Health Scoop

Cooking with Turmeric (Is this the New Kale?)

WE’VE DONE the spinach thing. We’ve done the kale thing.  Now it’s time to shift gears because it looks like there is a new kid on the block, and for once it’s not a green leafy vegetable. This month my entire clinic is raving about cooking with turmeric. Turmeric tea, turmeric cookies, a special turmeric breast feeding elixir (I know, right. Who knew?)

As a skeptic by nature, I dove into the medical lit to see if this new trend was worth keeping up with. And guess what? It totally is. This seemingly magical, golden spice is made from a plant that grows in Asia and Central America and those who fall in love with it may be one step closer to agelessness. It’s also been around for two centuries (total #StreetCred).

Anyway, studies show that this turmeric is a brave foe of cancer cells. It suppresses their proliferation and even sensitizes them to chemotherapy so they are more readily eliminated.

Turmeric’s signature role though, is inflammation reduction. Chronic inflammation from environmental insults (i.e. all those sides of fries, extra martinis, a month of chain smoking, Yellow #6 infused cereal, breathing in Lysol by accident….) not seen with the naked eye, is what ultimately leads to chronic disease and cancer cell activation, especially if you have the genetic predisposition. Turmeric inhibits those inflammatory signals of the pathways that lead to organ and cell damage from all that inflammation.

So what does that mean for us exactly?

Turmeric helps with pain. If you have arthritis, turmeric reduces the inflammation in painful joints by blocking that inflammatory pathway that leads to joint pain. (Some even say it’s better than ibuprofen.)

The component found in turmeric, curcumin, also protects the liver by inhibiting inflammation and consequently fibrosis when you slam it with too many Big Macs and beers.

Cooking with turmeric smells good. Throw it on salmon, chicken, rice, or in tea to boost the flavor.

Two disclaimers: One, it is a spice, so although it helps some people with indigestion, it also may irritate those prone to ulcers because of those biting properties that increase gastric production. Two, it potentiates the effect of a blood thinner, essentially slightly diluting the blood (great for those not on anticoagulants, not so much for those who are on them).

All in all, we’re loving this fragrant golden powder.

Are you cooking with turmeric? Email us a fave recipe to post at

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  • Reply
    December 2, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    This is true: “turmeric reduces the inflammation”. My grandmother used to have swollen knees due to arthritis and she used it, and she got better.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2017 at 2:18 am

    Yes I do cook with turmeric. It truly has a lot of health benefits. Thanks for sharing this very informative post!

  • Reply
    December 3, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Since I was a kid, when my cheeks swell whenever I get toothaches, my mom would get a slice of turmeric and made me clamp my teeth on it and it actually helps on the swelling. Can’t stand the taste tough even the turmeric tea.

  • Reply
    December 10, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    I suffer from arthritis so hopefully turmeric can help me. Thanks for this info!

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