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Have you heard about “Golden Milk”? It’s a creamy tea made from milk, herbs, and spices. Golden Milk is believed to offer many health benefits like boosting the immune system and supporting heart health. What’s the secret ingredient that gives it a beautiful color and provides all these benefits? Turmeric.
What’s so amazing about turmeric?
Turmeric has over 6,200 articles published about it and one of its compounds, curcumin (and that’s just the peer-reviewed studies). There are tens of thousands of articles out there that show clinical successes and other benefits of using this healthful spice. This brightly colored relative of ginger has been used in Asian cuisines and Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years—the science is just beginning to catch up.
Here are ten ways to add turmeric’s happy yellow color and amazing health benefits to your everyday life:
1. Spice it up: This spice is related to ginger and has a similar taste but with different notes. You can use turmeric in place of, or in addition to, anything with ginger. It’s been used for thousands of years in Indian cooking to add a bite to dishes. Sometimes called “the poor man’s saffron,” it can be used in place of that much more expensive spice.
2. Color things: Turmeric’s sunny yellow color adds brightness to any dish. But be careful—it will stain your fingers and clothing! Turmeric is still used in some areas as a dye for cloth. Many common foods, such as mustard, use this spice to add color.
3. Brighten a smoothie: Add just a pinch or two to your morning smoothie to create a colorful “sunrise” effect. A small amount does the trick, and you can’t really taste it—so it’s good for a smoothie for the kids, too.
4. Add to coffee or tea: Just a pinch can give you a turmeric boost in every cup. It adds a beautiful golden color to brighten your day first thing in the morning!
5. Dress a salad: Use lemon juice, olive oil, a pinch of turmeric, and a sprinkle of black pepper for a quick and healthful salad dressing.
6. Just add water: A pinch of turmeric in a glass of lemon water is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.
7. Make your own curry: Turmeric is one of the major components of curry. Create your own curry to make sure there’s plenty of this warm and healthful spice in it. Other ingredients in curry often include paprika, cumin, mustard, cinnamon, coriander, cayenne, and cloves. Adjust to your taste and feel free to add other spices!
8. Build turmeric bombs: Keep some of these tiny bombs on hand to use whenever you feel you need a blast of antioxidants. Use about ½ cup turmeric, 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil, and 2-3 tablespoons of raw honey. Make teaspoon-sized balls, place on a cookie sheet, and put in the freezer until solid. Store in a freezer-safe container to use anytime. Drop these bombs in a smoothie, in hot water to make a tea, in a stir-fry, in soup, etc. Adjust the recipe to suit your needs.
9. Mix up some “Golden Milk.” Add this drink to your bedtime routine! Don’t leave out the black pepper—it boosts the turmeric’s effects. Mix up the following and heat gently to the desired temperature.
- 2 cups milk or your favorite milk substitute
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- Pinch of black pepper
- Sweetener to taste
10. Add a sprinkle to everything. Yep, pretty much everything. Oatmeal, eggs, rice, veggies, anything that looks a bit boring and needs a bright punch. A pinch gives a beautiful color without an overpowering flavor, so even kids will like it!
Are there side effects to using turmeric? Well, sure, everything has the potential for side effects. Most people are fine when using turmeric within the limits of recommended dosage (400 to 600 mg 3 times a day). Side effects of using turmeric are usually mild, but they can include diarrhea and nausea. Some people are allergic to curcumin, so watch carefully for any allergy symptoms. Don’t use turmeric if you are taking any blood thinning medications or have a bleeding disorder. Pregnant and nursing women should always check with their healthcare provider before using turmeric.
It’s so easy to add this amazing herb to your life. Combine it whenever you can with black pepper, piperine, and/or green tea, and you’ll love the results!