Eat healthier: The benefits of turmeric
Think turmeric is just for curry? Think again!
This deep yellow-orange colored spice is native to Indonesia and southern India, where it has been harvested for more than 5,000 years. It has long been used in Chinese and Indian medicine as a powerful anti-inflammatory, but has also been used throughout history as a condiment, healing remedy and textile dye. While Arab traders introduced it into Europe in the 13th century, it has only recently become popular in Western cultures.
Turmeric has been used to treat a wide variety of conditions, including flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, hemorrhage, toothache, bruises, chest pain and colic. It is also thought to be helpful in relieving inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis, and it may even help prevent cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease. It is also thought to reduce high cholesterol.
Turmeric has a peppery, warm and bitter flavor and a mild fragrance that’s slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger, to which it is related.
Tips for preparing turmeric
Be careful when using turmeric since its deep color can easily stain. To avoid a lasting stain, quickly wash any area with which it has made contact with soap and water. To prevent staining your hands, you might consider wearing kitchen gloves while handling turmeric.
- Add turmeric to egg salad to give it an even bolder yellow color.
- Add it to smoothies or juice.
- Mix brown rice with raisins and cashews and season with turmeric, cumin and coriander.
- Although turmeric is generally a staple ingredient in curry powder, some people like to add a little extra of this spice when preparing curries.
- This spice is delicious on healthy sautéed apples, steamed cauliflower and/or green beans and onions.
- For a creamy, flavor-rich, low-calorie dip, try mixing some turmeric and dried onion with a little Omega-3-rich mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Serve with raw cauliflower, celery, sweet pepper, jicama and broccoli florets.
- Turmeric is a great spice to complement recipes that feature lentils.
- Give salad dressings an orange-yellow hue by adding some turmeric powder to them.
- For an especially delicious way to add more turmeric to your healthy way of eating, cut cauliflower florets in half and sauté with a generous spoonful of turmeric for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Look for turmeric in our spice aisle!
Source: The World’s Healthiest Foods