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Herbs and spices have been used in our kitchens for centuries. It adds color and flavor to food. Though Ayurveda uses turmeric for various health problems for centuries, the benefits of turmeric have been advocated by scientists and nutritionists only in the last couple of decades. They advise to include it in your daily diet to take advantage of its benefits.
A member of the ginger family, turmeric is a flowering plant, the root of which is used in cooking. The roots are boiled in water, dried, and then ground into a fine powder. The yellow color can be attributed to a naturally occurring chemical in turmeric known as curcumin.
An antioxidant is a substance that helps in preventing the occurrence of oxidative stress, which can cause cell and tissue damage. Oxidative stress may lead to a number of diseases like Cardiovascular Diseases, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and some kidney diseases as well.Many studies have shown that the curcumin in turmeric fights the free radicals that cause oxidative stress.
as mentioned above, oxidative stress can lead to a lot of diseases that cause inflammation and vice versa, meaning that inflammation itself can also cause oxidative stress. Inflammation is known to cause several diseases like Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, bronchitis, osteoarthritis, colitis, and asthma to name a few. The curcumin has also been found effective in reducing inflammation.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric have several other health benefits. Some of them are:
2. Reduces the risk of heart disease: the anti-inflammatory property of turmeric helps reduce the serum cholesterol levels, which cause blockage in the arteries through fat buildup.
3. Helps fight common cold and fever: turmeric also has antimicrobial and antiviral properties, which means that it can help fight the common cold. In Ayurveda, a hot glass of milk with turmeric has often been used as an effective remedy.
4. Helps boost immunity: the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric make it an excellent immunity booster.
5. Helps in osteoarthritis: according to a study, turmeric helps with arthritis pain of the knee to the same extent as pain medicines for arthritis.
6. Works wonders for the skin: since turmeric is packed with antioxidants, it helps to clear your body of toxins and thereby clears skins and gives it a refreshing glow.
According to EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) and JECFA (Joint United Nations and World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives) have suggested an Allowable Daily Intake (ADI) value of curcumin to be 0–3 mg/kg of your body weight. So, for an adult of 70 kg, an ADI for curcumin should be about 210mg.
However, the generally prescribed dose for curcumin for an adult according to the body weight can be 1000 to 2000 mg per day.
A typical Indian diet contains about 2000-2500 gm of turmeric in a day, which contains about 3% of curcumin that accounts for 60 to 100mg of curcumin concentrate.
However, typically available curcumin supplement in the market contains 95% concentrate with 234.5mg of curcuminoids in a single tablet.
It is better to have a product that contains black pepper or piperine also, as it helps the body absorb the turmeric better.
Though turmeric is safe for consumption, in some cases there can be mild side effects. According to studies, some of the people consuming a significant amount of turmeric for a long duration may develop side effects of nausea, diarrhea, headaches, and rashes.
An additional amount of turmeric can be obtained through the diet in the form of smoothies. Smoothies allow you to consume the required amount of curcumin in a tasty form with the additional benefits of other ingredients.
Smoothies are drinks that are made in a blender. Fruits or vegetables are pureed with other ingredients like milk, water, bananas, seeds, and nuts.
Using turmeric in smoothies has become very popular. Smoothies can be made easily and super quickly with the ingredients of your choice. They can be a wholesome meal when you are running short on time or want to take a break from your regular meals. Here are five recipes for turmeric smoothies to get your daily dose of turmeric. Not just turmeric, but each ingredient in this recipe has its own nutritional value, which is important for our health and well-being.
• 1 cup fresh/frozen pineapple.
• 1 cup fresh/frozen mango.
• 1 teaspoon coconut oil or 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut.
• 1 teaspoon peeled and chopped fresh ginger.
• 1 teaspoon turmeric powder or paste (simply add some water to the turmeric in a saucepan over medium flame for a minute, you will get a paste)
• 1-1.5 chilled water.
• A pinch of ground black pepper, optional. Black pepper acts as a better absorbent of turmeric.
• Put all ingredients to a blender and blend till smooth. Blend on high speed.
• Pineapple is rich in vitamin C, B1 (thiamin), and B6.
• Using mangoes removes the need to add artificial sweeteners. They contain vitamins A, B, and C. Mangoes also provide dietary fiber.
• Dietary fiber has a vital role to play in stool movement.
• ¾ cups milk of your choice. You can use anything from regular to soy to almond.
• 2 cups of baby spinach.
• ½ cup plain yogurt.
• 3 tablespoons oats.
• 1 ½ cups froze/fresh berries of choice.
• 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder.
• 2 teaspoon honey.
• Ice cubes if using fresh berries as desired.
• Blend milk, yogurt, and spinach on high speed.
• Add the other ingredients and blend till smooth.
• Apart from turmeric and ginger, the berries are also a source of antioxidants.
• Yogurt provides probiotics, protein, and Vitamin B12, which helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
• Oatmeal will help you get some fiber into your body, which is extremely important for a healthy gut. Oats are also a source of vitamins and unsaturated fatty acids.
• 240 ml almond milk (unsweetened)
• ½ banana
• 1 teaspoon peeled and chopped ginger
• 1 teaspoon turmeric
• 1 teaspoon honey
• ½ teaspoon black pepper
• Ice cubes
• Add ingredients into a blender and blend till smooth.
• Ginger and turmeric are both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory in nature.
• Almond milk is a good source of vitamins like E and D. It is also rich in calcium. Calcium is essential to maintain good bone health apart from other benefits.
• Honey is a healthier sweetener than sugar. Honey contains a lot of constituents that provide many nutrients, anti-oxidants and helps in digestion.
• Bananas are antidiarrheal properties; that is why doctors suggest eating bananas when suffering from diarrhea. They are also a source of potassium, which helps reduce blood pressure and, in turn, the risk for cardiovascular diseases.
• 2 cups spinach. Washed and rinsed.
• 2-3 cups pineapple. Fresh or frozen.
• ½ teaspoon turmeric powder.
• 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds.
• 1 cup cold water.
• 1 cup of milk of your choice. In place of milk, you may also use water.
• Pinch of black pepper.
• ½ coconut oil.
• Blend all ingredients together on high speed till smooth.
• Serve it immediately.
• Flaxseeds are a rich source of protein, fiber, and omega 3. They also help reduce the level of blood glucose, thereby reducing the chances of diabetes.
• Milk is a source of calcium, and so is pineapple.
• Spinach is packed with vitamins B1 and is a good source of dietary fiber. Spinach is also rich in iron, which helps to reduce the risk of diseases like Anemia, which are caused due to iron deficiency.
DATES AND TURMERIC SOURCES
• 2 cups almond milk. You may use any milk of your choice like soy.
• 1 teaspoon turmeric powder.
• 1/3 cups of pitted dates (seeds removed).
• 2 tablespoons chia seeds.
• Pinch of cinnamon.
• Pinch of sea salt. Optional.
• Blend all ingredients at high speed till smooth.
• Have it immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
• Chia seeds are a source of fiber and also rich in protein, omega 3, calcium, and magnesium. They help maintaining body weight and also aid in weight loss.
• Just like turmeric, cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants and also has anti-inflammatory properties. It also reduces bad cholesterol levels.
• Dates are rich in protein and fiber. Dates also have antimicrobial, anti-diabetes and anti-inflammatory value.
The above smoothie recipes are just a few ways to take your daily dose of turmeric. If smoothies are not your thing, then there are other alternatives. You can opt for turmeric supplements available in the market, as discussed above. Another quick and easy way to have turmeric is to have it with some hot water, ginger, black pepper and honey first thing in the morning.
It is important to note that like all good things, the benefits of including turmeric in your diet will take some time to show.
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