Wellness Wednesday – Turmeric
Turmeric- it’s worth the hype!
Turmeric has been around for centuries and is commonly used for its healing properties. You are probably familiar with this yellow spice as it is found in many cuisines from around the globe. Turmeric contains various powerful components, the most important of which is Curcumin. You can purchase turmeric as a packaged spice or as a whole root. Nurse Fiona believes Turmeric should be consumed daily to help achieve optimal health.
Benefits of Curcumin
Curcumin has the ability to scavenge free radicals. It is also thought to have detoxification properties that may reduce the harmful effects of heavy metal build up in our systems (1).
The anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin is most likely due to its ability to inhibit important enzymes that promote inflammation (2). This ancient ingredient has been used as an alternative to painkillers, such as Ibuprofen.
Curcumin was shown by Cancer Research UK to prevent and reduce cancer cells. It has been used effectively in the treatment of breast, bowel, stomach and skin cancer (3).
Multiple studies are showing that curcumin has potent anti-bacterial properties. One in particular concluded that curcumin acts similarly to a broad-spectrum antibiotic due to its ability to damage the membranes of pathogenic bacteria (4). It has also been shown to deactivate the flu virus, and help with fungal conditions such as candida (5).
-Helps to balance blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity
A large systematic review concluded that curcumin could help to balance blood sugar levels. This medicinal ingredient may reduce the side effects of diabetes, including insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, pancreatic dysfunction and necrosis (5)
How to add this super food to your everyday routine?
-Add ½ tsp. to scrambled eggs
-Sprinkle on top of fish, meat, and vegetables
-Whole turmeric added to morning smoothie or juice
-Slice fresh turmeric and infuse for 15 minutes
-Add 1 Tbsp. to curries or stews
-Nurse Fiona’s ‘Golden turmeric milk latte’ (below)
Turmeric Top Tips
-Add a pinch of black pepper when using turmeric
Black pepper increases the absorption of curcumin. One study found that when 2g of curcumin were ingested, its serum levels were very low. However, when 20mg of piperine (the active ingredient in black pepper) was added to curcumin, the absorption increased by 2,000%. (6).
-Always opt for fresh turmeric. This can be found at @wholefoods @planetorganic or your local Asian supermarket
-If using fresh turmeric, you may want to wear gloves to avoid the yellow stain of skin
Nurse Fiona’s Golden Spiced Turmeric Latte
1tsp organic turmeric
1tsp organic cinnamon
½ tsp fresh or ground ginger
2 cardamom pods
Pinch of black pepper
2 cups of Almond, cashew or coconut milk. (Opt for organic. Nurse Fiona’s favourite brand is Rude Health)
- Simply pour all ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a light boil. Whisk to combine ingredients. Reduce heat to low and simmer for up to 10 minutes.
- Strain the milk if you have large pieces of ginger, cinnamon, peppercorns, etc. To serve, add honey or a dash of cinnamon.