-inflammatory & Antioxidant
The yellow colour of turmeric is so powerful that it will dye anything it touches – your smoothie, soup, wooden spoon…or even your clothes if you’re not careful (I always wear an apron when I’m using turmeric).
It’s that deep, rich colour that highlights it’s potent antioxidant powers. It’s such a strong antioxidant that it even works as an anti-inflammatory supplement by repairing the damage that free radicals created in the body.
The most studied compound in turmeric is curcumin, and you’ll see loads of curcumin supplements on the shelves of your local health food store. Currently, there are thousands of studies showing the benefits of curcumin.
It’s used by many to relieve joint and body pain, but studies are also finding that it may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and maybe even depression.
Whole Turmeric is Always Best
While many studies have looked at that one amazing turmeric compound curcumin, there are also some new studies that are finding, even more, benefits in the whole turmeric.
Over the last 10 years, researchers have studied curcumin-free turmeric and found that it’s still filled with amazing health benefits. And these other compounds help curcumin be absorbed and used by our cells better.
So, whenever possible, whole food is always best.
How to use Turmeric
Turmeric is definitely a spice worth adding into your diet, and it can be surprisingly easy with just few simple diet hacks.
- Turmeric as a spice –
Grab some organic turmeric from your favourite health food store and use it in your cooking. It doesn’t have a strong flavour on its own, so it can be easy to add into your food. Sprinkle it on your eggs in the morning. Add it to your hummus for lunch, and/or sprinkle it on your dinner. My favourite ways are to use it are in a favourite curry soup or stew, or I just hide it in my tomato sauce. You’ll only notice its distinct colour (no flavour) in a tomato sauce. Aim for ½ tsp per day.
- Golden Mylk –
A traditional Ayurvedic (and delicious) way of taking turmeric is in a wonderfully warming drink called Golden Mylk. This combines whole turmeric with black pepper (to help with absorption), dates, and other healing herbs like cinnamon in a base of coconut milk. Make it yourself, or try a mixed powder like Botanica’s Golden Mylk. All the ingredients are there, just whisk it into your favourite warm almond or coconut milk.
- Fermented Turmeric and Ginger Tonic –
This fermented tonic combines an anti-inflammatory turmeric and ginger tea with beneficial bacteria and yeasts. This gives the tonic a slightly sour taste that wakes up your taste buds while increasing the bioavailability of the health compounds in the turmeric and ginger. It’s an easy way to get a dose of turmeric and a serving gut bacteria-loving fermented tea all in one.