ingredient spotlight: turmeric
turmeric: the ancient spice with long turm and short turm benefits
We're always open to trying new things, and while this particular spice has been around a long time, it was relatively new to us. Turmeric, which is mostly grown and consumed in India, has been around for centuries, and for good reason.
Turmeric is a bright, rust colored powder drawn from the turmeric root, which resembles ginger. A natural pain reliever and digestion aid, turmeric is a great source of vitamin C, magnesium, iron, and potassium. In addition to all the wonderful health benefits, it can be used to as a fabric dye, anti-venom for certain snake bites, unwanted hair remover when made into a paste, and it can even help stop leaks in water-cooled radiators. That's a pretty wide range of uses, but around here we especially enjoy it in our Toomeric Monster Shot or in a delicious tea on an autumn day.
The use of turmeric dates back nearly 4000 years to the Vedic culture in India, where it was used as a culinary spice and had some religious significance. We continue to find new uses and benefits for turmeric, even ones you may not have even noticed. For years it has been used as an organic dye in mustards and even cupcake frosting.
Curcumin, which is found inside Turmeric, is also the only food that’s been shown to “melt away” ominous beta-amyloid plaques associated with cognitive diseases. It’s absorbed best when cooked with pepper or some kind of fat, such as chicken. However, it’s important to be mindful of the food you're cooking with, it’s more about incorporating these foods into a balanced, minimally processed diet, and sticking with it.
Who knew that thing you use to fix your radiator could also help you with your mental health?
One word of caution: be careful when using turmeric for skincare. Keep in mind that turmeric is a dye, so if you apply too much to your skin you may find yourself in a tight spot like Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley!