A TWIST ON TURMERIC There’s so much more to this wonder-root than curry!

You’ve prob­a­bly heard about the awe­some heal­ing pow­ers of turmeric, and that we should all try to in­clude more of this gin­ger-like root in our di­ets. But be­yond curry, how do we do that?

In the Moment - - Contents - Pho­tog­ra­phy: Issy Cro­ker

Vi­brant ochre in colour and ex­otic in its ori­gins, turmeric is, of course, best known as an in­te­gral spice in the most de­li­cious of In­dian and Asian dishes. But there is so much more to this hum­ble-look­ing root, a green plant in the gin­ger fam­ily, than sim­ply spic­ing.

Its heal­ing pow­ers are well-doc­u­mented, as it has been used medic­i­nally through­out the trop­ics – es­pe­cially in In­dia and In­done­sia where it is grown – for over

4,500 years, ap­pear­ing in some of the ear­li­est known records of plant medicines.

Turmeric plays an im­por­tant part in Ayurveda, the In­dian sys­tem of her­bal medicine, where it is thought to strengthen and warm the body. It is used speci cally to im­prove the di­ges­tion sys­tem, to reg­u­late men­stru­a­tion, re­lieve the in am­ma­tion as­so­ci­ated with arthri­tis and bal­ance the me­tab­o­lism. It can also be used as an anti-in am­ma­tory and an­tibac­te­rial agent for coughs and colds, or on the skin for burns, cuts and bruises.

Most re­cently, re­search has fo­cused on the anti-can­cer prop­er­ties of cur­cumin, its main ac­tive in­gre­di­ent. This an­tiox­i­dant has been shown to have anti-in am­ma­tory e ects with the po­ten­tial to lower the risks of heart dis­ease, di­a­betes, Alzheimer’s, stroke and can­cer.

Pass the turmeric

Eat­ing more turmeric sounds like a good idea to us, and it’s cur­rently thought that con­sum­ing about a tea­spoon a day – fresh or ground – is help­ful for pro­mot­ing gut health and gen­eral well­ness.

Tra­di­tional ‘golden milks’ and ton­ics have be­come in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar, along

with turmeric tea. Keep a look out for the fresh root along­side gin­ger in your lo­cal green­gro­cers, too.

While turmeric on its own is quite pun­gent and bit­ter (mak­ing it per­fect for roast­ing veg­eta­bles, salad dress­ings and, of course, richly spiced cur­ries and soups) it com­bines beau­ti­fully with honey, so can be used in desserts, bak­ing, break­fasts and even ice cream. Plus, used care­fully (try not to dye your­self yel­low!) it is also a won­der­ful nat­u­ral beauty in­gre­di­ent. Think out­side the spice jar and try these three health-boost­ing recipes, along with our top turmeric tips...

Add black pep­per

Black pep­per con­tains the com­pound piper­ine that helps in­crease ab­sorp­tion of cur­cumin. It isn’t nec­es­sary to al­ways con­sume turmeric with black pep­per, but it has been shown to boost the body’s abil­ity to ab­sorb the bene cial prop­er­ties.

Eat it fresh

The ground turmeric we are fa­mil­iar with comes from the ‘ ngers’ that grow from the root. The root is cleaned, boiled and then dried at a low tem­per­a­ture be­fore be­ing pro­cessed into a pow­der. Turmeric can also

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