Turmeric is a flowering plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae, the roots of which are used in cooking. It has a bitter taste and is usually used to color curry powders, cheese, butter, and mustards. The plant is perennial, rhizomatous, and herbaceous, and is native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
The roots are not only used in cooking, but for medicinal purposes as well. The spice can be used for treating stomach pain, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, heartburn, gallbladder disorders, bronchitis, arthritis, headaches, colds, inflammation, wounds, bruising, infected wounds, and more.
Top 5 Reasons to Add Turmeric to Your Diet
Fat Blocker / Liver Detoxifier
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, helps the body block fat, while boosting liver function. It works by suppressing the blood vessels which are utilized to form fat tissue. Turmeric is great at detoxifying the body, working by producing enzymes which break down toxins in the body. Consequently, turmeric is an excellent hangover cure.
Turmeric has shown a potent anti-inflammatory activity in a variety of studies. Even more powerful than its volatile oil is curcumin, which has been shown to provide the same effects as hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone, as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents such as Motrin. Unlike prescription drugs or OTC, which are linked to a wide range of toxic effects, curcumin is no toxic at all! It has been also proven to be an effective treatment for arthritis, IBS, and other inflammatory diseases.
Reduces Cholesterol Level
Curcumin is a messaging molecule which communicates with genes in liver cells, instructing them to boost the production of mRNA which controls the creating of receptors of LDL cholesterol. With more LDL-receptors, liver cells can clear more bad cholesterol from the body.
Turmeric contains lipopolysaccharide, a substance which stimulates body`s immune system. Its powerful antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agents help boost the immune system, making it an excellent addition for daily use as well as ideal for those times you are feeling unwell.
Curcumin`s antioxidant properties make it able to protect colon cells from free radicals which can damage cellular DNA. It also helps the body to kill off mutated cancer cells, so they cannot spread throughout the body. Turmeric has been shown to be potent enough to completely stop the growth of existing cancer and many scientists agree that its active compounds are one of the best protectors against radiation-induced tumors.
Top 5 Ways to add Turmeric to Your Diet
To make turmeric tea, boil water, add 2 ½ teaspoons of turmeric, fresh lemon juice, and a little bit of raw honey. Feel free to add black pepper, ginger, or cinnamon.
Add a teaspoon of turmeric to your favorite smoothie. A great combo to try is a couple handfuls of spinach and kale, a cup of frozen pineapple, a cup of frozen mango, 2 cups of coconut or almond milk, and a little bit of fresh ginger.
Turmeric and eggs go great together! Season hard-boiled, over-easy, scrambled, omelets, or poached eggs with this spice.
Spice Up Vegetables
Add turmeric to your veggies just like you do with salt and pepper. Turmeric goes great on cooked greens, broccoli, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes.
Yellow mustard gets is color from turmeric. Use it as a condiment and add it to salad dressings with some vinegar and olive oil.