Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting wonder-house. Try this lemon turmeric tonic as a healthy elixir to drink everyday and keep the body optimized.
If you follow my Facebook Page, and you should, you know that I have more than a crush on turmeric. I'm slightly obsessed, but not at the point of stalking...yet. Turmeric helps to calm inflammation and has been great in providing me with relief from a two-year running injury that I've been fighting for way too long. I took it for a while, and then stopped, not sure it was working. The pain came back, bigger than ever when I wasn't consuming turmeric, so back I am to the turmeric tribe. And it doesn't get much easier than making this recipe for an anti-inflammatory turmeric tonic.
Not convinced on the merits of turmeric yet? Mind Body Green reported that roundworms grown on small amounts of curcumin (found in turmeric) expanded their lifespan by 39%. Similar effects were found in fruit flies and mice. Then there's these whole host of benefits, to just name a few:
- It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
- When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.
- It may prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to die.
- It's a natural liver detoxifier.
- Turmeric may prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.
- It may prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.
- May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.
- Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.
- Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Kansas State University research found that adding certain spices, including turmeric, can reduce the levels of heterocyclic amines — carcinogenic compounds that are formed when meats are barbecued, boiled or fried — by up to 40 percent.
- Rodent studies at the University of Texas indicate that curcumin inhibits the growth of a skin cancer, melanoma and also slows the spread of breast cancer into the lungs.
OK, ok, I'll stop gushing. You know how good turmeric is, so now what. As I mentioned, you can take it by capsule, use it in powder form, or better yet, get the root whole, like I did from Frieda's produce.
I hadn't worked with the root before, and luckily had been warned to watch its staining capabilities, so definitely use gloves, paper towels and/or parchment to keep the fresh turmeric from leaving its mark. Turmeric has an earthy, peppery taste and pairs well with it's pale colored cousin, ginger. Adding some lemon to the tonic lightens things up and then you can also throw in a little sweetener if you like such as agave nectar or honey.
It's always a good idea to include ground black pepper when using turmeric since it helps increase its bioavailability, which just means you can put the turmeric to better use. Better still is to drink your anti-inflammatory turmeric tonic with a meal that includes some pepper and fat. You'll get it where it needs to go in no time, without having to pass through much of the liver.
So join me in my love of turmeric by starting with this anti-inflammatory lemon tonic.
Anti-Inflammatory Lemon Turmeric Tonic
Makes 4 servings
- 4" fresh turmeric root (or 2 teaspoons dried turmeric)
- 3" fresh ginger root
- Juice of 2 organic lemons
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 4 cups coconut water
- Optional: Sweetener of your choice like agave nectar or raw honey
- Cover your working area with a paper towel or parchment and scrape the skin off the turmeric using a spoon. Point the top of the spoon on the top of the root and just move gently down and you'll see how easily the skin comes off. Use gloves or another towel to prevent your hands from getting stained. The spoon will also work to also take the skin off the ginger.
- Place the turmeric, ginger, lemon juice, pepper and water in a high speed blender and blend until combined. Taste and add sweetener if desired. Keep refrigerated.
Looking to drink some more healthy beverages or smoothies? Try one of these recipes.
* Frieda's gave me the turmeric for recipe testing.