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Turn up the turmeric

Many of us are creatures of habit when it comes to which spices we gravitate toward when cooking. I encourage you to add turmeric into the mix. This aromatic orange spice has head-to-toe health benefits like reducing inflammation, soothing an upset stomach, arthritis, digestive diseases like irritable bowel disease.

  • Your brain – Researchers are exploring the link between turmeric and its positive effects on diseases like Alzheimer's and others that influence the brain.
  • Your blood – Curcumin, the pigment that gives turmeric its vibrant yellow color, may help reduce levels of bad cholesterol.
  • Your body – A recent study showed that turmeric played a role in slowing the growth of breast cancer cells and delaying its progression into other organs, like the lungs.
  • Your gut – Those with digestive diseases, like ulcerative colitis, benefited from turmeric in keeping the disease at bay in a 2006 study. 

I get very excited to see that simple food choices can make a big impact on healthy living, especially when it's as simple as adding a pinch of spice when cooking. Here are a couple easy ways to integrate turmeric:

  • Ditch the salt shaker and toss roasted veggies with turmeric. Veggies that pair well with turmeric are cauliflower, eggplant, squash, pumpkin and Brussel sprouts just to name a few.
  • Add to brown rice, quinoa or couscous instead of soy sauce or other salty seasonings.
  • Create an Indian-inspired spice rub using turmeric, curry, cumin, coriander and ginger for chicken, tofu or steak. 
  • Enhance scrambled eggs, frittatas and other egg dishes. For an extra kick, add cayenne pepper too, which also has anti-inflammatory and positive circulatory properties.
  • Add when sautéing greens like kale, spinach or cabbage.

It's important to note that in order to gain the health benefits of turmeric, it needs to be cooked. Cooking it helps it absorb into your body. Also, I recommend that if you are going to integrate turmeric or curcumin supplements into your diet, please check with your physician or health care professional first. And always consult with them before making any significant changes in your diet or lifestyle.


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