Some years back I booked an appointment with a highly regarded Ayurvedic physician called Atreya Smith. Ayurveda is traditional Indian medical system found in the ancient Vedic scriptures and it can be used to treat a multitude of complaints and conditions. On one occasion he prescribed a course of turmeric to stop my metabolism burning food up so quickly and so I embarked on a daily ‘cocktail’ of turmeric mixed with some water. It was like drinking sludge, but it worked a treat, so I haven’t been surprised that this golden-hued spice is being promoted in the mainstream as a healing agent for all kinds of ills.
It is the curcumin in turmeric that provides the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects, and now a new study published in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry has discovered further evidence that it can help prevent some mental health problems.
The researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) found that a supplement of turmeric taken daily, boosts the memory by a remarkable 30% and can also reduce the symptoms of depression. So, incorporating turmeric into your diet seems like a no-brainer. Except, perhaps you don’t want to drink sludge every morning, so here are some more appetising ways to take turmeric.
Scrambled eggs with turmeric
Make your scrambled eggs in the usual way, and add a level teaspoon of turmeric with a small amount of salt and black pepper. That’s it. And it adds a great flavour. Try it and see!
In fact, any time you are frying food, add a pinch of turmeric to the oil before adding your ingredients. That is a simple way to get more turmeric into your diet without over flavouring the meat, fish, eggs or vegetables.
I often add the Moroccan spice Ras el Hanout to the oil when I’m cooking a pilaff/risotto style dish. Ras el Hanout is a very handy spice that includes turmeric in its recipe. But, turmeric on its own is another option. Both add a lovely golden colour to the rice and a warming flavour. I also like to add ginger with the turmeric or Ras el Hanout, because both are great for the digestive system, which can always do with some help as we age.
I’m a huge fan of homemade lentil soup and adding turmeric to it gives it an extra kick. I’d also recommend making an Indian dal using red lentils. This typically has turmeric, cumin and coriander spices in it, so it ticks all the boxes. You can make it to a more soup-like consistency just by adding extra water.
These are all the rage, although I must confess that I haven’t tried one yet. Apparently they are very good for fighting flu symptoms. Simply blend ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and almond milk together. If you prefer other types of milk there is no reason why you shouldn’t use them.
This is another foodstuff I’m very fond of and if I have time to make my own, I add a dash of turmeric and nutmeg to it. You can also add it to the shop bought variety, which is what I have more than often when I’m busy.
I’m sure there are many more ways to incorporate turmeric in your meals – perhaps you’d like to share your ideas with us?