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Spotlight On | Turmeric

Bare Basics, Nutrition Topics

Spotlight On | Turmeric | nutritionstripped.comTurmeric is one of my absolute favorite spices I use in cooking because of it’s amazing health benefits and flavor. Who cares if you stain your clothing, hands, countertops, new kitchen linens (bummer), while using turmeric in the kitchen, it’s all in the good notion and name of health and vitality, right? Right! In the previous two posts (Turmeric Milk and Curry Cashew Cauliflower Soup), turmeric was one of the star ingredients so let’s explore this gem of a spice!

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The queen spice, turmeric

Oh gorgeous yellow-burnt orange colored delicate powder, how do I love thee? I love thee a lot. Turmeric is in my top 5 spices that I can’t live without. The health benefits are so powerful yet so often over looked and under used in the Western culture it amazes me. To no fault of our culture, turmeric simply isn’t predominant in our region or cuisine. Your views and opinions may quickly turn in favor of using this yellow spice more often than not after today (at least I hope so, *fingers crossed*). Throughout history turmeric has been used anywhere from a healing remedy for a variety of ailments to a textile dye! The flavor profile of turmeric is earthy, warm, slightly peppery, and sometimes a bit bitter. It has also been called “Indian saffron” due to it’s deep yellow-golden color as you can see from the pictures above, which is similar to saffron (a rich deep red color). Did you also know the rich golden yellow color of turmeric is also responsible and often used in standard mustards to “color” the mustard yellow? Natural food dyes=awesome.

Spotlight On | Turmeric | nutritionstripped.com

How to use TURMERIC |

  • Curries
  • Season meat/poultry/fish/beans/tofu/tempeh, etc.
  • Season roasted vegetables
  • Season rice, quinoa, other grains/legumes
  • Use a dash in hummus
  • Use in broth like soups/stews
  • Sneak it into your smoothies (why not?)
  • Turmeric Milk
  • Curry Cashew Cauliflower Soup
  • Natural food coloring

Why turmeric rocks?  Turmeric has powerful medicinal properties due to it’s high amounts of nutrients, antioxidants, anti inflammatory compounds, and phytonutrients that have been studied in depth especially for cancer prevention. The attention should be on curcumin. Curcumin in the main component found in turmeric that responsible for the medicinal benefits//properties. Turmeric and curcumin have been used in studies: improving IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), Crohn’s disease, immune health, rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis, cancer prevention // inhibits cancer cell growth (and here and here), prevention of colon cancer , pancreatic cancer/tumor growth, prevention of prostate cancer (when teamed up with our friend the cauliflower), reduce risk of childhood leukemia (and here), improve liver function, diabetes, cardiovascular benefits//protection, cholesterol (and here), wound healing, and Alzhiemer’s (and here and here). Wow, now you can see (and read the studies) carried out regarding the powerful benefits of turmeric//curcumin.

As with most studies, active compounds and components of food are studied in large doses, so how do we make this applicable to daily life? Most of the research studies use anywhere from 2-7g of curcumin to test, this would be a lot of turmeric to eat (especially when pure turmeric is comprised of about 3.14% by weight of curcumin). I recommend using it daily if you like (and checking with your trusty physician in case you’re on certain medications), but again, I understand this is may be a new spice to use in your cooking so use as you see fit.

Spotlight On | Turmeric | nutritionstripped.com

Nutrition Stripped breakdown of TURMERIC | 

*based on 100g (which is quite difficult to consume at once, but this is for the sake of nutrient composition)

  • Manganese
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin B| B6 (pyridoxine), B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B9 (folate )
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Antioxidants
  • Phytonutrients

Side note* Turmeric may have an interaction with anticogulant/antiplatlet drugs (i.e. Plavix, Coumadin, etc.) which may increase the risk of bleeding in some people; turmeric is in the group of herbs that may interact with these types of medications: garlic, ginseng, ginger, willow, red clover, clove, and others. Just a heads up, speak with you physician if you think this may impact your lifestyle (or if you plan to eat loads of turmeric!).

Spotlight On | Turmeric | nutritionstripped.com

 

Have you ever tried turmeric in your cooking? I challenge you to incorporate turmeric in your cooking/meals at least 2 times this week! Are you up for the challenge? Post below how you used turmeric.

Happy day friends,

xo McKel

Share your thoughts

  • Susie

    I am going to put some in my green smoothie right now!

    • Wonderful! I love incorporating it into smoothies, added nutrition without altering the taste much 🙂 Thanks for sharing

    • Missy

      Hi! Teaspoon turmeric, teaspoon cinnamon, tablespoon chia seeds, 1 cup Cashew or almond milk, handful frozen mangoes, few ice cubes, blend in bender or nutribullet. Delish!

  • Teniel

    I have turmeric and ginger in my green juice every single day. My vitamix is stained yellow and so is my nut milk bag. I add it to my zucchini chips and also love adding it to slow cooked veggie curries.

    I actually dont like the spice but I have it for its health benefits. I LOVE ginger though.

    • That is often a problem I have too, but the stain is worth it haha! Thanks for sharing Teniel! 🙂

  • Shannon

    I love these spotlight posts! It’s so great to be able to read up on the nutritional benefits of foods (and spices) and even click over to actual scientific studies. Thanks for the inspiration and the education! Time to mix up some turmeric milk. 🙂

    • Hi Shannon,
      Thank you so much- I’m so glad you enjoy these! Hope you like the Turmeric Milk 🙂

  • Jenn

    Can a supplement be taken to help get closer to the amount that is beneficial? I don’t mind the taste of tumeric but I was wondering if I could add it to my supplements for the long list of benefits.

    • Hi Jenn,
      There are turmeric supplements, but my best practice is to always try to consume the source in it’s true form. As with anything when you isolate the compounds you miss out on the other great properties of the food or spice/herb, etc.

  • Robin

    I take curcumin as a supliment. But it is rather expensive from my dr office. Can you recommend a suppliment company?

    • Hi Robin,
      Better yet, is to simply eat or consume turmeric! If you have specific questions about supplements and ones you should be taking I’d love to discuss that with you in a short “ask the RD” consultation!

  • Tracey

    Just wondering if you recommend any particular brands? Is it sufficient to simply buy a jar from the grocery store spice aisle? The Turmeric Milk is yummy! Thank you!

  • Jo

    This week I bought a pound of it in the local produce market. Came across your milk when looking for ways to drink it. Very nice, will be making it again and I’ve shared with a friend who wants to try it too. Thanks

    • Jo

      By the way, it’s fresh turmeric and my hands are yellow!

    • Wonderful! So glad you’re giving it a try 🙂

  • Sarah

    Hi! Do you use fresh turmeric ever? If so do you use it in you turmeric milk? I have both powdered and fresh (which I often use in juice). Curious if fresh is more powerful? Thanks!

    • McKel Hill

      Yes you can use both fresh or ground- I prefer ground simply because it’s easier to use! But fresh is the best for making juices with 😉

  • Jana du Plessis

    I loove spices like ginger, turmeric, cardamon, cinnamon etc. I especially enjoy ‘golden porridge’ (oatmeal flavoured with the spices of your golden milk) topped with plain joghurt, mango and sprouted buckwheat. So delicious and satisfying – It is like sunshine in a bowl!

    • McKel Hill

      Yes, anything turmeric is good right? I love the sound of the porridge you make, Jana!

  • Rebecca

    I had been suffering from IBS as well as speculated dairy & gluten intolerances, this had been a constant for three years. I recently heard about turmeric supplements (although I fully advocate throwing it in EVERYTHING for some amazing tastes) and thought I’d read up on it. A turmeric supplement combined with a acidophilus plus supplement twice a day has dramatically changed my life (over exaggerated it is not) and after a month of continuous use my ibs / intolerances have appeared to cease (I can now re-enjoy bagels!). Hopefully this is not a quick fix, however, I cannot support the turmeric takeover enough!

    • McKel Hill

      Thanks for sharing Rebecca! That’s wonderful you found a plan that works for you and helps manage your symptoms. Kudos!

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