Is Turmeric really the new ‘super food’ on the block?
Yes, yes and yes! So many reasons to add turmeric into our daily diet and if you are looking for easy ideas to cook with turmeric than look no further.
Our expert Watchfit guide is full of creative ideas of including turmeric in your meals.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
A little recap on why we should be eating more turmeric. The yellow pigment of turmeric is provided by curcuminoids, a group of powerful antioxidants which belongs to the polyphenol family.
There seems to be a never ending list of health benefits of curcuminoids, this long list includes anti-inflammatory properties as well as possibly a reduction in cancer risk, improved cardiovascular health and optimisation of liver function.
It is heavily promoted in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat both digestive and skin complaints
One point which you may not be aware of is that the dosage of curcumin used in research trials can be relatively high – up to 12g.
It’s really hard to obtain this amount from food alone as turmeric contains approximately 2-3% percent curcumin by weight (and I’ll let you do the maths!) but basically consuming 1.5-1 tsp of powdered turmeric a day will provide about 75mg of curcumin.
Should we all be munching on turmeric supplements? Well, as always it’s about balance. The concern is that high levels of turmeric from turmeric supplements could increase the risk of stomach upsets and reduce blood clotting factors. It’s better to eat the ‘real food’ rather than an extract.
Even a small dose of antioxidants from consuming turmeric powder is better than none. Turmeric powder also contains other chemicals such as aromatic-turmerone which is linked with being able to repair brain cells following disease or damage.
Turmeric is a versatile herb with a mild, peppery taste. It comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant (which looks similar to fresh ginger) and is more usually available in powdered form.
It’s important to highlight that the absorption of curcumin can be improved by heat (think curries!), fats and pepper. Less is definitely ‘more’ when it comes to adding it to your food as its taste gets stronger as it cooks.
Here are some easy ideas to help you cook with turmeric:
1) Add ½ tsp of turmeric to smoothies and vinaigrettes
2) Mix turmeric with olive oil and drizzle over a tray of roasted vegetables
3) Make an Indian style roasted trail mix using nuts, turmeric and coconut oil
4) Add turmeric to muffins and cakes (it works particularly well with carrot cake!)
5) Add turmeric to rice to give it a wonderful orangey tint
6) Soups and dips can also benefit from the addition of turmeric
7) Add to marinades for poultry and fish
8) The pairing of turmeric and eggs is a perfect one. Try Indian scrambled eggs for a Sunday brunch and enjoy with a dollop of mango chutney and fresh coriander.