Happy New Year, glowing ones!
In the spirit of foregoing dusty resolutions, how about experimenting with new ways to thrive in 2015? This calls for infusing more zest into our day. So let’s get fresh and spice it up.
If the holiday hustle left you feeling a little deflated, say hello to turmeric…
Used for centuries in Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric (aka curcumin) has been praised for its therapeutic effect in preventing and supporting conditions linked with inflammation (ie. most diseases). According to experts like Dr. Weil, turmeric has actually been shown to outperform certain pharmaceuticals.
If you’ve played around with this bright “golden” culinary spice, you’re probably familiar with its tendency to stain all it touches. Think mustard on a white shirt. Fun fact: the rhizome (or rootstock) of turmeric is what gives American mustard its sunny colour.
Fresh turmeric in rhizome form is a close botanical relative of ginger, and it has an uncanny resemblance to an old finger or toe. Indian curries and Southeast Asian dishes are where it’s at.
The powdered version found in our local spice aisle undergoes a fair bit of processing, so best to use the fresh root or organic, non-irradiated turmeric powder. I throw a pinch into green smoothies like this one from MindBodyGreen. Unlike other fiery spices, turmeric has more of an earthy bitter flavor. Mmm.
Here are a few ways turmeric works its charm…
1) Antioxidant power. Turmeric is 3 times more potent than grape seed or pine bark extract, which are considered champs in the free radical fighting ring. Big win for our cells.
2) Arthritis. Applied topically, it can reduce inflammation right at the source.
3) Liver health. It seems to delay the progression of liver damage that leads to cirrhosis. Perhaps a good post-NYE detox remedy.
4) Alzheimer’s. It can block the formation of brain plaque involved in cognitive decline.
5) Cancer. Research has demonstrated turmeric’s role in destroying cancer stem cells.
6) Digestion. It has been shown to help heal the gut lining and treat symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.
7) Diabetes. It can improve the action of disrupted insulin-response pathways, which may be promising for type 2.
Here’s a little turmeric tea recipe to try out:
- Bring 2-3 cups of water to a boil.
- Add 1 tsp of ground turmeric, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg.
- Let simmer for 10 minutes and strain herbs using a sieve.
- Optional: add fresh lemon juice, nut milk or raw honey (carb count for honey: 17 grams per tbsp).
Cheers to spicing up the new year with happy health!