Intro

Turmeric is all the rage right now, and for good reason.

Turmeric derives its medicinal superpowers from the compound curcumin, which has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may be beneficial for digestion, detoxification, and pain relief. According to a 2014 study, curcumin may be able to help fight depression.

Curcumin has also been shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory agent. It may have the potential to reduce a person’s risk for heart disease, prevent cancer, treat Alzheimer’s, and aid in relieving arthritis symptoms.

Turmeric benefits

  • fights inflammation
  • boosts body’s antioxidant enzyme activity
  • may help with treatment of depression

Adding a pinch of black pepper to your turmeric recipes can help you get the most bang for your buck. Pepper and its bioactive compound piperine enhance curcumin absorption in the body by up to 2,000 percent, making the spice more effective in smaller doses.

Try it: One of the easiest ways to reap the benefits of curcumin? Make a delicious turmeric tea latte, aka “golden milk.” Curcumin is fat soluble, so it’s a smart idea to drink this latte with a fatty meal or make it with whole or coconut milk.

Recipe for Turmeric Tea Latte

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk of your choice (whole, coconut, almond, etc.)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1-inch piece of fresh, peeled ginger
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • pinch of black pepper

Directions

  1. Warm all ingredients in a small saucepan until it comes to a low simmer.
  2. Whisk well to dissolve spices and divide into two mugs.

Dosage: Consume 1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of turmeric per day and you may start to feel the benefits after about four to eight weeks.

Most studies use curcumin extract, which contains 95 percent curcuminoids, and not the turmeric spice, which only contains 3 percent curcuminoids. However, 2 to 5 grams of the spice still show some mild benefits.

Possible side effects of turmeric Turmeric doesn’t appear to cause any significant side effects, but some people may experience headaches, nausea, digestive upset, or diarrhea after taking high doses for a prolonged period of time.

Cheaper turmeric may contain fillers such as wheat starch, so use caution if you have a gluten allergy. Those with gallbladder disease or gallstones should avoid turmeric, as it can stimulate the gallbladder.

Always check with your doctor before adding anything to your everyday routine to figure out what’s best for you and your individual health. While turmeric lattes are generally safe to consume, drinking too much in a day could be harmful.


Tiffany La Forge is a professional chef, recipe developer, and food writer who runs the blog Parsnips and Pastries. Her blog focuses on real food for a balanced life, seasonal recipes, and approachable health advice. When she’s not in the kitchen, Tiffany enjoys yoga, hiking, traveling, organic gardening, and hanging out with her corgi, Cocoa. Visit her at her blog or on Instagram.