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Origin, benefits and use of turmeric

Origin

As probably one of the most powerful spices, we thought it was about time we dedicate one of our blogs to it: turmeric! This bright yellow-orange spice is made from curcuma roots, a root of the ginger family. And just like ginger it can be consumed in various ways. From freshly grated, as a paste, to juice or as powder. In our Western countries turmeric is most known for being the key ingredient to the spice mix curry. But it has come a long way! Turmeric originates in India where it has been used as a culinary spice for hundreds of years and has a religious value. In Eastern countries it is still seen as a symbol of fertility, purity, prosperity, luck and the sun and often gifted at weddings or to pregnant women. 

 

Benefits

Turmeric has become a popular health ingredient for a reason. Its active compound curcumin fights inflammation and delivers a high amount of antioxidants. This combination makes turmeric one of the spices to have in your house before winter comes. A hot turmeric drink helps you fight off the yearly cold or flu. But turmeric does more. It has been linked to the prevention of brain and heart disease and has been shown to prevent and even help treat cancer and arthritis. It is supposedly also good for our mood. In a controlled study where curcumin was being compared to typical depression medication, it showed that patients who only took a turmeric supplement, had similar improvements as the patients who took medication. Only they didn’t have the negative side effects of the patients who got the medication. Or like Hippocrates said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” We love that saying!

Still note that it is always best to use healthy foods as turmeric as a prevention for illness rather than a cure.

 

Use

Though its many benefits, the use of turmeric has a limit. For the best results you should aim for 200 milligrams a day, or a little less than 1 teaspoon in powdered. Too much turmeric can lead to nausea, dizziness or diarrhea and cause heart rhythm irregularities. So don’t overdo it! What you can do however is up the absorption of curcumin by adding a crack of black pepper. Doing this ups the absorption by 2000%, insane!

 

Find below our favorite ways to have turmeric!

 

Golden Milk

Blend and heat up:

1 banana

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp grated ginger

200 ml soy milk

Cinnamon 

Vanille aroma 

A crack of black pepper

 

Turmeric latte 

1 tsp turmeric powder

250 ml oat milk

1 tsp raw honey

A crack of black pepper

 

Turmeric popsicles

For 4 small popsicles (depending on the size) use:

1,5 tsp turmeric powder

200 ml coconut milk

Agave syrup to taste

 

In our bar we also serve turmeric soup, -latte, sometimes turmeric shots and many more options are coming soon! We would love you to come by and give it a try!  

 

Written by Maritza Kolenbrander, Food Psychologist at Plantifulplan

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