How To Use Turmeric, And Why It’s A Superfood, According To A Nutritionist

How To Use Turmeric, And Why It’s A Superfood, According To A Nutritionist

08/27/2021

Chances are you’ve seen turmeric, or turmeric-inspired foods everywhere. You know, the superfood spice that gives your food or drink a pretty golden hue? Yep, turmeric has some serious health bennies, like boosting your mood, helping soothe aches and pains, and even preventing breakouts.

But turmeric, despite its recent attention, isn’t new, says Vandana Sheth, RDN, author of My Indian Table: Quick & Tasty Vegetarian Recipes. “Turmeric has been used for thousands of years both in food, as well as for medicinal purposes,” says Sheth. “It is known for being anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and adds a beautiful golden color to food.” Its taste is also reminiscent of other curries, so it has an earthy, bitter favor, with a hint of a peppery kick.

So what about it makes it so super? Well, turmeric contains curcumin, a known polyphenol (a type of antioxidant that fights free radicals that cause cellular damage), Sheth says. Its medicinal properties have also largely been embraced by Ayurvedic medicine (an alternative medicine system with roots in India that focuses on the holistic health of the mind, body, and spirit), since some studies claim that turmeric may have positive effects on chronic conditions such as heart disease and cancer, Sheth adds.

Her trick for supercharging turmeric is to combine it with a bit of black pepper, Sheth says. That’s because pepper can actually help boost the body’s ability to absorb curcumin.

Whether you are new to turmeric or already a turmeric superfan, you can always use some more inspo on how to use this superfood root.Keep reading to learn 20 ways you can incorporate turmeric into your daily diet.

Cauliflower and turmeric is a pairing straight from the kitchen gods. Add the mixture to a pair of tacos, and voilá, you’ve got a homemade dinner people will swear was catered.

Try it: Golden Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower

Per serving: 55 calories, 1 g fat, 9 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 330 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein

Scrambled eggs are a breakfast classic, even for vegans or others who don’t eat eggs. Hear me out.

To make this breakfast, scramble up some tofu, add turmeric to give it that nice eggy color, and enjoy. You’re welcome.

Try it: Eggy Tofu Scramble

*Nutritional information not available

Adding turmeric to to a basic pot of rice gives it an instant flavor boost. Yes, cauliflower rice counts too.

This turmeric cauliflower rice recipe, in particular, combines lemon with the earthy taste profile of turmeric for a dish that’ll have you grabbing seconds.

Try it: Turmeric Lemon Cauliflower Rice

Per serving: 55 calories, 1 g fat, 9 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 330 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein

Superboost your pasta with a turmeric twist! This spicy turmeric cashew cream pasta satisfies all of your creamy, savory, and spicy needs while providing the health boost of turmeric.

Try it: Spicy Turmeric Cashew Cream Pasta

*Nutritional information not available

Here’s one recipe you’ll obsess over every fall (and maybe every other season tbh). Ever tried adding turmeric to your pumpkin spice latte?

Yep, it’s a thing. Combining the sweet creamy joy of a PSL with the golden goodness of turmeric is *chef’s kiss.*

Try it: Pumpkin Spice Turmeric Latte

Per serving: 29 calories, 2 g fat, 12 g carbs, 245 mg sodium, 1 g protein

Well, not the kind of bread you’d sandwich deli meats between, but the kind of bread you’d serve with tea and coffee. Sweet and spice never tasted so nice.

Try it:
Turmeric Oat Bread with Chocolate Chips

Per serving: 157 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated), 28 g carbs, 13 g sugar, 118 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 4 g protein

It’s no secret that flavors taste bolder and brighter in the Instant Pot, and the same rings true for turmeric. You can jazz up a standard weeknight dinner with the spice.

Try it: Instant Pot Turmeric Chicken and Vegetables

Per serving: 320 calories, 17 g fat (14 g saturated), 10 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 454 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 28 g protein

A dash of turmeric in your favorite summer drink keeps you hydrated and may boost your immune system.

Try it: Zingy Turmeric Ginger Lemonade with Mint

Per serving: 38 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 10 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 2 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein

Instead of sodium-rich hot sauce for breakfast, turn up the flavor factor with this golden spice instead.

Try it: Turmeric Oven Scrambled Eggs

Per serving: 149 calories, 10 g fat (2 g saturated), 1 g carbs, 192 mg sodium, 0 g sugar, 0 g fiber, 13 g protein

Mixed with orange juice that’s loaded with cold-fighting vitamin C, a dash of turmeric in your morning latte promises a clean(er) bill of health.

Try it: Cold-Busting Turmeric Tea Latte

Per serving: 146 calories, 6 g fat (4 g saturated), 23 g carbs, 89 mg sodium, 18 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein

Given that even the most unlikely fruit, veggie, and herb combos work perfectly in a smoothie, there’s no reason to leave out this star spice.

Try it: Chai Spiced Turmeric Smoothie Bowl

Per serving: 308 calories, 14 g fat (1 g saturated), 31 g carbs, 89 mg sodium, 14 g sugar, 8 g fiber, 8 g protein

Due to its potent hue (that sticks to your hands if you’re not careful!), turmeric is perfect for adding natural color to homemade mac and cheese—or vegan “cheese” dishes that need a little boost.

Try it: Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Per serving: 447 calories, 12 g fat (2 g saturated), 72 g carbs, 392 mg sodium, 7 g sugar, 4 g fiber, 12 g protein

Instead of boring ranch, sprinkle turmeric into homemade hummus for a vibrant dip to go along with a platter of crudités.

Try it: Golden Goddess Turmeric Hummus

Per serving:calories, 12 g fat (2 g saturated), 72 g carbs, 392 mg sodium, 2 g sugar, 4 g fiber, 4 g protein

There’s nothing like a warm curry to soothe the soul. The best part: It’s an easy one-pot meal, meaning you’ll spend less time cleaning up, and more time getting cozy with a throw blanket.

Try it: Turmeric Chickpea Curry

*Nutritional information not available

Craving something sweet? Sneak in some added antioxidants to boost your immune system in the most delicious way possible.

Try it: Vegan Orange Turmeric Cookie Bar

Per serving: 235 calories, 4 g protein, 30 g carb, 1 g fiber, 12 g sugars (11 g added sugars), 11 g fat (1.5 g sat fat), 80 mg sodium

Golden milk is cropping up on hipster coffee shop menus everywhere, and for good reason: It contains healthy fats from its plant-based milk, and antioxidant-rich spices like turmeric, cinnamon, and nutmeg for an added kick.

Try it: 5-Minute Golden Milk

Per serving: 205 calories, 20 g fat (15 g saturated), 9 g carbs, 161 mg sodium, 2 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein

DIY dressing is usually healthier and more cost-effective than store-bought, so take this opportunity to give your veggies an even greater nutrient boost.

Try it: Golden Turmeric Tahini Dressing

Per serving: 71 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated), 4 g carbs, 56 mg sodium, 1 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein

Sometimes we don’t have time to suck down a whole smoothie or glass of milk, and that’s where a shot of invigorating turmeric saves the day.

Try it: Lemon Ginger Turmeric Golden Wellness Shots

Per serving: 113 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 28 g carbs, 87 mg sodium, 9 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein

Whether you’re baking crispy kale chips or popping kernels for movie night, you’re going to need a fun and festive topping to lick off your fingers afterward. Turmeric pairs perfectly with nutritional yeast, black pepper, cayenne, and more.

Try it: Sunflower Coated Cheesy Kale Chips

Per serving: 174 calories, 10 g fat (1 g saturated), 18 g carbs, 207 mg sodium, 1 g sugar, 4 g fiber, 8 g protein

Next trip to the spice market, be sure to stock up on turmeric, ground coriander, paprika, and cumin—and keep the blend on hand for everything from grilling to topping salads.

Try it: DIY Shawarma Spice Blend

Per serving: 22 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 3 g carbs, 6 mg sodium, 0 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein


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