Turmeric Health Benefits. Eat More with +20 Recipes

turmeric health benefits

Turmeric is our go to spice when my recipes need a face lift.  Hubs shakes some golden powder on the food, stirs it, and then cooks it a little more.  And magic happens!  But turmeric is not just another pretty face golden girl.  She possesses immense health benefits.  So, learn why you want more turmeric in your life and to get your started, try the recipes below.

What is Turmeric?

Turmeric looks similar to ginger but much smaller.   Some people have referred to it as the poor man’s saffron due to its yellow color. But it doesn’t taste anything like saffron.

Many people use turmeric in curries, mustard and cheeses.

Turmeric Health Benefits

Turmeric contains the ingredient, curcumin, which gives the turmeric its color.  The abstract in a study published in the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology Journal sums up the power of turmeric:

“Curcumin has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic illnesses.”

In fact, there have been several studies identifying turmeric’s healing power.  Listed below are a few studies noting the heath benefits of turmeric.

  • Preliminary research at the Medical University of Graz in Austria revealed that curcumin seems to delay liver damage that can eventually lead to cirrhosis.
  • Research at Kansas State University found adding turmeric, rosemary and fingerroot can reduce carcinogenic compounds (heterocyclic amines) up to 40%.  These compounds are formed when meat is barbecued, boiled or fried.
  • Studies on rodents at the University of Texas revealed that curcumin inhibits melanoma (a skin cancer) as well as the spread of breast cancer into the lungs.

Another small Phase II study at the MD Anderson at the University of Texas showed some patients with pancreatic cancer who were given daily doses of curcumin without chemotherapy had  their tumor growth slowed and in one patient  the size of a tumor was reduced .

And there is more…

The University of Maryland Medical Center reports:

  • Turmeric helps digestion.  The German Commission E, which is the agency which determines if herbs are safe to use in Germany, approved turmeric for digestive problems.  In a study, turmeric was found to reduce bloating and gas.
  • Turmeric nay help people with ulceration colitis stay in remission.  Note, turmeric doesn’t help people with ulcers and may make them worse.
  • Early studies have shown that turmeric may help to prevent atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque that can block arteries, which then can lead to heart attack or stroke.  However, it did not improve cholesterol rates.
  • Animal and test tube studies have concluded that it may kill bacteria and viruses

The Center cautions that although early cancer studies look promising  as to turmeric’s ability to prevent or treat several types of cancers, including prostate, breast, skin, and colon cancer, more research is needed.   “Its preventive effects may be because it is a strong antioxidant, protecting cells from damage,” concluded the Center.

There is even hope that use of  turmeric can help Alzheimer’s patients.

“India has a low incidence and prevalence of Alzheimer’s, which may be related to genetics or a particular intake of specific foods. Some people attribute the low incidence of Alzheimer’s to a high intake of turmeric in Asia. As turmeric contains an average of 5-10% curcumin, the daily intake of curcumin is approximated in India is thought be about 125 mg. Importantly incooking curries, curcumin is often dissolved and extracted into fat, eg. ghee, which may increase its bioavailability. Animal studies have demonstrated that the way it is administered affects its distribution in the body.” [Source.]

A recent study  states that adults aged 70-79 years in U.S. have a 4.4 times greater incident of Alzheimer Disease than adults of the same age in India.

“Researchers investigated the association between the curry consumption and cognitive level in 1010 Asians between 60 and 93 years of age. The study found that those who occasionally ate curry (less than once a month) and often (more than once a month) performed better on a standard test (MMSE) of cognitive function than those who ate curry never or rarely.”

Are you ready to add some turmeric to your food?

Recipes to Using Turmeric

Listed below are some recipes that you can use to incorporate more turmeric into your food.

1.  Vegetable dish with tumeric  {MD Anderson Medical Center}

2.  Turmeric Milk {Nature Moms}

3.  Fermented Turmeric  {It Takes Time}

4.  Natural Anti-inflammatory Drink.  {Spirit Healers}

5.  Golden milk” for cold, flus, depression, and more (in a recipe that actually tastes good…) {Fresh Bites Daily}

6.  Using Turmeric in Daily Fresh Juice.  {Deductive Seasonings}   

7.  Make a  Turmeric Ginger Bug   {It takes Time}

8.  Lentil Burgers with Turmeric  {Healy Real Food Vegetarian}

9.  Curried Winter Soup  {Allrecipes.com}

10. Turmeric Cooler – The Juice That Can Save You From Buying Advil  {Food Babe}

11.  Eat Well offers 22 different meals using turmeric.  How does Golden Turmeric Latkes (potato pancakes) with Applesauce sound?

12. Oven Roasted Cauliflower with turmeric and ginger.  {Bobby Flay on the Food Network}

How to Use Fresh Turmeric in Recipes

Like ginger, you should peel your turmeric.  Be careful since it will stain your hands.

If you want to convert recipes that contain powdered turmeric with fresh, 2 inches of fresh turmeric root yields 1 tablespoon of freshly grated spice.  The general rule is 1 part dried herb to 3 parts fresh herb.

**Be sure to check with your doctor before using any herb.  According to WedMD, the use of turmeric can make certain health conditions worse.**

Look for fresh organic turmeric in your stores.  If you can’t find fresh organic turmeric, buy powdered turmeric here.

Next up.  How to grow turmeric!

Join the Conversation:

  • Do you  use turmeric?  And if so, how?
  • What are your favorite turmeric recipes?

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  1. 1

    Alex says

    This is cool. I read that turmeric needs to be dissolved in an oil for optimal ingestion and to achieve optimal benefits. Did you see that in your research? And if so, should turmeric always be consumed suspended in oil?

  2. 6


    Anna, I grew up eating turmeric in curries and today I make sure I make curry at least once a week so we can get a good dose of turmeric that is stirred into coconut oil AND coconut milk, which I hear increases it’s bioavailability.

    I’m lucky to have fresh organic turmeric available from my coop, so in addition to the curry, I juice with turmeric every day. I love it! And my boy has a little cup of the juice with turmeric too.

    I would love to grow it as we had a short time last ear when we couldn’t get any, but I love in an apartment. Would I be able to grow it inside all year round?

    • 7


      Penny, I don’t know. If it was in a sunny window and you misted it once a week, maybe. It is a tropical plant. You could always try and if it doesn’t seem to work, you can give me the plant…I am right over the bridge. Anna

      • 8

        Exiletina says

        After purchasing organic turmeric root from the health food store, I put it in a pot in south-facing window and watered it. It has flourished and is a gorgeous plant. Soon to be harvested and fermented, it strikes me that all house plants should be medicinal. So, yes, it grows like wildfire in the house. One word of caution, my lovely little cat finds it most alluring.

  3. 10

    Julia says

    I would really appreciate some turmeric recipes for toddles who are allergic to milk protein. how much turmeric should I put in 100 ml of fruit juice/smoothie? If I add a tasty carrot, will its oil be considered enough to help turmeric assimilate in the body? My toddler is 16 m.o.

    • 11


      Julia, I am not a doctor so I would hesitate to give you advice on a toddler. I read that pepper helps assimilation turmeric which I am not sure your child would like.

      Have you tried coconut milk by the way for your child in lieu of juice? Anna

      • 12

        Julia says

        We did not try coconut milk. It is not so popular in Romania. And we can only find canned coconut milk, which has a weird taste. Doctors here recommend milk and rice products for toddlers. My daughter doesn’t want to eat formula or baby rice anymore, so I am going for ‘green’ soup and organic chicken. It would be a pity not to add healthy condiments. I will try small quantities at first.


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