Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory food, spice and herb that has been traditionally used for centuries in cooking and in Ayurvedic remedies (one of the oldest modalities of medicine). Current research shows it to be as effective as Ibuprofen for pain relief when its active component (curcumin) is taken in high enough doses. In today’s busy world, you have to make a constant effort to replenish and de-inflame your body as stress and the “busyness” of life deplete the body of vital nutrients and can lead to chronic inflammation. Inflammation is at the root of dull skin, lackluster hair, brittle nails, achy joints, poor wound healing, a weakened immune system, auto-immune conditions and of course other serious health conditions. Luckily, food can be a potent medicine to help cool the fires and turmeric is a must-have in your at-home medicine cabinet.
Turmeric can be used as a spice in dishes, but can also be consumed on a regular basis as a health elixir (see recipe below). However you make it, it needs to be consumed with fat to get the full benefit of its medicinal action, as curcumin is a fat soluble constituent. Black pepper also increases the bioavailability of its active component by 1000-fold. From a culinary standpoint, it pairs well with ginger, cinnamon, cumin, coriander and cardamom.
This recipe features fresh turmeric root, which can be found in the produce department of your natural health food store. Fresh tastes much better than the dried spice, but if you can’t locate the fresh root, dried turmeric powder will work as well. Drink this milk as a digestive tonic, beauty food elixir and immune boosting remedy. Replenish your body, avoid “burnout” and soothe those inflammatory fires with golden milk. It is also a great way to wind down after a stressful day in preparation for bedtime. Enjoy!
NOURISH TO REPLENISH GOLDEN MILK – RECIPE
Makes 2 servings
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2-inch x 1-inch piece of turmeric, peeled (or ½-1 teaspoon ground turmeric)
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon raw honey, plus more to taste
Add the milk, water and turmeric to a blender and blend on high until fully emulsified. Add in the pepper, cardamom, salt and honey and re-blend to incorporate. Strain mixture and then warm on the stove to desired temperature. Serve and enjoy.
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|Written by our nutritionist, Siona Sammartino, MS, RDN|