Turmeric is a spice that comes from the Curcuma plant. If you want to purchase fresh turmeric, you may be able to find it at a farmer’s market. If not, look for it online.
The rhizome (commonly called a root) looks a lot like ginger root with its brown peel, but it is bright orange to yellow inside. You can cut it up, grate it, juice it, crush it through a garlic press, and add it to almost anything (smoothies, beans, lentils, quinoa, meat, etc.)
Dried turmeric is a powder whose color ranges from orange to yellow. You can make your own turmeric powder by peeling, boiling, drying, and then grating fresh rhizomes, but consume fresh, uncooked turmeric to maximize its health benefits. When using it in recipes that require cooking, try adding some before the cooking process, and then grate some fresh turmeric on top of the meal before eating.
In recipes, one tablespoon of fresh turmeric is equivalent to one teaspoon of dried turmeric for taste.
Turmeric is one of the basic and best known ingredients in curry (which is a combination of spices) and is a commonly used spice in Indian and Asian cooking. It is delicious in salad dressings or heavily sprinkled on salads, and it is a welcome addition to vegetable dishes, dips, and sauces.
Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric, with its active ingredient, curcumin, is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant with numerous medicinal uses. The more serious diseases treated and prevented with turmeric include inflammatory bowel diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cancer.
Numerous studies have shown that turmeric helps the body destroy cancer cells, helps prevent tumor formation, slows or inhibits the spread of cancer cells, and induces apoptosis (cell suicide) of mutated cancerous cells.
How To Consume Turmeric For Maximum Benefit
Research shows the combination of onions and turmeric (combining quercitin and curcumin) reduces both the size and the number of precancerous lesions in the intestinal tract.
The combination of curcumin and phenethyl isothiocyanates, a photochemical found in cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, pack a powerful punch. In mice studies, each nutrient retarded prostate cancer cells, but when combined, these two nutrients significantly reduced tumor growth and the ability of the cancerous cells to metastasize.
Curcumin is fat soluble. Mixing curcumin with fat significantly aids in absorption. Black pepper increases curcumin’s potency by 1000 times. Mix it with olive oil or coconut oil. Sprinkle turmeric on an avocado. Blend it into coconut and avocado smoothies.