Known for its vibrant yellow colour, turmeric is the spice that gives yellow curries and ballpark mustard their signature hue. When fantastic colours appear in nature, we know that high levels of nutrients and antioxidants are packed inside.
- Fight Chronic Inflammation: Turmeric contains high levels of curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin. Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory and powerful antioxidant. Reducing inflammation also minimizes risk of heart disease and arthritis.
- Double Antioxidant Impact: The primary reason for ageing and many diseases is oxidative damage – this includes free radicals (highly reactive, unpaired electrons) reacting with important substances like fatty acids, proteins, and DNA. Antioxidants protect our body from the harmful effects of free radicals by neutralizing their chemical structure. Curcumin is both a powerful antioxidant and it increases the body’s own production of antioxidant enzymes.
- Brain Power*: Curcumin has been shown to increase levels of BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor), a growth hormone that affects the brain. Decreased levels of BDNF have been linked to degenerative diseases such as depression and Alzheimer’s disease. Higher levels of BDNF may also help improve memory, and act as a mood booster by increasing serotonin and dopamine.
Turmeric can be added to any spiced dish (think curries and stews) and is great in spice rubs for seasoning roasted or grilled meats. It has a slight warm, spicy flavour that pairs especially well with hearty fall and winter meals.
Use it in sweets any time you add cinnamon (make your dish even more anti-inflammatory), in spiced teas, cakes, or roasted on root vegetables, pumpkins, and squash. Try this Ginger Turmeric Tea for an extra boost during the day.
Enjoy #SuperfoodSunday and let us know your favourite ways to enjoy Turmeric!
NOTE: When used as a spice, turmeric is considered safe. Pregnant women, people with gallstones, bleeding disorders, or taking diabetes medication should consult a physician before taking turmeric or curcumin as a supplement.