No. Sorry to disappoint. This isn’t going to be about curry. More about one special ingredient – the health benefits of turmeric. From my research it looks like turmeric is THE ingredient to include in our daily, yes – daily, eating routine. It has major benefits for body and brain. Almost too good to be true, in fact. Move over antibiotics, let the orange sunshine spice strut its stuff.
Here comes the dull factual bit.
The Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric contains compounds called Curcuminoids, the most powerful of which is curcumin. This is the main active ingredient of turmeric and it has extremely powerful anti-inflammatory effects. These are some of the marvels it can perform:
- Chronic inflammation plays a huge part in many Western illnesses and conditions. Curcumin plays a major part in inhibiting molecular advance of these inflammatory diseases.
- Turmeric increases the anti-oxidant capacity of the body… all good for fighting those free radicals (what on earth is a free radical?… in painfully simple terms, it’s an unpaired electron which goes around beating up other electrons to try and find its other pair and in the process does masses of damage to the body – think pollution, cigarette smoke, lack of exercise).
- Turmeric improves brain function and may help halt or reverse brain diseases and age-related declines in brain function.
- It lowers the risk of heart disease.
- Helps your body recover much more quickly from exercise.
- The regular consumption of turmeric leads to several changes on the molecular level that may help or even treat cancer.
- There are signs that it may be useful in preventing and treating Alzheimer’s Disease.
- It works powerfully on the easing of joint pain and so arthritis sufferers have responded very well to daily doses of turmeric.
- It has been seen to have incredible effects on depression.
- Turmeric has helped ease the symptoms of diabetes.
“So, Annie Deadman, how do I get enough of this stuff in daily to help my insides stay strong and healthy?”
Well, you can buy a turmeric extract (get one containing 95% curcumin or more). This is expensive (about £20) and lasts barely 2 weeks if you take it twice a day. The liquid looks like a watered down version of the turmeric paste which I’ve made below.
Or you can buy a Turmeric supplement in pill form (again, expensive, and you try getting 3 pills a day down a 10 year old).
“Can’t I just add normal turmeric powder to my cooking?”
You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But the trouble is, your regular turmeric powder isn’t going to be pure, ground turmeric root. It’ll be mixed up with other bits and won’t continue the strong dose of curcumin which you need.
Or you can make your own turmeric paste, from fresh turmeric root. It’s a bit messy but so worth it because you know exactly what’s gone into it. I ordered 500g (£15) and it came in the post. I bought from The Turmeric Lady and it was her that gave me the oomph to make the paste.
You will need:
- 500g raw turmeric root
- 500ml water
- 2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
- 90g coconut oil (not necessarily melted)
A pair of latex gloves (and don’t wear your favourite white top).
(The powerful disease busting properties are fat soluble and therefore require the addition of fat in order to be released – hence the coconut oil – plus the black pepper contains a chemical called piperine which helps the body absorb it.)
How to make turmeric paste:
- Chop the turmeric root, skin and all, into small chunks.
- Put in a saucepan with the water and gentle cook for about 15 minutes.
- Blitz in a blender or food processor. (It smells a bit by this stage, but not unpleasant, sort of clinical).
- Add the pepper and coconut oil. Blitz again.
- Then spoon into containers or ice cube trays and freeze.
- Empty the blobs into bags, quickly put back in the freezer and use as desired.
Uses of turmeric paste:
- I put 3-4 blobs into a casserole or soup (it has a taste but not massively strong so they’ll never know).
- Use one blob per cup of warm almond milk with half a teaspoon of honey. Oh so delicious.
- Add a blob to your breakfast oaty, kale, blueberry smoothie.
- Add some to hot water with lemon for an ever so smug cup of tea.
It’s messy to make but if you have the time and the hippy inclination to give a natural wonder medicine to you and your family on a regular basis then the hassle is worth it. Just remember to consult your doctor before taking regularly, if you are already on other medication.
Thank you for reading about the health benefits of turmeric. Have a happy day. Annie x