WTF: Turmeric

We’re switching it up on you guys this week with a WTF post on a Thursday! And this Thursday, I’m hype to talk about one of my favorite, anti-inflammatory ingredients ever. As you may know from reading my blog post about doing Whole30 earlier this year, gut health is an obsession of mine. It’s something I’ve become increasingly fascinated with over the last few years. Okay, as have most people in the health + wellness world—but it’s particularly interesting to me because I suffer from some pesky gut issues myself (more on that later). Plus, your gut isn’t the only thing anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties have an impact on. Alas, it is merely scratching the surface of a plethora of health benefits. I’ve gotten ahead of myself…

Let’s talk turmeric. Turmeric is not, by any means, new. In fact, it has been around for thousands of years. So why does it seem to be creeping up in so many recipes lately? Hint: it’s not just because of it’s pretty golden hue. Although, it’s color does make it rather ‘grammable. #noshame

What is turmeric?

In it’s fresh state, turmeric is a plant of the ginger family. It looks very similar to ginger, but it’s smaller and bright orange on the inside. More commonly, you’ll see turmeric in it’s powder form—used as a coloring and flavoring agent in many Asian cuisines (and beyond). Because of it’s pungent, earthy, bitter taste, it’s a very common ingredient in Indian curries (one of my absolute FAVORITE things to eat).

Fun fact: Turmeric was originally used as a dye, which isn’t that surprising, considering it’s been known to stain kitchen appliances yellow. Savage. Luckily, we’ve heard of some weird yet effective ways to remove turmeric stains—like setting your stained object out in the sun, for example. Give it a try and report back.

What are turmeric’s health benefits?

Now for the good stuff: Turmeric is an excellent source of both iron and manganese. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, dietary fiber, copper, and potassium. Sup, nutrients?

As I mentioned earlier, turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. So what? Um. Almost all diseases and health complications—including certain cancers, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, arthritis, IBS, diabetes, etc.—start with some type of inflammation. That said, turmeric can help prevent (and even treat!) these types of diseases and inhibit the oxidation of other molecules, aka cell damage, in our bodies. Not all super heroes wear capes, you guys.

How can I incorporate turmeric into my diet?

Okay—so maybe Indian curry isn’t for everyone (have you tried it, though?). So, how can you work turmeric into your diet sans loading up on Indian cuisine? We’re so glad you asked…

Like matcha, turmeric can be added to steamed milk to make a latte (“golden milk”). It can also be added to smoothies, stir fries, soups, salad dressings, roasted veggies, etc. One of our favorite ways to incorporate turmeric is via eggs. Whether you’re frying up an egg in some ghee or poaching it for some avo toast or eggs benny, you can add a small amount of turmeric for an extra kick of flavor and color (and don’t forget nutrients!). Another place we love to sneak in some turmeric is in hummus (peep our Golden Hummus recipe for inspo). What we’re trying to say, is that there are a TON of ways you can start mixing turmeric into your diet. Our only question is, where will you start??

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This post is part of our WTF series—where we’ll break down some of the latest food, fitness, and health + wellness trends blowing up your Instagram feed.

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