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The Spice Diaries: Turmeric

Posted Jun 11 2010 1:18pm

With a warm peppery, bitter flavor, boasting hints of orange and ginger, this super duper spice has a lot to offer to your health and your taste buds!

Most people associate turmeric with curry, but it can be used for other things too.  Turmeric comes from the Curcuma Longa root and the orange-y yellow-y color comes from a substance in it called Curcumin. Turmeric is high in many important nutrients and is primarily known for its anti-inflammatory properties.  It is a good source, of vitamin B6, potassium, and fiber, and is a super source of iron and manganese. In fact, it has been shown to have effects as potent as those of ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals—without the negative side effects in the body!

Turmeric aids significantly with the following conditions:

Crohn’s Disease

Ulcerative Colitis (and other bowel conditions)

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Cystic Fibrosis (!)

Cancer Prevention

Inhibits cancer metastasis and cell growth

Cardiovascular protection (specifically: lowers cholesterol)

Protects against Alzheimer’s disease

When you’re buying turmeric, try to select organic varieties of it, and before you run to the grocery store chain, check out ethnic stores where the turmeric is likely to be more fresh and not irradiated (you don’t want irradiated spices!).  Don’t buy Curry—make sure it’s Turmeric!

Store it in a cool dry place in a tightly sealed container.

Now…what the heck do you do with Turmeric!?

Anything you want!

Be creative—add it to your cooked veggies, like cauliflower and green beans, and even fruits like sautéed apples.

Make a dip (or add some turmeric to a dip you have purchased).  Turmeric goes especially well with onions.  You could take a vegan (or olive oil) mayonnaise and add onion (or onion powder), sea salt, black pepper and turmeric for a yummy raw veggie dip.  Try it and let me know what you think!

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