5 Ways to Use Turmeric Daily
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a perennial herbal plant that is native to South and Southeast Asia. It is a member of the ginger family, growing up to about three feet tall.
Although the entire plant is edible, turmeric has traditionally been sought after for its roots, which are boiled, dried and ground up into a powder. However, the leaves are often used to make a wrap for steamed fish and even the flowers are edible.
Uses of Turmeric
Turmeric grows wild in the forest lands of South and Southeast Asia but also has a long, rich history of cultivation throughout the region. For nearly 4,000 years, turmeric has been used as both a spice and for its medicinal properties.
Some cultures also use it in religious ceremonies or due to its bright yellow color, as a fabric dye. Today, India produces nearly all of the world’s turmeric crop, consuming approximately 80% of what it produces. The remainder is exported.
As a spice it is mostly commonly used as a key ingredient in many Indian, Pakistani, Persian and Thai dishes. It is one of the main ingredients in curry, giving it both its distinctive taste and appealing color. In fact, thanks to its brilliant yellow color, turmeric is sometimes referred to as “Indian saffron.”
You may have been hearing about turmeric a lot lately—not so much due to its use as spice, but because of its many medicinal properties. Interest in the medicinal aspects of turmeric have grown so strong that over the last 25 years, more than 3,000 publications have discussed the healing and health benefits of turmeric.
For thousands of years, turmeric has been used and revered for its anti-inflammatory effects and the fact that it is a very strong antioxidant. As an anti-inflammatory, it is used to help treat arthritis, psoriasis, headaches, sore muscles and more. In addition, the powerful antiseptic and antibacterial properties of turmeric make it useful for cleaning and treating wounds.
Other important chemical components of turmeric include a group of compounds known as curcuminoids, which include curcumin (diferuloylmethane), demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. These components of turmeric have generated strong interest from research scientists around the world.
Below are just a few of the many ways that studies have demonstrated the tremendous medicinal and health-enhancing properties of turmeric.
Health properties of turmeric
As an antioxidant
The curcumin found in turmeric makes it a very powerful free radical-fighting antioxidant. As an antioxidant, turmeric can fight free radicals, increase antioxidant enzymes, and even inhibit lipid peroxidation.
Turmeric is prized for its powerful ability to reduce swelling and inflammation. These properties make turmeric a popular remedy to alleviate muscle injuries, joint pain and even symptoms of arthritis.
There is a growing body of evidence indicating that turmeric is capable of lowering blood sugar and reversing insulin resistance. An Auburn University study showed that in turmeric is effective in activating AMPK, which improves insulin sensitivity which can help reverse Type 2 Diabetes.
Other studies have shown that turmeric is beneficial as an anticoagulant, alleviating the symptoms of anxiety and depression, supporting cancer treatment and prevention, managing cholesterol and minimizing gastrointestinal disorders.
So now that you know about some of the many health-enhancing benefits of turmeric, let’s take a look at five ways you can reap the rewards it offers.
5 ways to use turmeric
If you love savory dishes, there are countless tasty ways to spice up your meals by adding turmeric. Use it when cooking vegetables, sauces, eggs and meat dishes.
2. Drink it as a tea
To create a delicious, healthy tea, boil four cups of water and add one teaspoon of ground turmeric. Allow it to simmer for 10 minutes then strain out the powder for a tasty tea.
3. Use it as a skin treatment
You can mix turmeric powder with castor oil to create a powerful skin detox agent. Simply apply and massage it into the skin.
4. Blend it into a smoothie
If you like to make smoothies, adding a pinch of turmeric can make your daily smoothie healthier and tastier. Most people tend to add between 1/8 and 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric to their smoothies.
5. Take a turmeric supplement
An easy-to-swallow supplement is a great way to get a daily healthy dose of turmeric and curcumin. Critical Nutrition’s Turmeric Curcumin a favorite. This all-natural custom developed supplement contains a full 750 milligrams of a proprietary blend of turmeric root, curcumin extract and black pepper extract.
Of the five ways to get the health benefits of turmeric, taking a supplement like Turmeric Curcumin from Critical Nutrition is the simplest and surest way to be certain that you are getting a sufficient dose of turmeric each and every day. One capsule taken with a meal and you’re all set! You can then add more turmeric to your diet by using the other four strategies as you like.
In any case, given the strong—and growing—body of evidence supporting the many benefits of turmeric, if you haven’t been taking turmeric, you should start right away.