What's so great about Turmeric?
Turmeric is a root that has been used in cooking for years, and more recently it's receiving high praise for having some amazing health properties. Here are just a few of the dozens of benefits of turmeric:
- Fights Inflammation: Curcumin is the compound in turmeric that is responsible for controlling inflammation in the body. Acute (short term) inflammation can be a good thing, as it's the body's way of dealing with a stress. Chronic (long term) inflammation can be very damaging, and be the root of many diseases. We tend to think of muscle and joint pain when we think of inflammation, but there can be an inflammatory response anywhere in the body. The great news is that curcumin helps manage ALL inflammation including muscle and/or joint pain. This is why those dealing with arthritis tend to do very well with curcumin supplementation.
- Boosts Brain Power: Curcumin can actually cross the blood-brain barrier which is why it shows so much promise as a neuroprotective agent. Curcumin also increases production of the brain hormone Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). BDNF increases the growth of new neurons. Curcumin is showing to be a positive treatment for those suffering with Alzheimer's.
- Fights Depression: Many sufferers of depression have low levels of BDNF. Since curcumin increases these levels it can be a great supplement for those dealing with depression.
Curcumin does not absorb well in the body due to its low solubility in water. Here are simple ways to increase absorption:
- Black Pepper: bioperine is an extract in black pepper that increases the absorption of curcumin. This is why we use a pinch of pepper in the tea.
- Mixing with fats: coconut oil would be my go to oil, but you could use flax seed oil or olive oil. I use coconut oil in this recipe because we heat the tea. Do not heat flax or olive oil as it oxidizes the oils (no good).
Turmeric Tea Recipe
- 1-2 cups water
- 1 tsp. turmeric (start with 1 tsp. and increase it to as much as you can handle)
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- Pinch of Black pepper (for absorption)
- Honey to taste (optional)
- Coconut oil 1/2-1 tsp. (optional)
- Coconut milk to taste (optional)
Heat water and simmer with turmeric, cinnamon and black pepper for 10 minutes. Pour into mug and mix in honey, coconut oil, and coconut milk if using. Sip and enjoy!