Healthy Habits: What is Turmeric?

benefits of adding turmeric to your diet

Here at Team LC, we don’t take health and wellness lightly. We are always willing to test out a cleanse or two, enroll a trusted trainer to help us reach our fitness goals, and call up our resident nutritionist when a health trend lands on our radar. We’ve had holistic nutritionist Kelly LeVeque on speed dial for quite some time and for good reason. Today we’re picking her brain on a health hype that we’ve been hearing a lot of lately.

Turmeric has been around for centuries, commonly used for its healing abilities. You might be familiar with this yellow spice since it is a crucial ingredient in curry, too. Since we’ve seen a lot of our friends sprinkling it on their favorite dishes and mixing it into teas and lattes, we thought that we’d turn to Kelly once again to give us the low-down on this miracle powder. If you’re as curious as we are about turmeric, you’re going to want to keep reading. From a breakdown of its medicinal properties to a healthy recipe you can make at home, Kelly went above and beyond to give us the best information on the topic. Let’s get started…

What is turmeric?

Turmeric is worth the hype! Turmeric contains medicinal properties called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin. Curcumin is the ultimate “anti.” It has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities. And it can benefit your waistline, too. Curcumin activates the liver genes that help keep glucose levels in check and can improve your pancreas’s ability to produce insulin. This balances blood sugar by slowing down the metabolism of carbohydrates after meals.

If you’re looking to add more of this spice to your everyday routine, add turmeric to your next chicken dish, sprinkle it over roasted veggies or add a pinch to your hot lemon water. However, if you aren’t adding black pepper as well, you will not be absorbing the anti-inflammatory benefits…

One study found that when 2 grams of curcumin was ingested, its serum levels were very low. However, when 20 milligrams piperine (the active ingredient in black pepper) was added to curcumin, the bioavailability increased by 2,000%! Thus, you need to add black pepper to all turmeric dishes for increased bioavailability.

Thanks to Kelly’s recommendations, one of our go-to turmeric recipes is a delicious golden milk latte. While you can easily pick this drink up at your local health food store, Kelly has provided us an easy to make recipe that you can make right in your own kitchen… Enjoy!

benefits of turmeric via LaurenConrad.com

Golden Milk

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon organic turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon organic minced ginger
  • a pinch of black pepper
  • 4 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • stevia drops to taste

Instructions: 

1. In a small pot over medium heat, whisk coconut oil, black pepper, turmeric and minced ginger for 2-3 minutes.

2. Add almond milk and whisk until the almond milk comes to a slight boil.

3. Optional: Pour warm golden milk into blender and blend to emulsify. Add a few drops of organic stevia to taste.

4. Serve and Enjoy.

We’re firm believers in treating your body well, inside and out. Plus, that golden milk recipe is so delicious! Another huge thanks to our friend and nutritionist Kelly for providing us with this helpful and informative post.

Do you have any favorite turmeric recipes?

Let us know what they are in the comments!

XO Team LC

Photos: Be Well By Kelly
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