Although it may seem as if turmeric is a brand new fad making the rounds on sites like Pinterest, it’s enjoyed its great reputation for thousands of years. Turmeric is a root, similar to ginger, so it’s no surprise that it shares a few things in common with its cousin, such as its anti-inflammatory properties.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the antioxidant curcumin is turmeric’s active ingredient, so it’s been used as a curative for everything from sprained ankles to digestive woes.
Because the antioxidants it contains helps protect cells from damage, turmeric has also been credited with preventing or treating some kinds of cancer. Well … don’t run out to get a truckload of supplements just yet. Some digging on Cancer.org revealed that though studies examining curcumin itself are promising, they are still, nevertheless, in early stages, and research on humans is still needed to see curcumin’s role, if any, in cancer prevention and treatment.
If you do plan on getting supplements, please do make sure to follow recommended doses. In fact, talk to your doctor to make sure there are no adverse drug interactions between it and any medication or other herbal supplement you may be taking.
Typically, you boil the root and dry it so you can grind it into a yellow powder that can be used for a variety of things, including as food coloring or as part of a spice rub for chicken or tofu steaks. And of course you can get it in powder form already — just check the spice aisle at your local supermarket, specialty shop or online.
The thing is, you can just as easily get your hands on the root or the powder and use them to make a number of dishes. And even if it isn’t the cure for cancer that some already claim it to be, it’s still pretty darn good for you, when not taken in excess. So check out these three simple recipes.
In a jar with a lid — so you can shake it afterward — add equal parts red wine vinegar and olive oil. Add 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, and salt and pepper to taste. Shake it up and add to your salads.
Get that blender! Add five large carrots, one chopped-up apple, a small piece of peeled turmeric root and 1 cup of ice and go, go, go! Want to add some kale? Go for it! Cucumber? Why not?! You’ll not only get the benefit of ingesting turmeric rather than popping it in supplement form but also a nice serving of fresh fruits and vegetables, all still bursting with nutrients that your body will thank you for in the long run.
In a pan over mediumhigh heat, combine 2 teaspoons of paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon of coriander and 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 tablespoon minced garlic (from the jar is fine) and 1 tablespoon lime juice (bottled is fine). Lower the heat so that it’s medium-low. Add pieces of chopped chicken or sliced extra firm tofu steaks, making sure to coat whichever you go with. Make sure to cook that chicken thoroughly — no pink! Serve with some grilled asparagus for a healthy meal.