Welcome to another installation of Ingredient of the Week! This week’s focus is turmeric.

turmeric 300x272 - Ingredient of the Week: TurmericTurmeric is one of my favorite spices—I love the warm, peppery taste and the bright orange-yellow color. I also love it for its health-boosting effects. I’m far from alone in this—tumeric has been used for over 2,500 years in food and, in a sense, as medicine.

Turmeric (the active ingredient of which is curcumin) has long been known for its anti-inflammatory properties. More recent studies have revealed it to be effective in treating various cancers and conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s Disease, to arthritis (due to its anti-inflammatory effects) to psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.

For more information on the health benefits of turmeric, click here.

My supervisor often recommends it to patients suffering colds as well. Here’s the “recipe” for her turmeric cold remedy, which I happen to needing this week…photo on 2011 05 09 at 13 37 3 - Ingredient of the Week: Turmeric

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground/powdered ginger

Directions

  1. Add the turmeric to water as it boils.
  2. Take water off the heat and pour into a glass. Stir in ginger and pepper.
  3. Drink in small sips throughout the day.

Turmeric is very popular in Indian cooking, but you can use it in practically anything. I love adding it to soups, vegetable dishes and even sweet foods like smoothies, as it adds a nice orange color. Try it with lentils and sweet potatoes. This is my go-to recipe, but there are so many great variations, it’s hard to go wrong.

Here’s to the cold remedy working! Enjoy your day!

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