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Turmeric

Turmeric

Turmeric, the spice that gives many curries a rich, golden color and a warm, satisfying flavor, is also an antioxidant powerhouse that has been used for thousands of years in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.  Considered anti-inflammatory, turmeric is used to treat digestive and liver problems, skin diseases, and wounds.  Closely related to ginger, turmeric is an herbaceous herb native to the Indian subcontinent. The root can be used fresh, although it’s more commonly sold and used in powdered form, like we probably have on our spice shelf.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, most of the current research on the uses of turmeric focuses on one chemical constituent, curcumin.  “Curcumin is also a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants scavenge molecules in the body known as free radicals, which damage cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Antioxidants can fight free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.”  You can read more about this and other current research on turmeric here: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/turmeric#ixzz2iZQz2RqW

If you still feel like learning more, Dr. Andrew Weil wrote an excellent article on the benefits of turmeric for the Huffington Post. It’s a few years old but well worth the read: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-weil-md/turmeric-health-have-a-happy-new-year_b_798328.html In it, he highlights research studying the possibility of turmeric – or more specifically curcumin – shrinking melanomas, making cancer cells more vulnerable to chemotherapy and radiation and delaying the liver damage that leads to cirrhosis.    His conclusion?  “The bottom line that the therapeutic advantages of turmeric and curcumin are almost too numerous to list.

An overview published in Advanced Experimental Medical Biology in 2007 states that, “Curcumin has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic illnesses.”  But if you want a more delicious way to work turmeric into your day, why don’t you try this week’s smoothie, from our friends over at Green Kitchen Stories.

Turmeric lassi

Immune-Boosting Turmeric Lassi 

 

Serves: 2 large or 4 small glasses

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups organic yogurt with active live culture
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp honey, preferably unpasteurized
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 2 tsp rosehip powder (optional but delicious, and a good C-vitamin boost)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or ground vanilla
  • 3-4 tsp ground turmeric (or fresh turmeric root)
  • 4-5 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender and mix on high speed until smooth.  Add more yogurt if you prefer. Pour the lassi in two large glasses. For a more stunning presentation, dust 1 tsp ground turmeric on top before serving. Add a straw and serve.

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About MatchaGT by ShelleRae

Welcome! I am ShelleRae and I am very excited you are here. I joined the Smoothie Essentials team about 5 years ago now. Always health conscious and into prevention versus medication it seemed natural when the opportunity came up to take on the creation of this blog and the Smoothie Essentials blog as well. As mother to three and surrogate to many more I've practiced much of what I write on sometimes with great success and other times with a bit less. My friends and family are my test kitchen and my facts are most often from WebMD - they seem to have a fairly accurate and conservative approach. MatchaGT – the super premium Matcha Green Tea Introducing Matcha GT, the super premium Matcha Green Tea. Matcha GT is nature’s natural source of energy and antioxidants. Used for centuries in Japanese tea ceremonies, Matcha provides a powerful pick-me-up plus antioxidants and other health benefits to keep the body, mind and spirit in perfect balance. While many forms of green tea are strained or brewed, Matcha GT uses the whole tea leaf providing the full benefits and bold taste of whole green tea powder. My inspiration comes from others who also are striving to live a better life through lifestyle changes. More information is available at www.SmoothieEssentials.com or by emailing shelley@juicesolutions.com Benefits: Natural Caffeine – longer lasting energy Antioxidants – to fight cancer causing free radicals Chlorophyll – powerful blood cleanse Coffee concepts and juice bars across North America including Starbucks, Jamba Juice, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Smoothie King, and Booster Juice have recently started selling Matcha Green Tea smoothies, frappes, and lattes, promoting the great taste and health benefits of green tea. http://matchagt.com/ http://www.smoothieessentials.com/

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