Turmeric has recently become a popular product marketed heavily by every supplement company and health food outlet. It has gained popularity after research done in India (where it is an extremely popular spice) has revealed its medicinal benefits.
Turmeric's active ingredient, curcumin, has been shown in many animal and clinical studies to be useful for chronic inflammation such as arthritis, cancer, and many other medical conditions.
At Blanda Orthopedics and Physical Therapy, we use an integrative approach to treat musculoskeletal pain. Every orthopedic problem has inflammation involved, in fact, every medical condition has inflammation as part of its pathology. Any safe complementary treatment, that may also have other health benefits, can be beneficial in our effort to fight inflammation. Organic turmeric fits that description as it is a safe, cheap, and an effective way to help fight inflammation. It can be purchased online or at some local stores such as Mustard Seed.
Most people prefer to take a supplement in pill form. However, this is not the best way to get this healthy phytonutrient absorbed into your body. One controversy with supplement pills is how much of the substance is truly present in the pill and how much of it gets absorbed into your body. Turmeric, like any phytonutrient, is best absorbed by your body when it is taken in as a food. Keep in mind that for optimum curcumin absorption from turmeric, three basic elements are required: cooking heat, a touch of black pepper for nutrient absorbing piperine, and a healthy fat, such as olive oil, to protect the turmeric's curcumin from stomach acids before entering the small intestines
WAYS TO ADD TURMERIC POWDER INTO YOUR DIET:
1. Mix in stir-fry or rice dishes
2. Add to eggs with olive oil. Add pepper
3. Spicy lentils
4. Add to tomato or pizza sauce
5. Sprinkle on cauliflower
6. Add to chicken soup
7. Add to smoothie
Here are a couple of easy recipes to get you started:
1. Roasted Turmeric Cauliflower
3 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp (or more!) turmeric
1 TBSP grated fresh ginger
1 jalapeno, finely diced (you can substitute with 1 tsp black pepper)
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk together the oil, turmeric, ginger, and jalapeno (or black pepper in a small bowl. Place cauliflower in a medium baking dish and toss with the flavored oil and season with salt. Roast until lightly golden brown and just tender, 20-25 minutes. Serve hot.
2. Honey Turmeric Chicken
4 chicken breast
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 TBSP honey
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 tsp turmeric
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of black pepper
1 TBSP olive oil
Add the garlic, honey, soy sauce, turmeric, cayenne, and black pepper to chicken. Stir to combine well. Heat up a cast iron skillet on medium heat and add the oil. Transfer the chicken to the skillet and cook on both sides, until they turn golden brown, crispy, and nicely glazed. Dish out and serve immediately
*You may also bake or grill this recipe. If baking, bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked well through.
Enjoy with family and friends.
Joseph Blanda, MD