Health benefits of turmeric and how to use it

Turmeric, the main spice in curry, is arguably the most powerful herb on the planet at fighting and potentially reversing disease.

Turmeric is often used interchangeably with curcumin, but there is a difference. Curcumin is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in the spice turmeric. The technical difference between the two is that turmeric is the yellowish powder used to flavor foods, while curcumin is a chemical contained within turmeric.

Turmeric is popular with people suffering arthritis or joint pain. Interestingly, the anti-inflammatory compounds in turmeric are more bio-available if eaten with freshly grated black pepper and some type of healthy fat or oil.

Beware, turmeric will stain everything – your hands, clothes, kitchen bench, cutting board, grater and food processor. You might want to use a dedicated grater and cutting board for turmeric, and even wear gloves and an apron if you’re going to be grating it.

Here are some easy ways to add it to your diet:

Smoothies

Up the anti-inflammatory power of any smoothie recipe by grating some fresh turmeric into the blender. If you have a high-speed blender, you can simply add a chunk of turmeric to the mix.

Eggs

Grate into eggs or breakfast hash while they are cooking.

Salad

Grate turmeric on top of a fresh salad. It blends in nicely with a grated carrot.

Soup

Grate into a detox soup, such as carrot, turmeric and ginger soup, or add with a handful of spinach to increase the nutrition in canned soup.

Coleslaw

Grate into a healthier spin on coleslaw made with apple cider vinegar and yogurt dressing instead of mayonnaise.

Grains

Grate into the cooking water when making rice or quinoa.

Fancy drinks

Make a turmeric chai tea or sip a turmeric latte.

Medicinal honey

Make anti-inflammatory medicinal honey by mixing it with turmeric, ginger and black pepper. Use this to sweeten decaf green tea as well as yoghurt bowls.

Butter

Make a compound butter with a golden turmeric touch.

Curries

Grate into any curry, such as a fish chowder or a vegan chickpea masala curry.

Here’s a healthy kitchari recipe that includes turmeric.