I’m busy harvesting lots of turmeric we’ve grown in our hoop house. So, what’s the BIG DIET DEAL about turmeric? It is a very big deal, because turmeric, along with ginger in the Zingiberaceae family, contain curcumin. Curcumin has been shown to have many beneficial health effects, to include anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antioxidant, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and neuroprotection.
Turmeric is a plant native to southeast Asia, and these cultures have long used it as a culinary spice. Curry spice blend and mustard are two familiar foods that get their deep orange color from turmeric. Historically referred to as the “Golden Spice,” some say turmeric is the third healing herb, along with the precious Frankincense and Myrrh that the Magi presented to the young Christ child.
You can use fresh turmeric in your diet in healthy drinks, as a delicious spice in your cooking, and to boost the nutrition of other foods. The bioavailability of curcumin (its ability to be digested and absorbed) is enhanced by combining fat and black pepper with it.
Simply brew 1 teaspoon grated root in a cup of water for hot or cold tea. I add a lemon and green tea bag to mine. Strain and add honey to taste. For a healthful bedtime drink, make Golden Milk. Or, add turmeric to enhance the health benefits of green smoothies by including a one-inch piece of root.
Spicy food lovers enjoy homemade curry powder! I understand that homemade mustard is easy to make, although recipes call for ground turmeric. If you have a recipe to share, I’d love to have it!
Using turmeric as a spice in your cooking is easy. You can toss in grated turmeric root with your roasted vegetables, add it to your soups, add it as a salad topper, add it to home-cooked bean dishes, and use it along with garlic for sautéed greens.