Tapping the Potential of Holistic Nutrition with Turmeric
Posted by Andrea Nakayama
The potent golden root – Turmeric
Today we pay tribute to a spice that’s renowned for its bold color and potent healing powers. With its well-established reputation for reducing inflammation, supporting liver health, and aiding in cancer prevention, turmeric has gained widespread recognition in the realms of Functional and holistic nutrition.
Turmeric’s rising popularity in the health world
You may have noticed an uptick in turmeric at your local health food store, ranging from teas and smoothie powders to elixirs and golden milks. This gnarly little orange root is all the rage these days and for very good reason! At the heart of turmeric’s potency lies curcumin, turmeric’s primary chemical component. Curcumin is highly concentrated in antioxidants.
It’s important to note that curcumin extracted from the turmeric root and encapsulated into pills may not be as readily absorbed as in whole food form (unless combined with other herbs to aid absorption). As is usually the case, nature knows best!
Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant marvel
In India, turmeric has been used extensively in Ayurvedic healing practices for centuries, especially to calm the fires of inflammation. Their love of turmeric for taste and medicinal properties is evident as it’s the spice that gives the ever-present Indian curry powder its brilliant yellowish-orange hue. This potent anti-inflammatory property makes it a good dietary choice for addressing most acute, chronic, or silent inflammatory conditions — from carpal tunnel and arthritis, to heart disease and autoimmunity. Marvelously, it deactivates the immune cells that cause inflammation without negatively affecting other parts of the immune system needed to fight disease and infection.
Furthermore, turmeric powder can be made into a paste by combining it with water, to be used topically on cuts, canker sores and cold sores. This topical application may help to soothe inflammation, promote healing, and provide relief in localized areas.
Note that turmeric powder has the potential to stain the skin due to its vibrant yellow color. Be cautious to protect clothing and surfaces from staining, and always do a test with a very small amount on sensitive skin.
Beyond its inflammation-fighting potential, turmeric has long been used to combat indigestion, stomach irritation, and enhance digestion. Pairing it with one of our other favorite spices, ginger, creates a tonic to ease digestive woes.
Lastly, turmeric is effective in promoting the death of cancer cells present in a variety of tissues within the body, particularly in the colon.
Liver and gallbladder support
Turmeric’s remarkable effects extend to the liver and gallbladder, making it a perfect spice to support your body’s natural detoxification endeavors. The spice increases production of the enzymes needed to digest fat and sugar, and helps to stop the crystallization of cholesterol that can result in gallstones.
Paying tribute to turmeric: A culinary companion
It’s high time we celebrate the incredible benefits of turmeric! For more turmeric testimonials and teasers, be sure to explore our Turmeric 411 handout.
Print it and pin it on your fridge as a reminder to shake that yellow spice on most of your meals — even your morning smoothie will benefit from a turmeric addition! You’ll also see my go-to turmeric recipes, including a spicy tea latte that’s perfect served hot on cold winter days or over ice when it’s warm outside.
If turmeric doesn’t already have a special place in your spice rack, it’s time to make room and add this golden child to your grocery list. Move over oregano, there’s a bright orange spice moving in! If you’re lucky enough to find fresh turmeric at the market (look for it near ginger in the produce section), grab that knobby root and add it to your meals for a boost of anti-inflammatory power.
Unleashing the potential of holistic nutrition with turmeric
Turmeric’s versatility and exceptional health benefits make it an indispensable ally in health and wellbeing. As you embark on your journey of embracing the power of turmeric, you unlock a world of possibilities for vibrant health and vitality. Embrace this golden root and experience the transformative effects of holistic nutrition.
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