Turmeric

By EAT SMARTER
Updated on 01. May. 2020
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Here’s what you should know about turmeric and why the spice is so healthy.

turmeric

Turmeric...

  • ...can help protect your cells. Turmeric contains a lot of phytochemicals that are antioxidants. Put simply, turmeric can protect our cells from the harmful effects of free radicals and thus make them healthier through anti-aging effects. …may help prevent cancer. Above all, the bright yellow, natural color cu
  • ...may help prevent certain types of cancer. Above all, the bright yellow, natural color curcumin in turmeric has a particularly intense effect. Studies indicate that it can inhibit the progression of cancer and prevent Alzheimer's disease.
  • ...inhibits inflammation. Because curcumin and the other ingredients inhibit inflammation, among other things, turmeric is also valued in India for treating skin imperfections. For example, a mask made of one teaspoon of strong chamomile tea, one teaspoon of honey and one tablespoon of turmeric left on for 10 minutes and rinsed off using lukewarm water. If the gums of the mouth are inflamed, a mouthrinse made with turmeric briefly boiled in two to three teaspoons of water can help.
  • ...promotes blood circluation. In Indian Ayurveda, turmeric is considered a remedy for circulatory disorders, as well as for colds and flu.
  • ...promotes digestion. Turmeric stimulates the liver and gallbladder, producing digestive juices that then bind fats from food and make them easier to digest. This is why turmeric is also used to stop bloating and flatulence.
  • ...may calm your nerves. In India, turmeric has been regarded for thousands of years as the perfect remedy for insomnia and restlessness.
  • ...is heart-healthy. Many studies show that turmeric also lowers high blood pressure or cholesterol levels thanks to its secondary plant compounds. This helps us to protect against heart attacks and strokes. Turmeric also seems to be an effective ingredient for fighting against diabetes.
  • ...isn't very effective on its own. In order for the body to optimally absorb the important plant substances (especially curcumin), turmeric should always be combined with some oil (or other fat) and black pepper.

What You Should Know About Turmeric

Although the spice tastes different, it has an intense color that’s similar to saffron, though it costs only a fraction of the price.9

Turmeric is an ingredient in every curry mixture and in all masalas, except the red one. In the Middle Ages, the spice was also called Indian saffron. Like saffron, turmeric gives all dishes a bright yellow color, but at a considerably lower price.

The spice is made from the dried and ground root of a plant closely related to ginger, which flowers beautifully. It contains the so-called curcumin, a natural substance that provides an intense color. The Indians used turmeric mostly dried and ground, while in Thailand, for example, the whole roots are sold.

Origins

Turmeric plants come from Southeast Asia, where they have been known for about 4,000 years. In India, from where almost 100 percent of the turmeric used worldwide originates, the spice was long considered sacred and still has great significance today as an important spice for almost every occasion. 

Flavor

Despite its close relationship with ginger, turmeric does not have the same pungency as ginger, but tastes rather mildly spicy and slightly bitter.

Find all our turmeric recipes here.


How Healthy Is Turmeric?

In the traditional Indian healing art of Ayurveda, turmeric has played an important role for thousands of years as a natural remedy with cleansing and healing effects. It is now known that turmeric has beneficial effects on stomach and digestive problems due to its content of up to five percent essential oils and curcumin. Researchers have also been investigating for some time whether turmeric could actually have a preventive effect against Alzheimer's, as some studies suggest.

Turmeric Nutritional Info (100 g)  
Calories 369
Protein 7.8 g
Fat 9.9 g
Carbohydrates 58.2 g
Fiber 6.7 g

Shopping and Cooking Tips

Shopping

We only have turmeric in powder form. Since it is pleasingly inexpensive, you can treat yourself to the best quality: Whoever buys the spice from organic production can be sure that it doesn’t contains harmful substances, which can happen with very cheap turmeric.

Storage

The essential oils of turmeric evaporate quickly when the spice comes into contact with light and air. Therefore, always buy only small quantities and store turmeric in a jar with a tight top.

What To Make With Turmeric

Turmeric is the perfect spice for adding color and spice to rice dishes, poultry, shellfish, ragouts, egg dishes, soups and sauces. Of course, the powder goes particularly well with Indian delicacies, such as a super aromatic spiced rice, vegetarian eggplant curry, spicy lamb curry, fish curry, fine spiced chicken or the low-calorie tofu vegetable curry.

Also Thai dishes, such as oriental delicacies like lentil rice with chicken escalopes or a Moroccan beef stew, get even more pizzazz with turmeric, both visually and culinarily.

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