The Healing Powers of Turmeric
Have you heard about the health benefits of turmeric? Adding just a teaspoon of the spice, turmeric, to your diet each day can have many health benefits. Turmeric has been used in Asia for centuries, not only as a spice in curry but also for its medicinal properties. Turmeric contains the phytonutrient curcumin, which is strongly anti-inflammatory. It’s so powerful that it can match and/or exceed the effectiveness of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), like ibuprofen, to alleviate pain. Plus it’s natural, so it has fewer side effects than using NSAIDs.
Curcumin has the potential to reduce muscle damage due to delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and inflammation caused by a tough workout or intense physical activity without the risk of ulcers, strokes or even heart attacks associated with prolonged use of NSAIDs. This can help you recover faster and get back to your workouts sooner.
Want a few other reasons to reach for the Turmeric?
Check out some of these additional health benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin:
- Increases the antioxidant capacity of the body
- Fights various degenerative processes in the brain (like depression and Alzheimer’s disease)
- May lower the risk of heart disease by improving the function of the endothelium (which regulates blood pressure and blood clotting)
- May help prevent and perhaps even treat cancer
- Can help treat symptoms of arthritis
What to Look for and How to Take Turmeric
Turmeric/curcumin supplements can be found in health food stores, supplement stores or online. Be sure to look for one with Bioperine (or piperine), which is a substance that enhances absorption of curcumin. Otherwise, the curcumin will just pass through your system without providing health benefits mention above.
Alternatively, you can swallow a couple of whole peppercorns with the curcumin supplement and this will enhance the absorption.
How to Cook with Turmeric
Now that we know all of the amazing health benefits of turmeric, besides taking supplements, how else can we incorporate it into our diets? Turmeric can be difficult to incorporate into your diet if you’re not used to using it in cooking. Below I’ll share 8 recipes where turmeric is the star ingredient!