Turmeric has had a lot of media attention over the past couple of years. Although the spice has long been used in eastern medicine, in the west it has in the past largely been relegated to the kitchen cupboard – occasionally brought out to brighten up a curry or a stew.
More and more of us are now aware of turmeric’s myriad of health benefits. It’s main active ingredient, curcumin, is a strong anti-oxidant with anti-inflammatory properties, that fights inflammation at a molecular level. Turmeric can be used to treat everything from acne to inflammatory diseases, and is even believed to help protect against chronic illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.
1. Start the day with a latte or smoothie
A growing trend among health conscious hipsters, why not start the day with a turmeric latte, tea or smoothie. Make a paste from turmeric powder and boiling water (or grate the fresh root if you can find it), and add it to nut milk or water with a healthy sweetener, a dusting of cinnamon and some black pepper for a delicious morning wake up.
You can also add the powder to your fruit smoothie, to give it an extra health boost.
2. Try a face mask
You don’t have to eat turmeric to feel the benefits. Used by Indian brides for centuries as a beauty treatment, a turmeric facial can help treat conditions like acne, dry skin and eczema. Just add turmeric and honey to some milk or yogurt, and use as a face mask for glowing skin.
While turmeric is of course a fantastic addition to an Indian curry, there are plenty of other dishes you can make with this versatile spice.
Try sprinkling it over roast vegetables or scrambled eggs, or add it to rice next time you’re cooking. With so many health benefits to be felt, it’s worth including turmeric in your food wherever you can.