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Turmeric Plant-Based Wonder Spice

In the realm of spices, one golden gem stands out for its vibrant colour and countless health benefits: turmeric. Renowned for its culinary prowess and therapeutic properties, turmeric has been revered for centuries in traditional medicine and cuisine. Join me on a journey to uncover the secrets of this amazing ancient spice, from its origins to its modern-day applications. Turmeric is a winner that you should add in any diet, plant-based or not.

 

The Essence of Turmeric

 

Turmeric, scientifically known as Curcuma longa, is a flowering plant native to South Asia, particularly India and Indonesia. The spice is derived from underground stems of the turmeric plant, which are harvested, dried, and ground into a fine powder. With its distinct earthy flavour and vibrant yellow colour, turmeric has become a staple ingredient in kitchens around the world, adding depth and richness to dishes ranging from curries to soups, and even turmeric lattes.

 

Health Benefits

 

Beyond its culinary appeal, turmeric boasts a wealth of health-promoting properties that have captured the attention of many researchers and health enthusiasts. Central to turmeric’s medicinal potency is a compound called curcumin, which serves as its primary bioactive ingredient. Curcumin is renowned for its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which play a crucial role in supporting overall health and well-being. You can use turmeric in powder form or buy the roots which are available from most Asian grocers.

Within an hour of consuming turmeric, the curcumin will appear in your bloodstream, however only in small traces. This is because your liver is trying to get rid of the curcumin. Luckily you can increase the amount by mixing the turmeric with some black pepper and “activate” it. Activating the turmeric increases the bioavailability by 2000 percent!  — source: How Not to Die, Michael Greger MD

So, what are the benefits of this amazing spice you might wonder?

 

Anti-Inflammatory Wonder: Chronic inflammation is a root cause of many modern-day ailments, including arthritis, heart disease, and even cancer. Turmeric’s potent anti-inflammatory properties help combat inflammation at the cellular level, reducing pain and swelling associated with inflammatory conditions.

Antioxidant Armor: In today’s fast-paced world, our bodies are constantly bombarded by harmful free radicals that can wreak havoc on our cells and DNA. Turmeric’s antioxidant ability helps neutralize free radicals, protecting against oxidative damage and supporting cellular health.

Heart-Healthy Hero: Heart disease remains a leading cause of mortality worldwide, making cardiovascular health a top priority for many. Studies suggest that turmeric may help lower cholesterol levels, improve blood flow, and reduce the risk of heart disease, making it a valuable ally in the fight against cardiovascular ailments.

Brain Booster: As we age, cognitive decline becomes a growing concern, prompting many to seek out natural ways to support brain health. Emerging research suggests that turmeric may offer neuroprotective benefits, enhancing memory, cognition, and mood while reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Digestive Dynamo: From indigestion to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), digestive woes can significantly impact our quality of life. Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties make it a valuable aid in promoting digestive health, soothing inflammation, and supporting gut microbiome balance.

 

Incorporating Turmeric into Your Daily Routine

 

Now that we’ve unpacked the incredible health benefits of turmeric, let’s see how you can incorporate this golden spice into your daily life:

 

Turmeric Latte: Start your day on a warm and comforting note with a cup of turmeric latte—a soothing blend of (activated) turmeric, plant-based milk, ginger and maple syrup. This delicious beverage not only warms the soul but also delivers a potent dose of turmeric’s health-boosting properties.

Vegan Curries: Explore the rich and diverse world of curry cuisine by incorporating turmeric into your favourite curry recipes. Whether you prefer vegetable curries or lentil curries, turmeric adds depth, flavour, and vibrant colour to any dish, transforming ordinary meals into culinary masterpieces.

Smoothie Superpowers: Give your morning smoothie a health-boosting upgrade by adding a spoonful of turmeric powder or freshly grated turmeric root. Blend it with your favourite fruits, leafy greens, and plant-based protein for a nutrient-packed beverage that supports overall vitality and well-being.

Turmeric Tea: Wind down in the evening with a soothing cup of turmeric tea, infused with warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, and black pepper. This aromatic brew not only promotes relaxation and stress relief but also delivers a potent dose of turmeric’s health-enhancing benefits.

 

Conclusion

 

In conclusion, turmeric stands as a shining example of nature’s bounty, offering a wealth of health benefits and culinary possibilities to those who embrace it. From its anti-inflammatory prowess to its heart-healthy properties, turmeric is one of those spices that needs a place in your kitchen’s staples. Maybe we could even call it a ‘superfood’. Time for you to sprinkle a little sunshine into your life with a dash of turmeric today. Your body and taste buds will thank you for it!

With love,

Jimmy