Turmeric – the new super spice

Who would have thought that turmeric, the popular Cape Malay spice that’s been around for millennia, would become ultra-trendy again in 2017?

It’s true: foods with a function beyond basic nutrition are trendier than ever and, among all the superfoods out there, ochre-coloured turmeric is the rising star.

According to Thinkwithgoogle.com, a great percentage of online users rely on Google Search to up their food IQ, with turmeric sitting right at the top of the list of foods searched in 2016.

Right now, delicious turmeric latte is making waves worldwide – including South Africa. Superlatte, a superfood drinks bar that forms part of the Oranjezicht City Farm Market at Granger Bay, has brought “golden milk” to our shores. And local interest in this health-boosting drink is expected to grow significantly this year.

READ MORE: 15 FOODS THAT WILL INCREASE YOUR BRAIN POWER

The health benefits of turmeric powder

In the past few years, numerous studies have pointed to turmeric’s benefits. Curcumin, the active ingredient in this rock star spice, possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer properties.

“By weight, turmeric is one of the most antioxidant-packed foods in the world,” says Cape Town-based nutritionist Hanro Roos.

The spice has been linked to reducing arthritis symptoms, inflammatory skin conditions and gingivitis, and possibly preventing colon cancer and even Alzheimer’s disease. And while larger studies need to confirm these impressive benefits, research shows that turmeric definitely helps ease indigestion.

Its traditional uses, which have long formed part of Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, include:

  • Treating infections, liver and skin disorders.
  • Dressing wounds and burns.
  • Decreasing inflammation.

Powdered curcumin has also long been used in Asian cosmetics.

Turmeric is non-toxic and generally safe to use. Take note, however, that both cinnamon and turmeric may cause bleeding, so use with caution if you’re heading for surgery.

How to add turmeric to your diet

Roos recommends adding a ¼ teaspoon of turmeric to your daily diet.

A few tips:

  • Add turmeric to smoothies and vegetable juices.
  • Add freshly pressed turmeric juice to almond or cashew milk for a warming winter drink.
  • Combine turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, honey, nut butter, almond milk and a pinch of salt, and turn it into a latte on the stove.
  • Rediscover bobotie and yellow rice – a traditional South African meal made with turmeric.

SEE ALSO: HUNGRY? MAKE THIS SHOW-STOPPING TRADITIONAL BOBOTIE OR TRY THESE BOBOTIE SPRINGROLLS WITH OUR STEP-BY-STEP TUTORIAL. 

Feature: Carine Visagie

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