THE TURBOCHARGED AND HEALTHY TWIGLET
You may recognise the powdered form of this little knobbly warrior, which adorns kitchen cupboards across the country. Turmeric is known to most as an ingredient in Indian curries, although now thanks to a significant number of positive scientific studies, this once shy retiring spice is stepping into the spotlight.
Turmeric contains powerful anti-oxidant properties, some of the highest in the herb and spices kingdom. The main active ingredient in turmeric is the compound curcumin, which has powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Anti-oxidants help neutralise free radicals, which are the molecules that cause oxidative damage (one of the reasons we age and develop diseases). Turmeric also contains a host of other beneficial nutrients in its small but mighty form.
We include turmeric in our daily diet as much as possible, even popping a spoon or two of powder into our porridge in the morning. Where possible, it's well worth using the fresh root but this can be tricky to find - we've found the most reliable source to be a local Chinese or Thai supermarket.
The flavour of turmeric can be pretty over powering, so use sparingly. Luckily, you only need a small amount to extract the nutritional benefits, which is why we use a hint of it in our Orange (without the orange) juice.
CURCUMIN JUST GOT AMPED
The most intriguing part of the turmeric story is that you can make it even more powerful with a sprinkling of black pepper. The compound, piperine, in black pepper increases your body's ability to absorb the curcumin by up to 2000%. It turns out piperine is very effective in improving the absorption of lots of nutritional compounds, so get grinding people.
In the MOJU Juice Shed we like to make a turmeric root tonic, which goes down a treat later in the day and particularly when you need a warming pick me up.
- 2 cups of water
- 1 inch of fresh ginger root
- 1 inch of turmeric root
- a pinch of ground black pepper
- slice of orange
In a small saucepan, bring water to the boil, add peeled and minced ginger root, turmeric root, sliced orange and a pinch of black pepper
Simmer for 10 minutes on a low heat
Strain and pour into a tea mug
Add honey and/or lemon juice to taste