We mispronounced its name for ages (never spotted that sneaky first r and called it toomeric) but had heard turmeric was good for health.
We’re not the only ones who have turmeric on our radar though. Last year it was reported that Google searches for the golden spice were up by 75 per cent. It looks like there are plenty of reasons to love this brightly coloured spice.
The magic is all down to an active ingredient called cur cumin (which also gives it that deep yellow colour). It’s a powerhouse which has lots of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It's the active ingredient in turmeric and is thought to provide loads of health benefits.
It can reduce inflammation
Curcumin is apparently capable of interacting with some of the molecules that can cause inflammation. Turmeric can help ease aches and pains and swelling in the joints - one study suggested it maybe be just as effective as aspirin for reducing inflammation.
It can help with digestion
Turmeric has long been used in ayurvedic medicine to help with digestive issues. It plays a role in digesting food, and there are now studies into how it can help with gut inflammation and even be used for treating irritable bowel syndrome.
It contains antioxidants
Curcumin is packed with antioxidants which are important for protecting cells. They fight off free radicals from pollution, UV and other sources. As well as helping with overall health, antixodaints also help to keep your skin in good shape
It helps boost immunity
Turmeric has antiviral, anti fungal and antibacterial properties. Along with those antioxidants and it’s through it can help boost your immune system. Sipping on golden milk (see below) can be a great option through colder months.
How to get a turmeric hit:
It has a slightly bitter, warm taste which works great in lots of dishes, if you’re a foodie (but watch out as it can dye your hands - and pretty much everything else!)
- Add it to meals
Sprinkle it over scrambled eggs or add to soups. It’s particularly good in meat dishes – and it’s great in curries!
- Make a golden turmeric tea
Add some turmeric to almond milk and gently warm, to create a soothing, immunity-helping tea. It’s all the better if you throw in some ginger and cinnamon too.
- Take it in a supplement
You can get turmeric tablets, powders, teas - even an oral spray these days. So if you don't like the taste, or want something easy, there are options out there.
*Note: If you are on medication or have any existing health issues, always talk to your doctor before trying out any new supplements or remedies.