Why Turmeric Is Important and How to Add It Your Diet
Turmeric is one of the most discussed herbs among people who put a priority on their health and wellness. Its popularity didn’t come out of the blue. Turmeric is commonly grown and consumed as a food and medicine in India and surrounding regions, and is one of the most important vegetable medicines in the Ayurvedic tradition.
It was only a matter of time before turmeric became popular as a medicine in the West, and in fact that’s exactly what has happened in recent decades. But there is a good reason to believe it works?
While there is no definitive study that proves turmeric is a perfect solution for your needs, some studies do link the natural chemical found in the herb, curcumin, to positive effects in the body. This is because curcumin contains compounds that have an antioxidant-like effect in the body and may help to regulate a normal inflammation response.
Then there are the ancient traditions in Eastern medicine that used a variety of herbs for tonics and teas. Turmeric, like so many other herbs, has been a part of medicinal practices for centuries.
This has made the root vegetable quite popular among people with auto-immune problems of various kinds. Fortunately for us all, turmeric isn’t just some nasty rhizome that’s difficult to choke down; it’s actually a common ingredient in one of the great food traditions on planet Earth: Indian food. Indeed, turmeric imparts both flavor and its brilliant orange color to many Indian dishes, often including extremely popular meals like tikka masala, butter chicken, and many vegetarian dishes enjoyed by the often-Hindu cultures that created them back in India. Not every westerner loves Indian food, but if you do, it’s the perfect excuse to get some turmeric into your diet.
Turmeric, of course, isn’t just for the sick. The study we linked above indicates that turmeric is also good for the healthy, and may actually help to prevent the development of various illnesses. Of course, if you never develop them, you’ll never truly know what effect turmeric had, but as the old saying goes, “better safe than sorry”.
So how do we get turmeric into our diets if we don’t consume it regularly? If you don’t love Indian food or don’t consume it regularly, you can easily find turmeric powder in any spice aisle in the United States. Look in the “T” section for a brilliant orange spice, and that’s the one you should grab. Turmeric isn’t as pungent a flavor as many of the others on the shelf, so you can easily add it to many homemade dishes without it taking over the flavor profile. Throw it into your scrambled eggs in the morning, into baked goods you make on the weekend, or into the braised greens you simmer for dinner. You can definitely adapt some recipes that use its taste and color to great effect.
Of course, you can also buy fresh stuff too. Health food stores and organic-type groceries typically sell the fresh rhizome by the pound in the veggie section. These have a papery skin kind of like ginger. Once peeled, you can chuck the whole thing into the blender with your favorite smoothie ingredients, and enjoy a fantastically healthy turmeric-based smoothie treat whenever you want. The study above indicates that you don’t have to overdo it, either, if you’re not looking for any specific effect from the turmeric. If you’re just hoping for overall preventative effects for your health, a little bit now and then may do just the trick.
We can recommend a couple of products to get you started with turmeric today. First, we have Turmeric Formula Certified Organic from Organic India, which can provide your daily dose of turmeric in capsule form, taken with water twice per day. We can also recommend Golden Milk Turmeric Infusion from Jarrow Formulas, which is a whey protein powder that features turmeric and other spices prominently. This is the perfect choice for someone looking for more general benefits, but who want to always have a little bit of turmeric in their diet for good measure.