Spice up your health: part 1

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Spice up your health: part 1, bags of spices

Welcome to part one of Spice Up Your Health! We will be exploring the health benefits of spices and how you can apply them to your daily routine. People have used spices and herbs for years, but scientists are just starting to scrape the tip of the (sp)iceberg!

*I am not a doctor nor a dietitian. The information provided in this article is not intended to substitute for medical advice from your provider. Any recommendations within this post are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Contact your physician or a licensed dietician before you make any dietary changes.

Turmeric over the years

The turmeric plant is native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. This popular spice has found its way into the hot trend circuit, mainly because it helps reduce acne, fades scars, and more. However, the perks of this golden spice are more than skin deep. For over 5000 years, turmeric has been used medicinally in China and India. It was a common treatment for conditions such as gas, toothaches, colic, chest pain, menstrual cycles, and more. Curcumin, the active ingredient found in turmeric, is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Specialists have found these two traits to be beneficial when conducting various controlled studies.

Anxiety and depression

Unfortunately, the number of people who experience anxiety and depression is continuing to climb. A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study was conducted over a period of twelve weeks on patients who suffered from anxiety and depression. Two groups received varying doses of curcumin and the third group received both curcumin and saffron. The groups that had been given the curcumin saw a significant decrease in anxiety and depression. Studies regarding the combination of curcumin and saffron remain limited. We need more studies at a larger scale to be certain, however, we can clearly see positive results in the current findings.

Boost your brainpower

Another benefit of turmeric is brain function! We could all benefit from a brain boost. In this article from the lovely Dr. Ann Wellness, one clinical study tested two groups of pre-diabetic elderly people. Researchers gave one group placebos and the second group a breakfast containing 1 gram of turmeric. The result? The group who received 1 gram of turmeric had significant improvements to their working memory! I don’t know about you, but I’m losing my mind one kid at a time. I could use all the brain-boosting help I can get!

Curcuminoids for the humanoids

Curcuminoids are derivatives of turmeric. You can find curcuminoid supplements on the shelves of most health and supplement stores. Daily recommendations for curcuminoids are between 500mg to 2,000mg per Consumer Lab. There are an estimated 150mg of curcuminoids in every 5000mg (1 teaspoon) of turmeric powder. That calculates to an estimate of 3 ½ to 13 ½ teaspoons of powdered turmeric. That’s a lot of turmeric powder to consume, and I do NOT suggest you take the #cinnamonchallenge approach. You should, however, consult your doctor before you start buying turmeric in bulk from Costco!

Welcome to flavor town

I always recommend sticking as close to nature as possible. Consider the benefits of incorporating turmeric into your daily cooking. Take a look at these recipes I’ve compiled for your taste buds. Potato lovers might enjoy this delicious roasted potato recipe. One-pan dinners are my love language. This one-pan chicken and turmeric rice recipe is great for those who desire a simple yet flavorful dinner. Instant pot enthusiasts are always trying out new recipes, give this spiced chickpea stew with coconut and turmeric a try! If you prefer something to sip on, try this golden milk concoction from Foolproof Living. Lastly, for my readers with a sweet tooth, I gift you this tasty turmeric cake recipe. Enjoy the benefits and flavors, and let us know your favorite turmeric dishes!

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