turmeric your way to better health

Superfoods have become a buzz word for nutritionists and those looking to improve their overall health though diet. So what are superfoods? Superfoods are nutrient powerhouses that pack large doses of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Kale, salmon, broccoli, blueberries, avocados and even dark chocolate, just to name a few, are packed with disease-fighting benefits.

Superfoods are not just foods though – certain spices easily found in any supermarket can also pack a punch again warding off diseases and providing health benefits. One such spice is turmeric. Turmeric isn’t a new fad. In fact, it has one of the most extensive histories in all of food medicine — at least 4,000 years to be exact. The reason for its health benefits is the compound curcumin. As broccoli is a source of vitamin B1 (among others), turmeric is a source of curcumin. Curcumin extract supplements are sold in most health food stores.

Turmeric has been used to treat everything from pain to parasites and researchers are hot on the trail of identifying additional benefits of this bright yellow powder from the ginger family including achy joints, blood sugar management, inflammatory disorders, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis. And it doesn’t stop there. In clinical studies, turmeric has also shown to help eye and skin conditions, neurological disorders, certain types of cancer, diabetic neuropathy and pain. In a 2015 study published in the journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy, curcumin extract was linked to the growth of stem cells in the brains of live rats, potentially opening up new pathways for treatments of degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease in humans.

Adding turmeric to your daily diet has never been easier. Found in most supermarkets, the mild flavor of this ancient spice complements a plethora of dishes and is often used in Indian and Asian cooking. And it’s easy to include in your daily diet. Add some to scrambled eggs or frittatas, sprinkle on vegetables and meats, add to rice, soups and smoothies – the possibilities are endless! Although the benefits of turmeric are vast, it is not easily absorbed by the body. Research indicates adding a little fat (like olive, coconut or saffron oils) and black pepper may increase absorption.
So grab some turmeric and start cooking your way to better health!

This recipe delivers turmeric’s health benefits with great taste:

Spiced Kale Scramble

ingredients:
2 eggs
1 cup chopped kale
1.5 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste

directions:
1. Heat the butter in a non stick frying pan.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs.
3. Add chopped kale to the pan and cook until slightly wilted. Then add whisked eggs.
4. Add turmeric, garlic powder, salt and pepper and cook until desired consistency.

Angela Ciminello

Angela Ciminello

Angela Ciminello is the Vice President of Development & Marketing at Wartburg, a senior residential and healthcare provider in Westchester County.
Angela Ciminello

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