I have been trying to find fresh turmeric for some time now. I was not able to find it at any of my local grocery stores until I visited an international grocery store the other day. I was like a kid in a candy store when I saw it! I think I actually sped up when I eyed it and grabbed a bag as quick as I could :). I have read so much about turmeric and the benefits are truly amazing.
Turmeric is one the most thoroughly researched plants in existence today. Its medicinal properties and components (primarily curcumin) have been the subject of over 5600 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies. A five-year long research project on this sacred plant has revealed over 600 potential preventive and therapeutic applications, as well as 175 distinct beneficial physiological effects. Given the sheer density of research performed on this remarkable spice, it is no wonder that a growing number of studies have concluded that it compares favorably to a variety of conventional medications, including: Lipitor, Corticosteroids, Prozac, Aspirin and many more. (Source)
Studies have also shown that curcumin, a compound in turmeric, may reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation damages healthy tissue, raises blood pressure and can cause cancer cells to grow. Most diseases such as arthritis, asthma, allergies, cancer, Alzheimer’s diabetes and heart disease, have an underlying basis in inflammation.
The UMMC says curcumin has been suggested to prevent, manage and possibly treat a number of cancers, including breast, colon, prostate and skin cancers based on test tube and animal research. Turmeric may also help prevent the accumulation of plaque that can obstruct arteries and lead to heart attack or stroke. Animal research found an extract of turmeric helped improve cholesterol levels, according to the UMCC. It’s uncertain whether the same effect would occur in humans. (Source)
As with everything, I believe moderation is best when using turmeric. I like to eat a variety of fresh foods without getting fixated on one thing (with the exception of lemon — if you have been following my blog for a while now, you know how much I love lemon and I go through at least 4-5 a day). With turmeric, liver toxicity and stomach upset are possible when taken in large doses or for extended periods. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center warns people with liver disease to avoid taking turmeric. Diabetics should use extra caution before taking turmeric since it can lower blood sugar levels. Turmeric also may interfere with blood-thinners such as aspirin, warfarin, brand name Coumadin, or clopidogrel, sold as Plavis, and may affect the blood’s ability to clot, cautions UMMC. Turmeric may also interfere with antacids including famotidine, brand name Pepcid, and ranitidine, sold as Zantac. (Source)
Just as it’s important to select and consume wholesome, unprocessed organic foods, you should do the same with herbs and spices. If the herb or spice is processed or not organically grown, you risk missing out on their most potent active ingredients, which provide you with optimal benefits. You can find turmeric in the spice aisle of your local grocery store, but this is not an optimal choice due to the quality of these herbs and spices. Even though there may be some good spices available in the spice isle, it’s very difficult to verify their purity and potency. Lastly, the turmeric powder you buy in your store is a spice. It doesn’t necessarily come from high-quality organic herbs — and may not be produced using certified organic processes, causing you to risk missing its healthful benefits. (Source)
When using turmeric in juice, I suggest lightly peeling a 2-inch piece. Put the turmeric in the juicer first (when using a small item or piece of an item for taste, you should insert that item during the first half of the juicing process because the full taste may not come through if inserted at the end). If using in a smoothie, add 1/4-1/2 inch, lightly peeled.
This juice is surprisingly refreshing and smooth. It was one of the more enjoyable combinations I have made. You will notice a produce spray in the juice picture, this is the spray I use to wash my fruits/veggies. Water alone does not clean fruits and vegetables. Vermont Soap Organics Produce Magic is my favorite.
- 2 inch piece of lightly peeled turmeric
- 1 lemon (juice the peel if the lemon is organic, if the lemon is not organic, peel before juicing)
- 1 cucumber
- 2 cups of spinach
1. Wash produce thoroughly.
2. Place ingredients in juicer.
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