This may not look like the best juice – certainly not the best colour -however when I drank it I imagined a fab purple because it was indeed a juice with loads of blueberries (as well as some carrot, celery, cucumber, ginger, kale and a couple of apples). Purple until I put a teaspoon of a certain spice into it, and voila it turned to sludge. But did it taste fantastic or what! Who would’ve thought?
I’ve talked lots about cinnamon in past blogs but here’s another spice which is a firm favourite, with loads of amazing research carried out over years regarding its health benefits. Turmeric, that delicious orange powdered spice we eat in Indian curries.
Not only is it an essential curry component it does indeed support our health big-time. Known to help healthy joint function (and as I currently have tennis elbow it has landed in my daily juice), it also promotes the immune system and improves digestion. It’s a brilliant natural anti inflammatory.
And all of this is mainly due to the curcumin it contains.
This curcuminoid antioxidant is also responsible for turmeric’s yellow colour and potency (the colour in antioxidants is usually the reason for their effectiveness…think of blueberries or carrots, both so intense and both well-documented antioxidants).
What are these antioxidants anyway?
Oxidation by free radicals happens all the time in our bodies – through normal metabolic processes going on in our systems, like eating… or for that matter, breathing! Oxidation also happens through external effects – from pollution, chemicals in paints and carpets, toxins in foods – like pesticides – or growth hormones in meats, or smoking, stress… an endless list.
These free radicals damage our cells and organs and play a huge role in the ageing process; a major reason why the word antioxidant appears on everything at the moment, from processed foods to cosmetics.
Apparently the antioxidants in turmeric’s curcuminoids are 5 times stronger than vitamin E … and 3 times more powerful than grapeseed extract. These curcuminoids also support blood and liver function, one of the reasons turmeric has been considered the ‘skin food’ for thousands of years in India.
However, the more you cook it, the less power the curcuminoids will have, so if you do add it to a meal, sprinkle it in at the last minute.
This wonder spice can be found in most supermarkets however it’s best to buy spices from reputable organic sources. I buy mine from Steenbergs (online) but there are loads of other healthy websites; just have a google.
Some digestive systems don’t like potent spices, so either use small amounts or take it in capsule form if you want some joint support or immune health benefits. I use it on our poached eggs instead of salt – delicious – or add it to a juice! Just close your eyes when you drink it and imagine your favourite colour, because it really is delicious.