Turmeric, or haldi, has long been a favourite spice in South Asian cuisine. It is found in every spice box across the subcontinent and it’s why so many dishes from the region have a golden yellow hue. Considered one of the most important spices for health and well being, there is a reason you should be stocking turmeric in your pantry. Rather four reasons!
Benefits of Turmeric
1. Turmeric is considered an alternative remedy for a variety of illnesses and medical conditions. A powerful anti-oxidant, turmeric is known to speed up recovery after respiratory and digestive ailments.
There are tons of ways to add turmeric to your diet but the simplest and really most delicious way I’ve found is Haldi doodh. Hot turmeric milk with a touch of sweetness and a twist of pepper. Growing up it was my mom’s standard remedy for being sick. Even today when my body is fighting off a cold, it craves haldi doodh. Here’s my speedy recipe for turmeric milk. All you need to do is heat up milk in the microwave, add turmeric and a little bit of pepper to activate the curcumin. If you would like extra sweetness then add in a squeeze of honey. Here is a 5 minute recipe.
2. Curcumin. This is the main molecule in turmeric and it is widely known for its anti-inflammatory properties. There’s proven research around its healing effect on arthritis and other types of inflammation in the body.
A quick search on Google and you will find tons of recipes that incorporate turmeric in your meal plans. The spice has a musty aftertaste and it goes well with other strong flavours. So it’s no wonder I am always looking for ways include this wonder spice in my family’s daily diet and lifestyle. Soups, chilis, lentils and chickpea dishes all taste and feel better with the addition of turmeric. Even my kids’ favourite mac and cheese benefits from a good dose of turmeric.
3. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric extend beyond the insides of the body. A ¼ tsp mixed with a couple of tbsp. of whole milk can be applied topically to help heal a skin inflammation or rash. My only caveat – wear clothes that have seen better days. There was a time when my youngest had a rash on her tummy and this treatment helped. But I can’t tell you how many sets of PJ’s we went through because those turmeric stains are never coming out.
4. Turmeric forms a large part of the beauty routine followed by women of South Asian descent, and for good reason. The medicinal properties in turmeric help in clearing up the skin and giving an overall brighter, healthier glow. Mixed with chickpea flour, coconut oil and a other simple ingredients it makes a great mask to help skin in the winter months.
Do you use turmeric or haldi on a daily basis?