Turmeric is a spice dating back to bible times and was used by Hellenistic Jews for seasoning, and herbal medicines. The active ingredient of turmeric is curcumin. The intense yellow-gold color earns it the nickname: Indian Saffron, and it is a marvelous way to add a golden color to chicken or rice dishes. An excellent substitute for those who dislike the taste of the spice cumin, but like southwestern and Indian style cuisine, turmeric can be substituted in equal amounts for cumin or curry. A dash of turmeric is an excellent way to perk up vegetarian dishes and increase the healing powers of whole foods like beans, peppers, and onions.
Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic food. It provides manganese, iron, vitamin B6, potassium, and fiber. Researchers have dubbed it a “super food” because of the many health benefits of this yellow magic spice.
When used regularly as a dietary supplement, turmeric reduces risks of prostate, skin, breast, colon, and stomach cancers. Childhood leukemia risks go down, and so do risks of heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
Those who suffer from bowel disorders or irritable bowel syndrome find relief when turmeric is added to their meals. This power-packed spice has been used with success in treating rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Ulcers, scabies, and viral infections respond to treatment with turmeric. It prevents blood clots and gallstones, relieves heart burn, and lowers cholesterol.
Be sure to consult with your health care professional before adding turmeric or other any dietary supplements to your meal plans, as it could cause reactions with other medications. Moderation is key — using twice the amount does not equal twice the benefits.
Here is a simple guide to some delicious recipes so you can start enjoying the health benefits of turmeric.
Yummy Vegetable Dip – so easy children can make it.
Golden Squash Soup – superb nutrient dense soup.
Bread and Butter Pickles – perfect with sandwiches.
Chicken Curry – from Bangladesh.
Garbanzos with Tomatoes – hot and spicy.
Cold Carrot Soup with Red Pepper and Mint – from the Healing Foods Kitchen.
Sweet Potato and Roasted Corn Soup – tasty and filling on cold winter evenings.
Mustard pickles – adapted from family recipes.
End of the Garden Pickles – this is a great way to use up odds and ends from the garden.
Indian Lentils and Pasta – lots of Vitamin C.