Tips for healthy eating have to include spicing up your foods with an interesting variety of seasonings. If you have high blood pressure, pass on the salt shaker, but don’t eat bland food. Experiment with other tasty spices and find some alternatives that you enjoy using. There are many to choose from. Turmeric is one that will instantly transform any boring dish into a meal with added health benefits.
Tips for Healthy Eating: Try Turmeric
You probably know turmeric for its bright yellow hue in curry dishes. If you’ve never seen the spice in its natural state, it looks a lot like ginger but is bright orange inside. What you might not know is that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has an amazing array of health benefits.
In 2016, Google’s Food Trends Report named this formerly obscure Indian spice a “rising star,” noting that between November 2015 and January 2016, searches were up 56%. As well, YouTube videos featuring the health benefits of this gnarly root stalk got an astounding 3.9 million hits. Yellow-hued turmeric lattes have even started popping up in trendy coffee shops, memorialized on Instagram and Facebook feeds.
Tips for Healthy Eating: The Many Health Benefits of Turmeric
1. Turmeric is an antioxidant.
For centuries, turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for its antioxidant, antiseptic, pain relieving, antimalarial and anti-inflammatory properties. More recently, turmeric’s wide-ranging health benefits have been documented in hundreds of studies. Turmeric truly is a functional food.
2. Turmeric helps both the mind and body.
Eating curry powder or taking curcumin supplements has been shown to improve cognitive performance, alleviate the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis, and relieve pain and inflammation associated with diabetes and osteoarthritis of the knee. In one study, curcumin proved effective in treating mental health illnesses such as major depressive disorder. And in a study of postmenopausal women, consumption of curcumin, along with aerobic exercise, lessened the risk of heart disease due to its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects.
3. Turmeric has anti-cancer effects.
Turmeric has demonstrated effectiveness in preventing or treating colorectal cancer, head and neck cancers and advanced pancreatic cancer, and in reducing the rate of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) increase among men with prostate cancer.
4. Turmeric helps relieve asthma symptoms.
Turmeric’s active ingredient curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory that is effective in treating airway hyper-responsiveness in asthma and other allergic inflammatory diseases.
5.Tips for Healthy Eating: How to Use Turmeric
Sprinkle ground turmeric over soups and stir-fries. Turmeric can also give your mac and cheese a flavorful boost. If you’re using fresh turmeric root, peel and grate it like a ginger root. Sauté freshly grated turmeric in stir-fries or use in marinades for chicken and fish. For more ideas on how to use turmeric, look to Bon Appétit magazine which has no less than 30 recipes featuring turmeric, ranging from traditional curry to cutting edge.