Spice Things Up with Curcumin and Turmeric
You know that food does more than solve your hunger. Quality food from a range of sources is key in keeping your body in top shape. This includes your physical health, mental health, and the ability to heal and recover. It’s this ability to heal and recover that makes us so interested in turmeric and curcumin. You’ve likely seen the spice turmeric in your grocery store aisle and in many recipe ingredient lists. Recent research is supporting long-held beliefs that spices such as turmeric have the ability to ease inflammation and help you recover from joint discomfort. In fact, turmeric is becoming so popular that it has become the must-have spice. From smoothies and drinks such as golden milk or adding it to your scrambled eggs or adding a dash or two to your soup – turmeric is everywhere. Continue reading to learn more about the health benefits of turmeric and curcumin and how you can easily reap the rewards of this anti-inflammatory superhero.
What are Turmeric and Curcumin?
Turmeric grows as a root or plant, similar to ginger. It is available as a ground spice or whole as a root, but it is typically not easy for the body to absorb. Because of the absorption challenges, turmeric is often paired with other ingredients (or used in foods high in natural fats) to aid in absorbability. Fresh whole turmeric root has an orange color and has a thin skin that can be peeled or left on. Both the spice and the root are sold in most grocery stores. Curcumin is the chemical or active ingredient in turmeric that gives it the distinctive yellow (spice) or orange (root) color. Curcumin is widely recognized to have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. However, it’s important to understand that curcumins range from about 2 or 3% to up to 7% of the root and come in a variety of “curcuminoids”. These includecurcumin, desmethoxycurcumin (DMC) and bisdemethoxycurcumin (BDMC) and developing research shows that the BDMC may be the health workhorse among the curcuminoids. If you are looking for the wonderful health benefits of turmeric, you’ll either need to consume about 10 grams regularly with fatty foods or use a supplement rich in bio-available curcumins, including the critical BDMC. At SierraSil, we chose the Merivaâ curcumin due to its high bio-availability of BDMC, and it’s been shown to be highly complementary to our minerals. Clinical research has shown that it alleviates the symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) among other benefits, and we like that the quality testing ensures that its free of artificial curcumin and free of pesticides. We’ll explore this further, and why that’s important, in a future article.
What are the Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin?Turmeric and it’s powerful active ingredient, curcumin have been widely researched and recognized for their health benefits.
- Reduces inflammation. Inflammation occurs naturally in your body to help protect you from infections, viruses, and disease. However, chronic inflammation can be detrimental to your health, causing joint discomfort, mobility issues, and auto-immune disease such as arthritis.
- Alleviates muscle soreness. That heavy sore feeling you get in your muscles after a hard work-out or a long day in the garden is called DOMS. Recent research reveals that curcumin can help you recover from this muscle soreness.
- Enables skin health. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin has shown to help keep your skin healthy and glowing. A recent study shows how curcumin can help protect your skin from damage and enable skin healing.
- Blood sugar regulation. High blood sugar can cause diabetes and recent research shows that curcumin might help you regulate your blood sugar levels. Curcumin supports a reduction in glucose production, reduces inflammation, and helps stimulate the increase insulin secretion from the pancreas.
- Reduces joint discomfort. The joint discomfort that comes from osteoarthritis can be debilitating. Recent research reveals that turmeric and curcumin can be as effective as ibuprofen in alleviating osteoarthrosis discomfort and mobility issues.
How to Use Turmeric and CurcuminThe good news is that you can easily incorporate turmeric and curcumin into your cooking, beverages, and even take it as a daily joint health supplement. Turmeric is easily available in the spice aisle and most grocery stores carry it in whole root format (look for it next to the ginger root and garlic). Along with taking Joint Formula Curcumin, we’ve put together some of our favorite ways to incorporate turmeric and curcumin into your cooking and beverages. Do you have a favorite recipe that features this spice or root? Share your favorite recipe on the SierraSil Facebook community page and help spread the good word about the power of curcumin and turmeric.
- Soups and stews. Turmeric and curcumin give vibrancy and warmth to soups and stews. Add a dash to your favorite vegetable soup or chop up the root and it into your stews.
- Smoothies. Smoothies are a great way to add in extra healthful ingredients. Along with adding in spinach or kale, add some chopped whole turmeric root to your favorite smoothie combination.
- Drink it up. Golden Milk and other turmeric teas have become a very popular for their health benefits and warming flavors. Check out these recipes for Turmeric-Ginger Tea and for Golden Milk.
- Roast vegetables. The next time you’re roasting a tray of vegetables, add a dash of turmeric spice. Turmeric has a slight peppery flavor that can enhance the flavor of roast cauliflower and root vegetables.
- Rice or quinoa. Shake up your bland rice and quinoa with a dash of turmeric during cooking. Your rice or quinoa will take on a vibrant yellow color and give you some extra health benefits.
- Try something new. It’s time to explore and try a new recipes, such as an Indian or Moroccan dish.