ALL HAIL THE QUEEN OF SPICES: TURMERIC
These days, there seems to be no end of articles and TV programmes on this superfood or that superfood. It can all get a bit mind-spinning, can’t it? But some foods really do live up to their hype and are absolutely worth adding to your daily cooking. If I were asked to choose a single ingredient for people to add to their cooking to boost their health, it would be turmeric – the queen of spices.
In the Western world, we tend to view our spice rack as a source of flavour rather than medicine – yet that’s what it is. After all, before medication as we know it became available, people the world over looked to herbs and spices to prevent and cure illness.
Over the past few decades, there’s been a whole slew of research devoted to this “sacred spice.” Curcumin is the magical substance which gives turmeric its gorgeous golden colour, not to mention its myriad health benefits.
So, why’s it so good for us? Well, it’s great for stiff or creaky joints and arthritis due to its inflammatory properties; it aids cancer prevention, fighting free radicals and helping to maintain healthy cells; it improves liver detoxification; it curbs fat growth and reduces weight gain; it neutralizes free radicals and enhances the body’s own production of antioxidants, so it’s powerfully anti-aging.
Turmeric also helps your heart by reducing bad cholesterol, preventing blood clots and plaque build-up in arteries. Its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties help to strengthen your immune system. It also reduces blood sugar and it even has mood-enhancing, antidepressant effects.
Phew! Now, if there was a pill available that did all that, we’d all be popping them.
Tumeric has a warm, earthy flavour that adds a certain something to smoothies, veggies, eggs (I add it to my fried eggs for breakfast) and, of-course, curries. Black pepper vastly increases the body’s absorbency of turmeric so try to pair it with that. Adding a dash of oil will also help your body get maximum benefit from it.
With all that’s going for it, turmeric is far too good to leave on the shelf and only wheel out for a chicken korma. So how will you get your daily dose?
Suzy Glaskie is a holistic health coach. See www.peppermintwellness.co.uk for more details.
Read more about Suzy HERE.