There’s actually a very good reason why most of us are naturally attracted to the vibrant colors found in the produce aisles: in many cases, the bright colors belonging to a variety of fruits, vegetables, and spices are indicative that they’re filled with antioxidants and flavor. For optimal health, it’s best to eat both colorful and flavorful foods.
Turmeric, for example, is a spice that’s both colorful and flavorful. The roots look a bit like gingeroot, but, when snapped open, you’re welcomed by the orange color of a vibrant sunset. Turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. In recent years, the medical literature has published thousands of articles about curcurmin, the pigment in turmeric that gives it that bright orange fluorescent-like color. Curcumin not only plays a significant role in disease prevention and treatment, but it has also been shown to speed recovery after surgery and effectively treat inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Turmeric is pretty potent stuff so you don’t need much. Some experts advise no more than a about a quarter teaspoon a day, a typical culinary dose.
Next time you’re out shopping, look for fresh turmeric root. It can be found in some health-food stores and Indian markets. If you’ve never used fresh turmeric before, be careful. It can stain clothing and surfaces and leave your fingers with a golden hue.
Turmeric Ginger Lemonade
Slightly Adapted from Amy Chaplin
2 tablespoons fresh turmeric root, grated (or 1/2 teaspoon or more dried powder)
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
2 cups boiling water
1-2 tablespoons honey (or preferred sweetener)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
Place turmeric and ginger in a jar or pot and add the boiling water. Allow to steep, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Strain into another jar or container. Add honey and stir until dissolved. Cool to room temperature, stir in lemon and orange juices. Serve as is or chill.