Turmeric is best known for being one of the main spices in curry. I am not a huge fan of curry dishes so I incorporate turmeric in my diet in other ways. Fresh pressed juices, teas, and smoothie recipes are my top choices for getting my turmeric in. I also love to add it to my tofu when I make tofu scramble and sprinkle it on my sautéed veggies.
Turmeric is a relative of ginger and they look very similar with the exception of turmeric being orange on the inside. Keep that in mind when shopping for your turmeric – although, you can’t go wrong with ginger but that’s for another day. Fresh turmeric is best but if that’s not available to you, go for a high quality powder form.
WHY eat turmeric?
Turmeric has countless benefits. These are my favorite benefits but my list is certainly not exhaustive:
- Antioxidant. Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant so it aids in cell damage prevention and disease prevention, cancer in particular.
- Anti-inflammatory. Turmeric is high in anti-inflammatory properties making it great for those suffering from arthritis as well as other conditions that cause chronic inflammation. Inflammation contributes to most chronic diseases.
- Iron. There are 5.2 milligrams of iron in just one tablespoon of turmeric making it a great source of iron.
- Antibacterial and Antimicrobial. The antimicrobial and antibacterial properties in turmeric make it great for fighting off illness.
- Skin. Turmeric is great for the skin! In addition to consuming it, you can use it topically. For a face mask, you can mix turmeric powder with coconut milk (or raw milk) and honey. Turmeric helps remediate acne, brighten the skin, reduce oil production, minimize scars and inflammation, lighten stretch marks, heal burns, minimize appearance of dark under eye circles, and more.
HOW should I eat turmeric?
Turmeric is fat soluble meaning you should eat it with a fat in order to absorb it more effectively. When adding turmeric to my sautéed veggies, I make sure to sauté them in coconut oil. When adding to a smoothie, I make sure to add coconut or almond milk. Avocado is another great fat to pair turmeric with and can be incorporated in a variety of ways: smoothies, rice and veggie dishes, sandwiches.
Eating turmeric with black pepper is ideal because the black pepper increases the bioavailability of turmeric. Bioavailability essentially refers to the efficiency of which a substance is absorbed and made available for the body to use. When possible, add black pepper to your turmeric – I do not do this with my smoothies!
Green Turmeric Smoothie
- 1-2 cups greens (swiss chard, kale, spinach) depending on your palate
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 pear or green apple (skin on)
- 1/2 – 1 inch turmeric (scrub the skin or peel) again, depending on your palate*
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
- dash of cinnamon
Add all ingredients to the blender. I like to add some ice for the consistency. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!
*If using turmeric powder, use 1/2-1 teaspoon **If you prefer a sweeter smoothie, add more fruit.
As always, if you are taking medications or have certain health conditions, check to make sure turmeric is beneficial and safe for you. Keep in mind, certain quantities of turmeric may lower blood sugar levels, blood pressure, thin the blood.