BY HANNAH NWOKO DECEMBER 19, 2017
Food fads tend to fall in and out of fashion quickly, but one ingredient that has proven its longevity is turmeric. The bright yellow-orange spice has become popular on Pinterest and Instagram, where you can easily find photos of turmeric honey tea or turmeric milk lattes.
Known as an aromatic and colorful plant-based ingredient used in dishes like curry, turmeric has historically been used in herbal medicinal remedies. In South Asia, for instance, people have been using turmeric for centuries due to its purported powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Recently, researchers have started to do more preliminary and clinical research focusing on the therapeutic benefits of turmeric. But how much turmeric do you actually need in order to experience its health benefits? As Men's Health previously reported, quite a bit: most of the research on turmeric has actually pointed to the benefits of curcumin, a concentrated form of the active compound in turmeric that only makes up about 3% of the weight of dry, pure turmeric.
The amount of turmeric required for “therapeutic benefit is probably more than can be reasonably consumed in food on a daily basis," says Nathan Myers, MS, RD, CDN. That said, "consuming at least 0.5 to 1.5 teaspoons of turmeric per day as part of a diet that includes other foods with anti-inflammatory effects," such as fish, apples, and almonds, "could contribute significantly toward fighting inflammation in the body.”
Interested in incorporating more turmeric into your diet? Here are three easy ways to do it. (Note: turmeric is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream, so Myers recommends taking it alongside black pepper, which can work as an absorption aid.)
ON SCRAMBLED EGGS.
Myers says that his favorite way to consume the spice is to sprinkle ¼ - ½ tsp on scrambled eggs, with some black pepper. It adds a little kick of flavor to the eggs without being overpowering.
WITH RICE AND QUINOA.
Making a stir-fry? Myers suggests adding at least ¼ tsp of turmeric when cooking rice or quinoa for color and flavor. (Here's how to make a protein-packed stir fry.)
ON ROASTED VEGETABLES.