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Food as Medicine: Turmeric

It has long been established that Turmeric is a master of anti-inflammatory disease and is widely used within traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines.

Clinically there are reports of Turmeric being used for Alzheimer’s and cancer protection, improving digestive function and assisting weight loss, and has positive effects on cholesterol. It helps fight bacterial and viral loads of infections and the flu and its anti-inflammatory qualities used in cases of bowel disease and multiple sclerosis. It can even be used topically to cleanse and heal wounds.

The active ingredient responsible for all of this is Curcumin (which is found is smaller doses in Ginger, another super food – both are from the family Zingiberaceae).

How do you get a ‘dose’? 

It is true that Curcumin is available in supplement form. However, as the active ingredient is fat soluble, to be bio-available and fully absorbed through the gastrointestinal wall for transfer into the blood stream, it must be taken with a fat or an oil.  This means unless your routine includes taking your supplements with a dash of coconut oil in your morning smoothie, you may not be receiving the full benefit from the Curcumin.

Further more, research shows that by adding black pepper with your turmeric consumption, its bioavailability increases by an impressive 2000%.  The energetic (and scientific) properties of pepper increase your digestive power, aiding absorption of what you consume.

Tips and recipes

Eat grated turmeric in a nutrient dense curry, dhal or stir fry cooked with ghee (clarified butter) and a generous pinch of pepper.

Sprinkle dried turmeric, pepper and a little Himalayan rock salt on your avocado snack.

Dress your salad or steamed vegetables with ground turmeric, rock salt, pepper, raw honey and olive oil. Get creative! Add rosemary or dill and apple cider vinegar to taste.

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