Easy Ways to Add Turmeric to Your Diet
The underground part of the turmeric plant, known as the rhizome or root, makes a great spice when dried and ground into a powder that can be used in your favorite food or drink.
Turmeric is bright orange-yellow with a pungent, slightly bitter, and earthy-sweet flavor. If you like Indian food, particularly curry, which is made using turmeric, then you may already be familiar with this spice.
Besides being a delicious spice, turmeric contains a variety of plant compounds that could be quite good for the body. The main one is curcumin, an antioxidant that is said to help ease inflammation, support the gut, eyes, brain, liver, mood, heart, and even support a healthy metabolism and weight, to name a few potential benefits.
Ready to try it yourself? Good! You can add it to almost anything you eat or drink, or you can take it as a dietary supplement.
TheKitchn.com offers several suggestions for adding turmeric to food. You can add as much as you like, but it’s recommended to start light then add more as you become more familiar with the taste.
- Morning Eggs - A versatile breakfast food that’s also great at lunch or dinner, eggs have a distinct flavor that won’t be overpowered by turmeric.
- Roasted Vegetables - Starchy vegetables work best, specifically potatoes, cauliflower, or other root vegetables.
- Rice - Plain rice doesn’t excite anyone; so adding a bit of turmeric will add color and make for a more interesting side dish.
- Greens - Sauteed or braised kale, collards, and cabbage work best.
- Soup - There aren’t any restrictions here; the warm flavor of turmeric adds to every soup.
- Homemade mustard - This one comes from FoodBabe.com, and includes a recipe that starts with adding turmeric to 1/2 cup ground mustard, 2 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 tbsp water, and finally 1 tsp each of turmeric and salt. Store in the fridge.
Start with most any coffee, tea, or milk, then add turmeric. Simple! You’ll find a ton of recipes online so you can make your own delicious warm or iced drink. But if there was a “best of” award for turmeric drink, it would go to the following recipe from CoconutMama.com.
What You’ll Need:
- 2 Cups Coconut Milk
- 1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- Pinch Black Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/8 Teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1/8 Teaspoon Cloves
- 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1-2 Tablespoons Raw Honey
How You’ll Make It:
- Heat coconut milk over low heat
- Stir in turmeric, spices, vanilla, and honey.
- Wait until spices dissolve and mixture is smooth
- Makes 2 servings
Supplements might be the best way to get the most from turmeric, just so long as the product mentions “turmeric extract” or something similar. This will inform you that the manufacturer has gone through the trouble of separating the healing compounds in turmeric and concentrating them into a capsule. If you eat the powder or whole root, the gut has to break it down first, and if your gut isn’t up to the task you might not be getting the benefits.
But be wary of cheap brands. Without enough quality control the turmeric in your supplement could contain contaminants like metals or industrial runoff. Also, always follow the product dosage instructions and be aware of mild side effects when first taking turmeric, such as gut irritation or nausea.
Take Turmeric Every Day
You no longer have any excuse not to add turmeric to your daily diet. It’s fast and easy. You can eat it at breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a snack. Add it to soup, a smoothie, or your favorite dessert. Also it’s not too expensive. Even if you don’t like it at first, give it a chance. It will eventually grow on you and become an important part of your daily diet!