Spice up your life!
Turmeric is an amazing spice and is known for giving curries their bright orange/yellow colour, but more importantly it has been used in Asia for thousands of years because of its healing properties and combined with warm milk it’s a great way to ensure you get a good night’s sleep too!
Whilst it’s most commonly bought in a powered form, you can also buy it from most major supermarket’s in it’s natural root form – it looks like a cross between a small unpeeled carrot and a piece of unpeeled ginger root.
Turmeric’s health promoting benefits are due to curcumin (which give it it’s yellow pigment), although it’s important to note that only approximately 3% of curcumin (by weight) is in turmeric, and as a result of this the average inclusion of turmeric through cooking in your daily diet would not be enough to promote the health benefits so a supplement is likely to be required to get the full effect.
Curcumin helps to regulate inflammation so it is often used in the treatment of numerous inflammatory issues such as arthritis, heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer's and various degenerative conditions.
Beware if you are taking any anti-coagulant medications it is important you check with your GP before adding turmeric to your diet on a regular basis as it naturally thins the blood and may affect your INR levels.
Because turmeric is not readily absorbed by the body it needs a helping hand and the most effective way to increase the absorption is to combine it with freshly ground black pepper, some people actually take a whole peppercorn if the they are taking a turmeric supplement as this can enhance the absorption of curcumin by 2000%!
Don’t forget Turmeric has a downside.... it stains! So be careful as it will stain skin, clothes and even granite work surfaces.
Trouble sleeping? Have a mug of my Moon Milk recipe below about 30 minutes before bedtime!
Pour 250ml of unsweetened almond or hazelnut milk in a small saucepan or microwave. Once hot, whisk in ½ tsp ground turmeric, ½ tsp ground cinnamon, pinch of ground ginger and a black pepper and a tsp of honey or golden syrup, pour in to a warmed mug and serve .
Tip: you can use whole cows milk if you prefer.