Turmeric shot to the top of every health-conscious shopper’s list in recent years thanks in large part to a better understanding of its powerful properties, which include helping to prevent and treat a variety of diseases. These are attributed to curcumin, a bright-yellow chemical produced by the plant. It has been shown to help speed recovery after surgery, successfully treat rheumatoid arthritis, and may also be effective in treating other inflammatory diseases.
Turmeric also boasts anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It helps to boost blood circulation and aids in detoxification, which make it a powerful skin support to add to your diet.
Read on for tips on how to consume it for maximum benefits.
How Much to Take
The average Indian diet, which makes heavy use of the spice, traditionally contains about a quarter of a teaspoon per day. Turmeric has been eaten in India for thousands of years in this amount with no apparent adverse effects, so it’s a safe measure to go by.
How to Take It
Turmeric is best taken with a pinch of black pepper as this helps you better absorb and maintain a higher level of the active curcumin in your blood stream.
You can ingest it cooked or in its raw forms; both offer benefits. Cooked turmeric seems to offer better DNA protection, whereas the raw spice may have greater anti-inflammatory properties. It also has a subtler flavor than the dried version, so if you find that the spice itself has too strong of a taste, add it raw to a smoothie or grate it into a stew.
There are many supplements out there claiming to capture the properties of turmeric and curcumin. Although the spice might be easier to consume in pill form, supplements can be drastically overpriced and significantly more expensive than buying the spice from a supermarket. Some studies have even shown that consuming turmeric in its whole form offers more benefits than simply consuming the curcumin extract.
Recipes to Try
Turmeric and Ginger Honey Tea
3 slices of raw turmeric
3 slices of raw ginger
3 slices of lemon
1 tsp of honey
250ml of boiling water
Pinch of black pepper
Add more or less honey depending on how sweet you want this, and let it steep for two to three mins before consuming. Be aware that turmeric will stain clothing, surfaces, and skin.
Good Morning Vitamin C Booster
2.5cm piece of turmeric
2.5cm piece of ginger
Pinch of black pepper
If you prefer a cold shot to wake you up in the morning and have access to a juicer, try this juice recipe.
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Disclaimer: Always make sure to start consuming a new spice in small quantities and to consult a medical professional if you have any questions. The information shared in this article is not intended to replace medical advice.
Fern Carver is a Personal Trainer and an online CrossFit Coach living in Dubai. She is an Under Armour athlete and is currently studying to become a Master Herbalist.