We don't like to play superfood favorites around here, but's hard to argue with turmeric's powers. Whether it’s in a savory lentil dish or a tropical superfood smoothie, turmeric’s healing properties and versatility have made it a mainstay in everyday dishes for the health conscious....and curious. Tumeric’s popularity is hardly new, but it is shining brighter now than in has in recent history--it definitely wasn’t an ingredient in your mother’s can of Tab--so we deemed it time to dive a little deeper into this ancient superfood:
A (Long) History of Benefits
Turmeric is a root from the ginger family known for it’s warm spicy flavor and vibrant orange color. Turmeric has been used in a variety of medical applications throughout history; it’s been noted to treat everything from digestive upset and menstrual cramps to cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. As an ancient medicinal herb, turmeric’s street cred can be traced as far back as 500 BCE, when it emerged as an important part of Ayurvedic medicine--so important that Ayurvedic literature contains over 100 different terms for turmeric, including jayanit, which translates to “one who is victorious over diseases." (We find this fact very cool.)
Here's a few more ways turmeric shows up in Ayurvedic history books:
Inhaling fumes from burning turmeric was used to alleviate congestion,
Wounds and bruises were treated with turmeric juice,
Turmeric paste was applied to skin conditions from smallpox and chickenpox to blemishes and shingles.
According to Dr. Weill, population studies have shown that in India, where turmeric is consumed regularly, rates of Alzheimer’s Disease are low. It’s also a staple in traditional Chinese medicine, used for things like back pains and headaches. From today’s clinical perspective, turmeric’s primary benefits are its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. More research is being done to explore the efficacy of its many other benefits, which could include anti-cancer properties. Modern medicine (which is less than 100 years old!) has only begun to unearth the benefits of the superfood, but in ancient and traditional medicine, this spice has been working overtime for thousands of years.
I’m Sold. How Do I Start?
Google “turmeric recipes” and most likely you’ll get multi-step recipes for delicious stews, homemade face masks and fancy lattes. Not exactly things that fit *immediately* into reality. But fear not: we’ve got you covered. Behold the best I-can-do-this-right-away uses:
Blend it up. Turmeric is a fabulous addition to smoothies, adding a depth of flavor and warmth while delivering all its amazing health benefits. That’s why we’ve created Ripe Rebound, a fan-favorite tropical blend that features turmeric and ginger in nutritionist developed, chef-approved recipes that are packed with plant power and totally foolproof.
Sprinkle it on. Turmeric has taken up residency in the spice isle of many grocery stores, and a bottle just might need to make its way into your spice rack. Sprinkle on roasted veggies and/or add it to soups as a gateway into the spice.
Buy a bottle. Turmeric supplements are also a thing...and a popular one. Before you add it to your Amazon cart, be sure it’s a turmeric supplement and not just curcumin, which also popular but only part of turmeric’s amazing-ness. Also be sure it contains black pepper extract or piperine, which will help your body better absorb the turmeric.
Looking for a little more inspo? Try this recipe from Chef Heidi!
CHEF HEIDI'S TURMERIC HOT CIDER
3 cups fresh apple juice
4 cups water
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cardamom
1” of fresh peeled ginger, roughly chopped (Feel free to add more if you prefer spice!)
2 bags of apple spice tea (I love Celestial Seasonings)
Honey to taste if you prefer a sweeter drink
Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a gentle boil. Turn heat off immediately and steep for 15-20 mins. Enjoy!