What is It?
Turmeric is a main staple in India (1). Therefore, many Indian dishes contain turmeric, which is beneficial for our health (1). Turmeric gives foods a yellow color. Its active ingredient is curcumin, which contains several antioxidants and is a powerful anti-inflammatory (1). According to international research, supplemental curcumin is just as effective as pharmaceutical drugs (1-2).
How does it Work?
Turmeric has numerous healing benefits. Healers in China and India have used it to help with digestion, wound healing, headaches, blemishes, wrinkles, etc. (1). Turmeric can possibly help prevent and/or treat the following: acne, allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, asthma, cancer, cholesterol problems, colitis, cystic fibrosis, eczema, eye infection, gout, heart disease, hypertension, liver disease, overweight, pollution side effects, stroke, and much more (1-3).
What is the Difference Between Turmeric and Curry Powder?
Curry powder is a combination of spices. It often consists of cumin, coriander, fenugreek, black pepper, and turmeric (1). Don’t be fooled by purchasing curry powder thinking that it contains a beneficial amount of curcumin, as this is not always the case. It all depends on the amount of turmeric in the curry powder (1). Curry powder is completely different than the curry spice. Curry spice comes from the curry leaf and does not contain curcumin (1).
Where do I Buy it and How do I Cook with It?
You can find many brands at your grocery store in the spice section or you can purchase it online. Since it’s extremely hard to grind, it’s usually sold already ground. Some health food stores sell the root, which can be used in soups, smoothies, or when juicing. If possible, buy just enough of the powder to last you for a few months, because it loses flavor over time (1). Since turmeric is the only edible form of curcumin, it is vital to get adequate amounts in your diet to reap all the health benefits (1)! The best nutrient benefits occur when it’s cooked or heated, versus raw (3-4).
Here are some ways to incorporate more into your diet:
- Heat with coconut oil and add it to roasted vegetables
- Add yellow mustard to more foods (turmeric gives mustard it’s color)
- Add to scrambled eggs
- Heat in coconut oil and add it to a rice/cauliflower dish
- Make a golden milk or latte (we have one inside the 131 Method)
- Aggarwal, Bharat B., and Debora Yost. Healing Spices: How to Use 50 Everyday and Exotic Spices to Boost Health and Beat Disease. Sterling Pub. Co., 2011.