Turmeric: Benefits and Nutrition

Turmeric is a type of plant from the ginger family, the roots of which are ground up and used as a spice. Thanks to its mild, exotic aroma and a fine bitter note, turmeric gives food and drinks a very special taste. The effect of turmeric as a medicinal plant is also being discussed.

Things to know about turmeric

The turmeric plant is native to Southeast Asia. In this country, the spice is also known under the name turmeric. This name comes from the golden yellow color that turmeric gives to dishes and liquids. The term “Indian saffron”, by which turmeric is also known, is aimed at this typical coloring and also makes it clear how closely turmeric is connected to Indian cuisine.

It’s in turmeric

It is not surprising that turmeric has long been valued as a medicinal plant. In fact, in dried form, the tuber contains a whole range of valuable nutrients that promote your health. Turmeric contains vitamin B2 and calcium, among other things. The plant is also rich in zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B3, and vitamin C.

Shopping and cooking tips for turmeric

You can get turmeric in stores in dried and ground form, but also fresh as a root in the vegetable department. If you use spice powder, you should store it in an airtight and dark place because it contains essential oils. This is how it keeps its aroma. The same goes for the turmeric root. It is best to store them in the refrigerator in a sealable freezer bag. The tuber will keep there for several weeks.

The exotic spice offers you numerous culinary possibilities. The best known is of course its use in hearty Indian dishes. Turmeric belongs in every authentic curry and is often used as the basis of curry powder. Yellow turmeric rice, a popular side dish in Indian cuisine, cannot do without the ginger plant either. You use fresh turmeric by peeling the root and cutting it into small pieces, for example, soaking it in rice water. For a turmeric tea, pour hot water over a few slices of the tuber and let it steep for 5 minutes. Or they put some turmeric in your smoothie. In traditional Indian cuisine, fresh turmeric is made into a paste and used in curry dishes.

But Thai cuisine also appreciates the fine aroma of the spice, as our creamy lemongrass soup proves. In this dish, you combine the fresh spiciness of lemongrass with turmeric to create an intensely spicy treat for the palate.

Of course, you can also use turmeric to add a sophisticated flavor to Western dishes, such as scrambled eggs or sandwiches. Be inspired by our collection of diverse turmeric recipes! Here you will also find the recipe for the currently very trendy turmeric latte. The hot turmeric milk is a caffeine-free alternative to coffee that is very easy to make and delights with its warming spice and is therefore just as popular as chai latte, which you can now prepare in advance thanks to our chai syrup recipe.

Tip: Turmeric stains very strongly. Always wear gloves when processing fresh turmeric and only use equipment that doesn’t mind turning yellow. This applies to chopping boards, knives, tea towels, etc. If you do want to remove the paint: First rub the stain with oil and then wash it off with washing-up liquid.

What is turmeric a good for?

Turmeric — and especially its most active compound, curcumin — have many scientifically proven health benefits, such as the potential to improve heart health and prevent against Alzheimer’s and cancer. It’s a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It may also help improve symptoms of depression and arthritis.

Is it good to take turmeric everyday?

High doses of turmeric and curcumin are not recommended long-term since research confirming their safety is lacking. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has determined 1.4 mg per pound (0–3 mg/kg) of body weight an acceptable daily intake ( 18 ).

How much turmeric should I take daily?

“It’s safe to take up to 8 grams per day, but my recommendation would be somewhere on the lighter side: 500 to 1,000 milligrams a day for the general population,” says Hopsecger. For optimal absorption, try taking with heart-healthy fats like oils, avocado, nuts and seeds, she adds.

Who should not use turmeric?

People who should not take turmeric include those with gallbladder problems, bleeding disorders, diabetes, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), infertility, iron deficiency, liver disease, hormone-sensitive conditions, and arrhythmia. Pregnant women and those who are going to undergo surgery should not use turmeric.

What are side effects of taking turmeric?

Turmeric usually doesn’t cause serious side effects. Some people can experience mild side effects such as stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, or diarrhea. These side effects are more common at higher doses. When applied to the skin: Turmeric is likely safe.

Does turmeric raise blood pressure?

Since turmeric can lower blood pressure, it may have additive effects with antihypertensive drugs. Turmeric can aid digestion by increasing stomach acid levels, which may inhibit the effectiveness of antacids.

What medications interact with tumeric?

Drugs that reduce stomach acid: Turmeric may interfere with the action of these drugs, increasing the production of stomach acid:

  • Cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • Famotidine (Pepcid)
  • Ranitidine (Zantac)
  • Esomeprazole (Nexium)
  • Omeprazole
  • Lansoprazole (Prevacid)

How long does it take for turmeric to work?

Around 4-8 weeks

Unfortunately, turmeric doesn’t offer a quick fix, so you’ll need to take it daily to notice results. If you were wondering how long it takes turmeric to work, this can vary from person to person. However, you should usually expect to start noticing improvements in around 4-8 weeks when taken daily.

Does turmeric help you sleep?

From fighting inflammation to supplying ample antioxidants, turmeric does it all. The common Ayurvedic medicinal spice is also widely used to aid in sleep quality.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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