2018-10-27 09:54:04 -0600

Turmeric: Why You Need It

We’ve got a hack for that. Your body is a machine that needs certain nutrition to operate at its best. That’s where superfoods come in. One of the best of those superfoods is Turmeric!

In this day and age of superfoods and nutrition hacks, there are many formerly-obscure foods being touted as the next big thing in health and nutrition. Sometimes these foods are overhyped or just plain trendy (I’m looking at you coconut-everything!), but many foods deserve the attention they receive and a place in our diets. One such super food, which likely isn’t going anywhere, is Turmeric.

Turmeric is much like ginger. It is a storage stem, which is dried and ground into a spice used in cooking around the world. In fact, you may eat turmeric on a regular basis and not even know it! This spice plays a prominent role in Indian food, Thai food, Ethiopian food, and even in the American picnic-favorite: mustard (hence the yellow). So if you’re already getting it in, keep it up!

In addition to its vibrant yellow color and a distinctive spicy flavor, turmeric also happens to pack quite a nutritional punch. Turmeric has gained acclaim in recent years because one of its major phytochemicals, curcumin, has been the subject of multiple studies. In these studies, curcumin has been shown to have potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties consistently with no negative effects! And in one study, the whole spice from turmeric was found to be even more effective than isolated curcumin alone, meaning turmeric must have other beneficial compounds at work too. In fact, whole turmeric’s anti-inflammatory effects are so strong they’ve been deemed as effective as over-the-counter NSAIDs! With a resume this strong, it’s no wonder people are talking about it.

Now that you’re pining for a daily dose of turmeric, what’s the best way to get it? Since this information has become available, many companies have produced turmeric and curcumin supplements. This is a good option if you don’t enjoy strongly spiced foods, and if you go this route, I definitely recommend turmeric over isolated curcumin. However, if you’re like me and you love strong flavors, you can get lots of turmeric in your diet cheaply and deliciously. As mentioned above, eating copious amounts of Thai, Indian, Ethiopian, and mustard will max out your turmeric intake. Another trick I’ve found is to include it in a smoothie with cocoa powder, berries, and a plant-based milk. By simply adding a small chunk of fresh turmeric (available at most health food stores) about the size of your pinky finger’s last joint you get a tangy chocolatey shake brimming with turmeric-y goodness!

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