With its bright golden hue and distinct flavour, you may recognise turmeric from your favourite curry recipe but this ancient spice has been highly prized for generations and it’s with good reason. Turmeric is a staple of Ayurvedic medicine, with a history dating back over 4000 years and there’s now more evidence than ever before of its benefits and as a result is becoming increasingly favoured for use in modern medicine thanks to its array of curative properties; from its ability to balance blood sugar levels and boost immunity to treating depression and even preventing cancer – this is one superfood spice that you definitely need in your cupboard. Whether you add a tsp to your curry, oats, chickpeas, smoothie or mug of frothy almond milk, you’re sure to reap the abundance of turmeric’s benefits and truly improve your health.
5 reasons to eat more turmeric
- Boosts Immunity A strong immune system is the key to a long and healthy life as it is the bodies natural defence against illness and disease. The compound curcumin, found in turmeric has been proven to boost immunity whilst the spice also contains lipopolysaccharides – molecules which illicit a strong immune response, along with a dose of vitamin B6 which boosts immunity whilst also increasing metabolism and balancing hormones. Turmeric is also antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal which furthermore strengthens the immune system, resulting in decreased susceptibility to illness. You can find another 9 superfoods that will boost your immunity here.
- Fights Inflammation Although beneficial in the short-term as it helps to fight pathogens, long-term chronic inflammation can have detrimental affects on our health and is responsible for nearly all modern-day illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, depression and even IBS. What makes turmeric most powerful therefore, is its ability to fight and prevent inflammation – it’s even more effective than commonly used drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen, plus there’s no nasty side effects. The anti-inflammatory powers that turmeric possesses makes it great at treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and those who suffer from these conditions but consume turmeric on a regular basis experience reduced joint pain and inflammation.
- Fights Cancer In 2012 alone, 8.2 million people died of cancer so it’s understandable that people do everything they can do fend off this deadly disease. One powerful way to both prevent and treat cancer is by simply incorporating more turmeric into your diet – using curcumin in order to fight cancer is one of the most heavily researched scientific topics of recent years as it has been proven to both stop the spread and growth of cancerous cells.
- Boosts Mood Curcumin – the antioxidant which provides turmeric with so many of its health benefits, has been proven to be as effective as common antidepressant drugs such as prozac, with evidence also showing that turmeric is effective at boosting levels of both serotonin and dopamine – neurotransmitters which help to stabilise mood and control the brain’s pleasure centre. Turmeric also improves brain health by increasing the brain’s ability to heal itself and reconnect neuron pathways, thus boosting the working memory and improving cognitive function.
- Prevents Heart Disease Whilst curcumin is what gives turmeric its pretty hue, don’t underestimate its power – this wonder spice can prevent strokes and heart attacks by reducing the levels of cholesterol that’s responsible for blocking your arteries and as a result wards off the two leading causes of heart failure. It’s been proven that those who consume turmeric are 65% less likely to suffer from a heart attack.
Turmeric is one of the most powerful natural treatments and preventatives for many common illnesses and the fact that it is so accessible and inexpensive means that there’s really no excuse for not implementing more of it into your diet. And no, that doesn’t mean spicy curry every night – simply including the 5 ideas below makes it incredibly easy (and delicious) to enjoy turmeric’s benefits at every meal.
5 uses for turmeric
- Turmeric is great for accelerating sports performance and recovery so try a PERFORM protein smoothie post workout – not only does this protein powder taste amazing, it packs in 25g protein, 6g plantbased BCAA’s and contains that all important turmeric extract.
- Whip up a batch of crunchy cumin and turmeric roasted chickpeas and add them to your lunchtime salad or simply enjoy alone for a high protein post-workout snack.
- Add 1/2 tsp to your usual oats – you won’t taste the difference but you’ll reap so many benefits.
- Heat a tsp with a cup of non-dairy milk and a tsp maple syrup for a delicious warming drink.
- Add a tsp to your falafel recipe for a health boost.
What are your favourite ways to enjoy turmeric? Leave them in the comments below or let me know on Instagram @nourishingyas x