If you’re a fan of Asian food, then you’re probably familiar with turmeric. This spice comes from the turmeric plant and it’s quite often found in Asian food. It has a very distinct, bitter taste and it’s often added to curry powders, butters, cheeses, and mustards in order to give a certain flavor or color to the food. What you’ve probably heard about this spice is that it also has different health benefits. What we’ve been using as a medicine is actually the root or turmeric which contains a chemical called curcumin. Besides having potential health benefits, curcumin is also used to color food and cosmetics.
What is it used for?
Curcumin can have numerous benefits for our health if it’s consumed in the right amounts. People typically use it to treat arthritis, diarrhea, liver problems, heartburn, bronchitis, colds, menstrual problems, and different kind of pain such as joint pain, stomach pain, and headaches. People also consume it in order to relieve symptoms of lung infection, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and tuberculosis. Use of turmeric in medicinal purposes isn’t that new and it’s been receiving a lot of attention from both culinary experts and medical, scientific community.
The main benefit of turmeric is its ability to manage oxidative and inflammatory conditions in the body and even help with depression and anxiety. If you ever feel sore after a workout, turmeric might help by reducing soreness and even accelerate recovery and improve performance in active people. However, turmeric can also be useful to people who don’t have any of these problems. It can simply be used to elevate your mood as it possesses certain antidepressant qualities. If you’re interested, you can learn more about all of the good sides of consuming this spice.
In India, turmeric is widely used for different skin conditions and it is a staple of Ayurvedic medicine which is a type of traditional healing.
The main ingredient in turmeric, the one that is most active and most beneficial to health, is curcumin that comes from the group of curcuminoids.
However, even though many people are convinced that curcumin really does help with numerous health issues, more research is needed in order to confirm the claims. One main thing that has been confirmed is that turmeric can indeed help reduce joint degradation. Furthermore, Arthritis Research UK started recommending turmeric as complementary medicine.
How to consume it
Ingesting curcumin on its own won’t be of much help because of its poor bioavailability due to bad absorption, quick metabolism, and quick elimination from the body. That’s why it’s best to mix it with black pepper as piperine, the main active component in black pepper can drastically increase the absorption of curcumin.
You can also try making breakfast or dishes using turmeric. For example, Golden Milk is a popular recipe that includes warm coconut milk and a combination of multiple spices such as turmeric and cinnamon. Instead of coconut milk, you can also use yogurt or almond milk in which you can add chia seeds, stevia, turmeric, cinnamon, mint extract, some toppings if you wish, some flakes, and berries. This is a protein-rich, healthy recipe that can keep you full for the entire morning.