Weekly wellness: Turmeric and how to use it to fight inflammation
COLUMBIA - For the past few weeks, we have been focusing on inflammation in the body and how to fight it. Last week we discussed specific food items that can aid in fighting inflammation. One of those items is turmeric. So what is so special about turmeric? And what exactly is turmeric?
Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family. Turmeric has been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory in Chinese and Indian medicine for millennia. Curcumin, the primary pharmacological agent in this spice, contains proven effects that are comparable to over-the-counter (as well as some prescription) anti-inflammatory medications. The benefit is that the curcumin doesn't produce the toxic effect that synthetic drugs sometimes do (i.e. ulcer formation, internal bleeding, lowered white blood cell count, etc.).
The health benefits of turmeric include an improved ability to digest fats, reducing gas and bloating, decreased congestion, and improved skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne. More reported health benefits of turmeric include relief from joint pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis, reduced joint swelling, and greater range of motion when used regularly.
So, how can you ingest this lovely medical wonder? Here are a few recipes to try:
Golden Milk Chia Pudding: Start with a basic chia pudding recipe (you can find this online by searching for “chia pudding recipe”), and simply add in a scoop of turmeric and black pepper.
Collagen Golden Milk Latte: Search for a golden milk recipe (they are easy to find) and take it a step further. Add a scoop of collagen supplement powder and stir it into the mixture while it's on the stove.
Golden Milk Overnight Oats: Just like with the chia pudding, start with a simple overnight oats recipe, and stir in some turmeric and black pepper. Easy!
Golden Milk Protein Smoothie: Take your favorite protein smoothie recipe and add some turmeric and black pepper. Also consider adding a little healthy fat like a nut butter, coconut oil or a splash of coconut milk. Why? Because curcumin (the magical part of turmeric) is more easily absorbed into your body when it's paired with a fat.
It seems only fitting that in the land of black and gold, we would add some golden foods to our diet. I hope you’ll try a few!