Turmeric is a root from India and Southeast Asia primarily dried and ground into a spice. It has a warm, peppery taste to it. The root is bright orange, and the dried spice is a bright yellow.
Health Benefits of turmeric
- Antioxidants in turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties that can help to lower blood pressure, regulate blood glucose and fat levels, prevent premature aging, and stimulate levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Turmeric can help to prevent cancer risks due to anti-inflammatory properties, as well as support the immune system, and maintain cell health.
- Curcumin, a chemical compound found in turmeric, helps to activate production of DHA and ALA (omega-3 fatty acids) that maintain nervous system health.
- Adding turmeric to vegetables containing beta-carotene (sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, etc.) may decrease the loss of beta-carotene after cooking.
- Turmeric can help to treat arthritis, colds, coughs, headaches and even depression in some individuals.
SELECTing & STORing Turmeric
- Buy organic powdered and dried turmeric, preferably at a specialty store where the selection will be fresher than those at big box stores. Store dried turmeric in a cool, dark place.
- Turmeric root can also be found fresh in the produce department, and should be stored in the refrigerator.
How to Use Turmeric
- Add to sauces, like curry or to pasta dishes
- Make “golden milk” or tonics
- In smoothies, along with carrot and ginger
- Add to rice, soups, and salad dressings
- Use to season vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, squash), meat (chicken, lamb, pork), scrambled eggs, deviled eggs, and slaws