Superfoods come and go, but if there is one ingredient that has stood the test of time, then it is turmeric. The use of this sunset yellow spice, also known as Haldi, dates back nearly 4000 years to the Vedic culture in India, where it was put to work for both culinary and religious purposes. From there it spread to China, East Africa, West Africa, and Jamaica. After travelling across the globe, Turmeric in Australia is now sitting cozily in many Australian households. Here is why:
1. Natural Anti-Inflammatory
Inflammation is an essential bodily process as it fights off harmful invaders and repairs damages caused by bacteria and viruses. However, long-term inflammation as seen in cancer and heart disease must be controlled. Curcumin in turmeric powder with its anti-inflammatory properties is known to block the action of the inflammatory molecules in the human body. This particular property of turmeric can also aid those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
2. Powerful Antioxidant
Curcumin has been known to hunt oxygen free radicals which are chemically active molecules that harm the body’s cells. Free radical damage along with inflammation is the way to cardiovascular diseases. So turmeric can help prevent and manage heart diseases.
3. Brain Food
Promising research results have shown curcumin to be an effective antidepressant in treating depression, by reducing levels of a chemical associated with the mental illness. Turmeric is also showing encouraging results in protecting individuals against Alzheimer’s and also, improving memory in those already suffering from the condition.
4. Skin’s Best Friend
In most Indian households, when someone gets hurt, it is a normal practice to first apply some turmeric onto the wound because the spice acts as a natural skin disinfectant. With its anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects, turmeric is your skin’s best friend. It can help with acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
The sunset yellow spice can also aid with aging by helping reduce wrinkles, improving skin elasticity, and maintaining the suppleness of one’s skin.
5. Digestive Healing Agent
Ever wondered why turmeric is intrinsic to certain cuisines of the world? It is because of the spice’s important role in aiding digestion. It is known to relieve one of heartburn, stomach pain, gas, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and nausea.
Here are some of the ways in which you can introduce turmeric into your system:
1. Try it with Greens
Mix some turmeric into your salad dressing and sprinkle the same onto some sautéed or braised greens like collards, cabbage, and kale.
2. Blend into a Smoothie
The slightly pungent flavour of turmeric in Australia can be well masked in a smoothie.
3. Soup it up
A bowl of warm vegetable or meat soup tastes even better with just a little hint of the golden turmeric. Serve with fresh crusty bread.
4. Serve in a Sweet Item
Who could have thought of this spice being used to enhance both the taste and health benefits of something sweet? Whether it is through some nut butter chocolate or golden gut cookies, turmeric has found its way to those with a sweet tooth.