Turmeric as a Superfood: Worth the Hype?

As you know, when it comes to food, I’m all about keeping things simple and fresh, and using healthy, seasonal ingredients to get a varied diet. Which is why I’m always a little wary of the latest ‘superfood’ crazes, from kale to coconut oil. This year’s been all about turmeric in the health press, but is it really worth the hype?

Image Credit @ Camilla Akrans for Vogue China

There are some foods that get a lot of press as the latest ‘superfood’ that really are worth working into your diet for good. Fruit and vegetables that were previously overlooked such as kale, blueberries and avocado have become increasingly popular over the last five years or so, and as long as they’re in season and readily available, these are all great foods to work into your diet and keep them there. But when it comes to spices and supplements, is it the same story? This year’s been all about turmeric, but is it really that good for you?

Turmeric: Is it Worth the Hype?

The purported health benefits of turmeric go from treating acne and arthritis to helping fight the common cold. But how? It’s down to the curcumin molecule, which is found in the turmeric root; it has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-carcongenic and even anti-ageing properties. A friend of mine was suffering with Psoriasis and found turmeric to be hugely helpful. So, you can see why it’s been given the superfood title.

CHECK OUT my recipe for Alfalfa Chicken Pitas, here.

I love using a variety of spices and flavourings in my cooking, so turmeric has long been in my store cupboard, but I won’t be taking a shot of ‘turmeric tonic’ before every meal any time soon. Like so many of these natural flavours, it’s packed with health benefits, but I believe it should be worked into your diet in a natural way so that you see the benefits of eating and drinking a host of vitamin and mineral-packed ingredients.

For me, turmeric is going to remain more of a flavour source than a superfood, and if it helps boost my health then that’s a bonus! If you want to work turmeric into your diet, I’d suggest adding it into your next curry or tagine, adding some spice to hummus or adding a sprinkling into your next ginger juice for extra fire power in the morning.

Get more seasonal recipe ideas in my book Eat Beautiful.

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