What’s the Deal with Turmeric?
If you follow folks who like food or wellness or you just notice new products at the grocery store, chances are you’ve heard of turmeric and may have seen people rave about it and sprinkle it in recipes like fairy dust. So what’s the big deal about this trendy food?
What is turmeric?
Turmeric is a root often used as a culinary spice. It is a main ingredient in Indian curry and also makes American mustard yellow. You can find it at most grocery stores and it’s also usually sold in larger quantities at stores like Whole Foods or local health food stores.
Why is it good?
Turmeric is getting a lot of buzz and is being added to several products and recipes because it’s a powerful anti-inflammatory. So much so that a review of 700 studies found it “appears to outperform many pharmaceuticals in its effects against several chronic, debilitating diseases, and does so with virtually no adverse side effects.” These conditions include Alzheimer’s, arthritis and even cancer.
On a personal note, I’m a big fan of taking this Gaia Herbs turmeric supplement when I feel a sore throat or cold coming on. It nips it in the bud so I'm not sick in bed missing work and life for several days. Plus, it doesn’t have any sugar or other questionable ingredients that sometimes come along with cold remedies.
How can you get some?
Pick up turmeric root, powder or a food or supplement with turmeric in it at a grocery or health food store.
Turmeric has a strong taste, so most people may need other flavors combined with it to make it more palatable.
Pro tip: Add black pepper to boost turmeric’s absorption in your body so it’ll make the most impact.
One of the most popular ways to use turmeric is in a comforting golden latté or “golden milk” with non-dairy milk, ginger, spices and honey. You can make it iced too, as seen above. Here’s a recipe for Turmeric Tea, aka Golden Milk.
You can also add a pinch to smoothies, oatmeal, curries or soups or add juiced turmeric root to a homemade juice and taste test it for yourself.
Here are some turmeric recipes to try:
And here are 7 ways to have turmeric.
- Find a good curry powder or sauce with turmeric.
- Trader Joe’s and other makers sell turmeric tea. You can also get spice blends for turmeric cocoa and chai.
- Rebbl makes ready-to-drink Turmeric Golden-Milk and Turmeric Lemon Tart milk that are sold at Whole Foods and Sprouts.
- Taking this Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme Immune A.S.A.P Supplement at the first sign of a cold can help stop it in its tracks.
Jessica Hamlin is an LA-born and bred journalist and editor who started taking pictures of food back when everyone used film cameras. A graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s health coach training program, she’s passionate about wellness and enjoys making and discovering delicious and healthy food. Her work has appeared in Clean Plates, NPR affiliate KPCC, AOL, and Eater LA.