Turmeric is a commonly used spice in Asian cultures and is also an ingredient in curry. But beyond just giving meals taste and color, it has important benefits that are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and antidepressant.
We are going to explain all of its benefits here so that you can include it in your daily diet, using it to make delicious and unique recipes that everyone will like, e.g. coconut and turmeric flan, an energizing smoothie or a Hindu drink.
Turmeric (curcuma longa) belongs to the same spice family as ginger. The rhizome is the part used for its medicinal properties. Although it has historically been used in the East, it is becoming more and more common in the West as well, in our dishes as well as natural supplements and remedies.
Benefits of Turmeric
- Anti-carcinogenic: turmeric possesses numerous anti-carcinogenic components that prevent growth of several tumors, and it is also very useful while taking cancer medications, to overcome their side-effects.
- Anti-inflammatory: its component curcumin is highly anti-inflammatory, which is why it is recommended for people who suffer from aches, rheumatism, fibromyalgea, or chronic fatigue, etc. But it is also very useful in inflammation in the respiratory or urinary tract.
- Antioxidant: turmeric neutralizes the effects of free radicals in the body, which oxidize and age cells.
- Digestive: turmeric acts as a stomach tonic, improving digestive processes and fighting heartburn, ulcers, gastritis, etc.
- Protects the liver and bladder, helps prevent gallbladder stones and could prevent and improve liver illnesses, like cirrhosis or jaundice.
- Antidepressant: several studies have shown that turmeric acts as a natural antidepressant and helps fight stress.
- Fights infections: turmeric is anti-microbial and antiseptic.
How do I take it?
In order to receive the benefits previously cited, you need to consume turmeric daily. You could take an extract, capsules or tablets, or you could even include it in your daily menu.
In this case, you need to know that turmeric turns recipes slightly yellow and gives it a slight taste. But you could include it in all types of soups, creams, stews, rice, pasta or sauces. You could even add it to desserts, like cakes, smoothies, flan, custards, etc.
For skin conditions, you could also topically apply it, creating a paste with water, or even mixing it with clay. This could be great it treating illnesses like psoriasis or eczema.
We always recommend consulting a physician or therapist before applying any treating.
This smoothie will fill you with energy in the morning. All you need to do is blend the following ingredients:
- Milk or a plant based beverage
- One ripe banana
- Pitted dates
- Blended almonds
This is recommended for children, athletes, and those that have important physical or mental demands.
One healthy and delicious way of enjoying the therapeutic benefits of spices is to prepare them in a spiced drink. You will need the following ingredients:
- Milk or a plant-based milk (rice, oatmeal, etc.)
- Star anise
- Lemon and/or orange peel
Boil the milk or plant-based milk with the spices (approximately one small teaspoon of each per liter of liquid) for 10 minutes. Let set for at least 10 more minutes. Strain and store in the fridge. You can drink it warm or cool.
Coconut and Turmeric Flan
This flan does not contain eggs, which is why it is perfect for people with high cholesterol. It also provides turmeric’s benefits. You will need:
- Coconut milk
- Powdered agar agar seaweed
- Honey or agave nectar
Boil the coconut milk with the agar agar, turmeric and honey or agave to taste. Stir occasionally. Once it begins to boil, do not stop stirring. Continue to boil for two minutes and then remove from heat. Serve in a large dish or in small containers. Once it has cooled to room temperature, place in the fridge. It will be ready to eat in three hours. You could also sprinkle coconut shavings on top.