You might have noticed the spotlight on inflammation in the past few years, and for good reason. Anxiety and stress are at an all-time high in America, and that can manifest in your body as inflammation (which some experts believe is the root of most diseases.) Enter: anti-inflammatory foods, and another installment of our nutrition debunking series You Versus Food.
In this episode, registered dietician Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD, unpacks the anti-inflammatory super spice taking over the world (and your latte): turmeric. The pungent spice is grown in India, eastern Asia, and Central America, and has been a mainstay in holistic medicine for hundreds of years due to its wide array of health benefits.
“There’s a compound in turmeric called curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties,” says Beckerman. It potentially could help relieve soreness after a workout, she adds. It's also been linked to a ton of other benefits, like reducing bloating and promoting gut health. Beckerman adds that while randomized clinical trials have been somewhat inconclusive, she says that the ingredient still has a ton of promise.
To make sure you make the most out your turmeric, Beckerman suggests pairing it with black pepper. The curcumin compound isn’t easily absorbed by the body, she says, but a complex in pepper called piperine blocks your liver from filtering it too quickly. In short: piperine keeps the turmeric in your body longer so you can actually reap the benefits. Beyond adding some pepper to your curry, the nutritionist loves walnuts tossed in turmeric and black pepper, then toasted in a pan.
To learn more about turmeric, ways to incorporate it into your diet, and a killer Spice Girls reference, check out the full video above.
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