Turmeric is a widely used spice in Asian culture and is also one of the ingredients in curry, it is also used to give flavor and color to dishes. Now, did you know that turmeric is credited with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antidepressant benefits? In this article we will analyze whether this is scientifically based or not.
We will also explain how you can include it daily in your diet, such as preparing delicious and original recipes that everyone will like: a coconut and turmeric flan, an energy shake or a Hindu drink.
What is turmeric?
Turmeric ( Curcuma longa ) is a species in the same family as ginger. The part used in a traditional way for its medicinal properties is the rhizome. Although it has been used historically in the East, we find it more and more in the West, in our dishes and also as a supplement and natural remedy.
By regularly consuming turmeric you can experience the following benefits.
1. Anti-cancer effect
The curcumin in turmeric has been studied for several decades for its possible anticancer properties. Some research indicates that it could inhibit the growth of some tumors. However, there is no conclusive data in this regard.
2. Anti-inflammatory property
Curcumin would also have anti-inflammatory properties that could help alleviate the symptoms of some diseases such as rheumatism, fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue. It is believed that it could also be useful in inflammation of the respiratory or urinary tract. However, these properties have not been proven and studies are ongoing.
A study published in Foods in 2017 indicates that curcumin would improve oxidative stress markers, that is, it would have antioxidant potential, fighting free radicals and helping to prevent premature aging and some chronic diseases.
As suggested by research in the World Journal of Gastroenterology , turmeric could act as a stomach tonic, helping to improve digestive processes and fighting heartburn, ulcers, gastritis, etc.
5. It would protect the liver and gallbladder
Curcumin could be useful to prevent gallstones, as well as it could also serve to prevent liver diseases such as cirrhosis or jaundice. In any case, more extensive investigations are necessary to establish evidence.
6. Antidepressant function
Several studies have concluded that turmeric could work as a natural antidepressant, helping to combat stages of stress. It is worth noting that most of the research has been done with small samples and the number of people studied would need to be extended to obtain conclusive results.
How do we take it?
In natural medicine it is usually recommended to consume turmeric daily. We could do it by taking an extract, capsules or tablets, or by including it in our daily menus. Of course, before starting your usual intake, you should consult your trusted doctor.
It is important to note that turmeric gives recipes a bit of flavor and a lot of yellow color, but we can easily include it in all kinds of soups, creams, stews, rice, pasta or sauces. And in addition, we can also add it to desserts such as cakes, smoothies, puddings, custards, etc. The recommended dose would be approximately one tablespoon of dessert per day.
Ayurvedic medicine specialists argue that it could also be used topically to alleviate skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis. To do this, you would have to make a plaster with water or mix it with clay. We always recommend consulting with a doctor or therapist before using it, as we have not found scientific evidence in this regard.
This shake will fill us with energy in the morning. We will only need to beat the following ingredients:
- Milk or vegetable drink.
- Well ripe banana.
- Pitted dates.
- Ground almonds.
It is usually recommended for children, athletes and people who have a significant physical or mental exhaustion.
A delicious way to enjoy turmeric is by making a spicy drink. For this we will need the following ingredients:
- Milk or vegetable drink (rice, oatmeal, etc.).
- Star anise.
- Lemon peel and or orange.
We will boil the milk or vegetable drink with the spices (approximately a small teaspoon of each of them for each liter of drink) for 10 minutes and we will let it rest for at least 10 minutes. We will strain it and keep it in the fridge. We can take it hot or cold.
Coconut and turmeric flan
This flan does not contain egg, so it could be interesting for those who suffer from cholesterol. We will need:
- Coconut milk.
- Seaweed agar agar powder.
- Honey or agave syrup.
We will boil the coconut milk together with the agar agar, turmeric and honey or agave syrup to taste and we will stir. When it starts to boil, without stopping stirring at any time, we will wait two minutes and turn off the heat. We will serve in a large mold or in small containers. When it is at room temperature we will keep it in the fridge. In three hours it can be consumed. Or we can decorate with grated coconut.
Include turmeric in your diet
As you can see, turmeric is a culinary spice that has great potential for health. It is possible to include it in the daily diet to experience benefits, although it must be varied and balanced.