Turmeric. It’s everywhere! Perhaps, your local coffee shop may already offer a special golden turmeric latte. We’ve heard it’s good for us. It may have even been called a superfood. But what is all the fuss about, anyway? It turns out there is truth to go along with that hype. Turmeric has been extensively studied because it seems to do just about everything. And what is it that makes turmeric so special, you might ask? Well the main property in turmeric is curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory that has been linked to helping with everything from the candida to Alzheimer’s to cancer.
What is Curcumin?
Turmeric is a member of the ginger family and usually purchased as a root or a dried powder.[i] Turmeric has an earthy flavor and vibrant yellow color. Curcumin is what gives turmeric its gorgeous yellow hue. It has been shown by numerous studies to have powerful anti-inflammatory benefits, rivaling those of over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.[ii] Unlike ibuprofen, however, turmeric is all natural without the toxicity and intestinal bleeding linked to this common medication.[iii] Curcumin has even been shown in randomized trials to be an effective treatment for arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties.[iv]
Turmeric has also been studied for its anti-microbial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal effects which means it can help you when you are fighting the common cold or a bad bought of candida.[v]
Turmeric is an antioxidant, which in combination with its anti-inflammatory properties is why it is thought that curcumin helps to protect against cancer,[vi] cardiovascular disease[vii] and Alzheimer’s disease.[viii]
And if all that wasn’t enough, turmeric also has a positive impact on the microbiome by supporting the health of good bacteria and regulating the growth of bad bacteria?[ix] Extensive recent research has shown that the microbiome plays a role in everything from liver support to immunity, to obesity and even mental health.[x] Keeping our microbiome healthy is a modern priority.
The long story short is that we should embrace turmeric and find ways to get this wonderful (and delightfully tasting) ingredient into more of our diet!
Good Morning Sunshine Muffins! (with turmeric, of course!)
Prep time: 10 minutes Bake Time: 20 minutes Makes: 12 Muffins
1 cup organic, gluten free oat flour
2/3 cup organic buckwheat flour
1/3 cup organic flax seed, ground
3 teaspoons organic ground turmeric
1 teaspoon organic ground ginger
2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder, organic if possible
¼ cup organic coconut sugar
½ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup organic unsweetened sunflower seed milk, homemade if possible
1/3 cup organic applesauce
1 large organic egg
¼ cup organic coconut oil or ghee (pastured), melted
1 cup organic pineapple, chopped into fine tidbits
1/3 cup organic sunflower seeds (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a muffin tin with parchment paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together.
3. In another bowl, or in your blender, combine wet ingredients.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. Do not over stir.
5. Fold in pineapple.
6. Fill each prepared muffin cup approximately 2/3 full.
7. Divide sunflower seeds evenly amongst the muffins (if using)
8. Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
[i] Murray, Michael et al. Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, New York. Atria Books, 2005 [ii] Murray, Michael et al. Encyclopedia of Healing foods. New York, New York. Atria Books, 2005. [iii] Murray, Michael et al. Encyclopedia of Healing foods. New York, New York. Atria Books, 2005. [iv] Daily, James W et al. “Efficacy of Turmeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials.” Journal of medicinal food vol. 19,8 (2016). PMC, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5003001/ [v] Moghadamtousi, Soheil Zorofchian et al. “A review on antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activity of curcumin.” BioMed research international vol. 2014 (2014), PMC, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4022204/ [vi] Feng, Ting et al. “Liposomal curcumin and its application in cancer.” International journal of nanomedicine vol. 12 6027-6044. 21 Aug. 2017. PMC, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5573051/ Murray, Michael et al. Encyclopedia of Healing foods. New York, New York. Atria Books, 2005. [vii] Lathe, Richard et al. “Atherosclerosis and Alzheimer--diseases with a common cause? Inflammation, oxysterols, vasculature.” BMC geriatrics vol. 14 36. 21 Mar. 2014. PMC, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3994432/ [viii] Lathe, Richard et al. “Atherosclerosis and Alzheimer--diseases with a common cause? Inflammation, oxysterols, vasculature.” BMC geriatrics vol. 14 36. 21 Mar. 2014. PMC, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3994432/ [ix] Ng, Qin Xiang et al. “A Meta-Analysis of the Clinical Use of Curcumin for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).” Journal of clinical medicine vol. 7,10 298. 22 Sep. 2018. PMC, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6210149/ [x] Sonnenburg, Justin and Erica Sonnenburg. The Good Gut: Taking control of your weight, your mood, and your long-term health. New York, New York: Penguin Books, 2015.