Favorites: Turmeric

Ever since I can remember, my mom and her sisters have always been on top of the newest health trends. From toxic removing patches, low carb diets, drinking apple cider, to eating raw onions. About 40% of the time, most of these health crazes were just trends. 

Of all the things my mom and her sisters suggested, turmeric is the one thing that I've actually taken into practice. I'm not necessarily taking huge doses of turmeric, but I love cooking with Turmeric and here's why...

Turmeric is spice from Southeast India, derived from a rhizome that is part of the ginger family. The turmeric we know today serves as a staple spice in curry powders, colors mustard, butter and cheese. In its raw format, turmeric roots are boiled, dried, and then ground into the orange-yellow powder we are all familiar with.

For over 4,000 years its qualities as a spice have gone beyond its ability to color food; now a days turmeric has been getting a lot of press on its health benefits. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric is well known to be a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Here are some health benefits to turmeric:

 1) It's a proven anti-inflammatory, lowering levels of enzymes in the body that cause inflammation.

2) It's anti-bacterial and can help cure wounds and skin infections.

3) It's high in antioxidants, which has led some researchers to believe that it can help prevent or treat certain types of cancers. Although test results are in the early stages of research the high levels of antioxidants are promising.

4) It can help with indigestion and bloating. In Germany, turmeric is an approved herbal supplement to treat digestive issues.

5) It can help in preventing heart disease. In recent studies, researchers have found that it has the ability to stop blood platelets from clumping preventing blood clots and helps stop the buildup of plaque in the heart's arteries.

Below are some tips on how to store the spice and where you can use it.

Storage:

- For ground turmeric, store the spice in an air tight container. Place in a dark, cool, and dry area of your kitchen for up to a year.

Uses:

- Turmeric can gives both curry powder its bright yellow color but also a sharp and bittersweet taste.

- It can be used to color and flavor, butter, cheese, mustard, pickles, and chutneys.

- It can flavor a variety of meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetable dishes.

As you can see turmeric has several medicinal qualities that make it a super ingredient. The next time you're at your local spice store or grocery store check out turmeric.