Curious about all of the fuss over turmeric, a bright yellow spice that grows mostly in India and Indonesia? This tuberous member of the ginger family is typically used in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking or as a coloring agent in cosmetics, food and fabrics. But it’s much more than just a culinary spice or a natural dye.
For centuries, this herbaceous perennial plant has been used in traditional medicines such as Ayurveda or Chinese to treat a variety of health conditions including digestive, blood, skin and liver disorders. Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful antioxidant that is said to help decrease inflammation and fight free radicals which damage the immune system. Curcumin’s potential to treat various diseases has been shown in numerous studies.
Adding a bit of turmeric to your diet is easy and inexpensive. Just make sure that the ground spice or fresh root that you are using is organic and of high quality. Add to scrambled eggs or sprinkle over steamed or roasted vegetables. Brighten up a batch of plain rice or enhance the flavor of soups and stews. You can even sneak it into your favorite juice or smoothie. Need to warm up? Try enjoying it as a refreshing hot beverage.