****this blog was first posted in January 2017 but due to an unfortunate hack I thought it was lost forever… until I found a copy in my ‘downloads’ folder, Amen Amen***
2017 is here. I mentioned on my first blog of 2016 that I had good feelings about the year, turns out my vibes were true. For one reason or another, it has been a good year of progress, excitement and real fun. Here’s to 2017 being great too!
I always encourage clients to look at New Year’s as being an opportunity to assess life status and think of ways to improve in a non-pressurised, curious way. For example, instead of ‘I’m going to eat really healthily this year’ think of ‘3 foods you would like to include more regularly in your diet’. Your answers could be as broad as vegetables or as specific as green beans. Or perhaps you’ve excluded foods from your diet unnecessarily and have noticed this so including more dairy foods or carbohydrates could also feature. Keep it personal and keep it positive – food is to be enjoyed!
Anyway, without any further ado – I present to you my lymeric about turmeric:
You may have noticed a hype around turmeric
Some health claims they make are nothing short of barbaric
But try as you might
It may provide an anti-inflammatory fight
Read my blog for a balance in the hysteric
Most noted for providing a gorgeous golden tone to Indian dishes and a spicy kick to your lentil dhal – turmeric has more recently been hailed as a must have supplement or tea ingredient in various health shops and cafes, you know the sort.
But just how valiant is this spice? Can it cure you of all ailments, give you a Zen of calm and detox all toxins, or do its benefits belong solely to its lovely colour and taste? Before I get self-righteous and myth-busting, turmeric has in actual fact been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years since pre medical world. First recorded for its use in South Asia, turmeric was a remedy for food poisoning – it has also been used for digestive problems, wound healing and cold and flu symptoms.
The active ingredient in turmeric is in actual fact a phytochemical called curcumin. Some studies have shown fairly promising results for using curcumin to fight inflammation and oxidative stress. This has led to some believing turmeric or curcumin supplements can help prevent or manage some diseases such as; cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and arthritis.
Before one rushes to the health shop to stock up on a bottle – the studies remain inconclusive, as most nutritional science does! Many of the studies with positive results have been on animals which immediately weaken the relativeness to humans. Also, no conclusions have been drawn to the potential side-effects or toxicity from high doses in supplements.
However, the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric have been demonstrated in studies and is therefore not total nonsense. I would, therefore, recommend using turmeric, within reason, when you’re cooking (ie not on your fruit salad or something, that wouldn’t work). Moreover, think of dishes like curries, spiced roast vegetables, soup and curried rice… For some inspiration, this recipe from the BBC looks like a pretty good place to start http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1993658/homestyle-chicken-curry .
If you suffer from an illness related to inflammation and are tempted to trial a turmeric supplement, please take with caution! They should always be used in conjunction with a healthy, balanced diet and never used to replace conventional medicine without a discussion with your GP.
So before your drawn in to the hype around turmeric and order the ‘turmeric latte’ at your next opportunity, remember that the health claims aren’t quite what they seem…
Healthy lives are fruitful lives.