Turmeric for health! I’m sure you’ve heard to buzz about this fragrant colorful spice. Capsules, teas, powders, and extracts are just some of the ways turmeric is being consumed. Manufacturers are adding it to many of their products.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric, sometimes called Indian saffron or the golden spice, is a tall plant that grows in Asia and Central America.
The turmeric on shelves and in spice cabinets is made of the ground roots of the plant. The bright yellow color of processed turmeric has inspired many cultures to use it as a dye. Ground turmeric is also a major ingredient in curry powder.
Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, and it has powerful biological properties. Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional Indian system of treatment, recommends turmeric for a variety of health conditions. These include chronic pain and inflammation. Western medicine has begun to study turmeric as a pain reliever and healing agent.
Turmeric for Health
While turmeric is a flavorsome spice that is nutritious to consume, it has also traditionally been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat inflammatory conditions, skin diseases, wounds, digestive ailments, and liver conditions.
The foundation suggests taking turmeric capsules of 400 to 600 milligrams (mg) up to three times per day for inflammation relief.
Turmeric is thought of as a pain reliever. The spice is reputed to relieve arthritis pain as well.
Studies seem to support turmeric for pain relief, with one study noting that it seemed to work as well as ibuprofen (Advil) in people with arthritis in their knees.
Though dosing recommendations seem to vary, those who participated in the study took 800 mg of turmeric in capsule form each day.
Improving Liver Function
Turmeric has been getting attention recently because of its antioxidant abilities.
The antioxidant effect of turmeric appears to be so powerful that it may stop your liver from being damaged by toxins. This could be good news for people who take strong drugs for diabetes or other health conditions that might hurt their liver with long-term use.
Possibly Reducing the Risk of Cancer
Turmeric can also play an important role in digesting that food. The spice can contribute to healthy digestion as a result of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a digestive healing agent. Western medicine has now begun to study how turmeric can help with gut inflammation and gut permeability, two measures of digestive efficiency.
The spice is even being explored as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Try this recipe. It’s a great way to use turmeric for health.
Turmeric Roasted Chicken & Sweet Potatoes
Caramelized sweet potatoes and shallots are the bed for roasted chicken thighs and legs that come together in this one-pot healthy chicken dinner.
Ingredients (makes 4 servings)
- 2 large shallots (peeled and quartered)
- 2 sweet potatoes or yams (peeled, sliced 1-inch thick and quartered (14 oz))
- 2 garlic cloves (minced or pressed through garlic press)
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric (divided)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt (divided)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 skinless chicken drumsticks (on the bone)
- 4 skinless chicken thighs (on the bone)
- juice of 1 lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Herbs De Provence or poultry seasoning
- 1/3 cup white wine
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the shallots, yams, together with the garlic, 1 teaspoon of turmeric, ginger, 1 teaspoon salt, and olive oil until thoroughly combined.
- Spoon the mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish or casserole pan and arrange in an even layer.
- Add the chicken to the mixing bowl and season with lemon juice, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon turmeric, and Herbs de Provence, toss to coat well.
- Transfer the chicken legs to the baking dish over the vegetables.
- Drizzle any of the remaining marinade over the top of the chicken and pour the wine around the sides of the dish.
- Cover with foil and roast 45 minutes, turn chicken and sweet potatoes and finish, uncovered, until the chicken is fork-tender and the sweet potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.
Nutrition (per serving of 2 pieces of chicken & ½ sweet potato)
- Calories: 516
- Carbohydrates: 28g
- Protein: 55.5g
- Fat: 18g
- Fiber: 3.5g
Tip: To decrease calories just lessen the portion a little.
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