Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh. Ginger, turmeric, cardamom and galangal all belong to the ginger family. You probably know turmeric as the main spice in curry and yellow mustard.
Its active ingredient is curcumin and it has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, peppery flavor and a mustardy smell. Curcumin has been used for potential treatment of an array of diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, allergies, arthritis and other chronic illnesses.
It has served an important role in many traditional cultures throughout the East, including Ayurvedic pharmacopeia. Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines utilize turmeric to clear infections and inflammations on the inside and outside of the body.
A number of studies have suggested that curcumin, the biologically active constituent in turmeric, protects against Alzheimer's disease by turning on a gene that codes for the production of antioxidant proteins. The reports indicate that extracts of turmeric contain a number of natural agents that block the formation of beta-amyloid, the substance responsible for the plaques that slowly obstruct cerebral function in Alzheimer's disease.
So what's the best way to add turmeric in your daily diet:
You can use powdered turmeric or fresh turmeric root. I use a general "fresh herb" subtitution ratio of 3 to 1 (3 tsp fresh for 1 tsp dried). Grating fresh turmeric root will make your fingernails yellow for a day or so, wear gloves if that's a problem.
1-Add it to scrambles and frittatas.Use a pinch of turmeric in scrambled eggs, a frittata, or tofu scramble.
2-Toss it with roasted vegetables. Turmeric's slightly warm and peppery flavor works especially well with cauliflower, potatoes, and root vegetables.
3-Spice up your soups and stews.
4-Make tea. Simmer turmeric with milk and honey to make an earthy and comforting tea to improve sleep.
1 cup coconut milk (or almond milk)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon raw honey or maple syrup
pinch of black pepper
pinch of cayenne (optional)
pinch of clove (optional) pinch of nutmeg (optional)
Add all ingredient to Vitamix or any blender. If you are using Vitamix, it will heat it up for you in 5 min in high setting. Otherwise heat on the stove. Enjoy!
If you're looking to get the health benefits of turmeric, pair it with pepper. Research shows that piperine, a key active component of black pepper, may boost the health benefits of curcumin, the main health-boosting component in turmeric root. So to get the most out of your turmeric, add 3% black pepper to the mix. Black pepper improves the bioavailability of turmeric, making smaller doses more effective. This works out to about 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper to 1/4 cup of turmeric.