I am constantly drawn to brightly colored objects- whether it’s a new pair of running shoes, fresh flowers at Trader Joes, or a piece of artwork. Spices are apparently no exception. I stopped in a local spice shop this past weekend and a little bottle filled with a bright yellow spice immediately caught my eye. I recently have been hearing about the health benefits of turmeric, an exotic spice that boasts to be one of the most beneficial and potent antioxidants in the world. With a reputation like that, I figured it’s about time I add it to my spice rack.
Turmeric is a beautiful golden color that has an earthy smell and sharp, peppery taste. It is native to India and other tropical Asian regions and is commonly used in Indian cuisine. It comes from the root of a Curcuma longa plant, a close relative to ginger root. Recent studies have shown that not only does it add flavor and incredible color to food, but it also acts as a powerful healer.
So what exactly are these magical healing powers? Turmeric contains an active compound called curcumin, a powerful antioxidant that fights inflammation. Skip the bottle of pills and reach for turmeric instead. There are numerous benefits to turmeric, including the following:
- Anti-inflammatory: brings relief to people who suffer from chronic joint pain, muscle pain, arthritis, and fibromyalgia
- Anti-oxidants: helps with balancing blood sugar levels, fights against diabetes, and boosts low energy levels
- Antimicrobial: kills off types of bacteria, including acne (mix it with honey for a cleansing face mask)
- Detoxification: promotes healing of the gut, stomach and liver
- Unclogs arteries: lowers high cholesterol and high blood pressure
Turmeric is most beneficial when combined with black pepper. Black pepper contains piperine, which increases curcumin’s absorption by 2000%!
You can sprinkle turmeric on meat, rice, salads, or try out one of these recipes. I’m making the turmeric roasted cauliflower this week!
Do you have a favorite way to incorporate this spice into a recipe? I’d love to know!