Such a fun topic to discuss as turmeric is one of the main superfoods I use in my diet. When I speak of turmeric I speak of the fresh root, and not it’s powder form. So what exactly are the benefits and uses of this 4,000 year old beloved root?
Turmeric is part of the ginger family and is native to India and Southeast Asia. To get Turmeric in its powder form it is often boiled, dried and finely ground. In my personal opinion, fresh turmeric root is healthier, as it has not been tampered with and it comes in its natural raw form. Also, you cannot compete with the flavour of it when it is raw!
I have listed some of the health benefits of this superfood:
- It is a natural liver detoxifier, which is very important for your overall health as our liver mainly does the dirty work in our bodies and we need to keep it fresh and happy.
- Turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory and painkiller, people who suffer from arthritis benefit from regular consumption.
- Turmeric has also long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.
- It may help speed up skin problems and wound healing by remodelling damaged skin.
- Boosts brain function
- Boosts digestion and may help with an upset tummy
- Helps purify blood
- Regulates blood sugar levels
Did you know that Turmeric has been used as dye in many products including mustard, soaps and dairy products to give it its golden colour? Turmeric stains everything except your teeth, which is why some people occasionally use coconut oil and turmeric powder as a natural teeth whitener. Turmeric is also a home remedy for sunburn and is used in certain sunscreens.
The next question that comes up is how to use this root? Consuming it fresh is key as I have mentioned before, but be ready to get yellow. In the mornings I would make fruit smoothies with turmeric and I would be at work with yellowish orangy coloured fingers. For me it was of no concern, but if you are finicky about that sort of stuff perhaps where plastic gloves when cutting it or do it the night before.
When making smoothies, I truly enjoy the combination of ginger and turmeric. As they are from the same family, they also taste wonderful together. As one of my morning booster shots, I make the following:
- 1 lemon
- small piece of ginger and even smaller piece of turmeric
- Freshly squeezed fruit of your choice (1-3 ounce depending on how potent you want to make it)
Blend the ingredients and enjoy! This is created as a morning health booster shot. If you wish to enjoy it as a drink add your freshly squeezed fruit into it so the ingredients are diluted.
Another popular and delicious drink is the Indian Golden Milk. Here is my variation:
- Milk of choice (I enjoy it with homemade cashew or coconut milk)
- Small piece of turmeric
- Ceylon cinnamon and a sprinkle of black pepper
- Honey or maple syrup for sweetness
- You may add a tiny piece of ginger for flavour
Blend the ingredients together and voila! A deliciously healthy morning beverage which may be served warm or cold.