Turmeric is a popular ingredient in many cuisines. But what does it add to a dish? Read more to learn what turmeric tastes like, plus its benefits.
What seasonings do you add to your food? It can be easy to get into a routine of using only a few favorite herbs and spices. You get so used to certain flavors that trying something new can feel intimidating.
But if you only stick to salt and pepper, you never know what you could be missing out on. In addition to adding flavor to your dishes, some spices and herbs have potential health benefits that may sustain your body as well as your taste buds.
Today, let's talk about turmeric. If you've been hesitant to try this spice, you don't have to be scared. We'll show you all the reasons people love turmeric and introduce you to amazing, easy recipes that incorporate this spice.
What Is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a spice that comes from a root known as Curcuma longa. This spice has a yellow color that can add vibrant color to many dishes while contributing a rich flavor.
It's also a common ingredient in curry powder, which is popular in Indian cuisine. Turmeric contains the chemical curcumin, which contributes to this spice’s many uses.
The word turmeric comes from the Latin phrase terra merita, which means meritorious earth. Some people confuse turmeric with tree turmeric or Javanese turmeric root. However, these are different plants with distinct features.
Turmeric use dates as early as 4,000 years ago with the Vedic culture in India. In ancient times, people used turmeric in association with religious practices in addition to using it as a food flavoring.
How Does Turmeric Taste?
Turmeric has a distinct flavor, which is one reason it is a primary ingredient for many curry powders. It has a potent peppery spice with an earthy, musky essence. In many cases, people combine turmeric with other milder or sweeter spices to balance out turmeric's boldness.
How Is Turmeric Used?
If you've never tried turmeric, you could be wondering what all the excitement is about. Turmeric has served many purposes over the years, but its two primary uses are currently for flavor and natural medicine.
Turmeric Adds Flavor
Primarily, turmeric is a popular ingredient that many people incorporate into their dishes. This ingredient's potent spice and bitterness contribute unique tasting notes any food.
Turmeric for Natural Medicinal Purposes
In addition to the flavor it adds, turmeric is well-known for its possible medicinal properties. People have used this spice for years to help relieve their symptoms and support their health.
9 Possible Benefits of Turmeric
Although more research needs to be done on turmeric's effectiveness for supporting bodily functions, some studies suggest that turmeric offers a wide range of benefits. If you're someone who is excited by natural medicinal remedies, keep reading to discover turmeric's possible uses.
Turmeric May Ease Inflammation
One of the major compounds found in turmeric, curcumin, is naturally anti-inflammatory. Because of this, some people turn to turmeric instead of over-the-counter medications to ease inflammation. The presence of the curcumin compound also suggests that turmeric may have the potential to ease pain in the body.
Some suggest that this powdery spice also contains antioxidants which are widely known to help neutralize free radicals in the body.
Turmeric Can Help Fight Viral Infections
Is it cold or flu season where you live? If so, you might find turmeric especially useful.
This spice has the potential to help people fight off viral infections. You might consider enjoying turmeric with your food or in a cup of tea if you're trying to support your body during flu season.
Turmeric May Ease Symptoms of PMS
The ingredient curcumin in turmeric may help relieve some symptoms of premenstrual syndrome for those with intense menstrual cycles. It may help reduce pain from cramps that accompany menstrual activity.
Turmeric May Help Protect You from Heart Disease
Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is one action that can help support your heart. Some research suggests that turmeric may have properties that help lower levels of LDL cholesterol, sometimes known as bad cholesterol.
Although more research is needed to confirm this, some other studies already show that turmeric can help support heart health in those who undergo bypass surgery.
Turmeric May Relieve Osteoarthritis Symptoms
When a person struggles with osteoarthritis, they often suffer from bone and joint stiffness and pain from inflammation. Turmeric's anti-inflammatory properties can help ease some of the swelling and pain that occurs with osteoarthritis.
Turmeric Might Support Skin Health
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which some people believe can help support your skin and reduce acne. More research is needed to understand whether turmeric can significantly impact skin health.
Turmeric May Have Possible Anti-Aging Properties
Curcumin, the main compound found in turmeric, has the potential to help slow the aging process. The anti-aging effects of curcumin have been documented in some studies, which suggest that it could help give a boost to your skin health and elongate the life of your skin cells.
Turmeric Can Support Eye Health
You're probably aware that eating carrots can help support your vision. However, did you know that curcumin may have properties that encourage eye health and help ward off eye diseases? Some research suggests that curcumin can help prevent the degeneration of cells in the eyes, but more research is needed to confirm this link.
Turmeric May Help Treat Diabetes
One study observed curcumin's effect on animals with diabetes. In this study, after administering an ingredient in curcumin to animals with type 2 diabetes, researchers noticed decreased blood sugar levels as well as increased plasma insulin production. While this study highlighted the effects on animals, these findings could translate to mean curcumin is helpful for diabetes management in humans.