Commonly referred to as the “king of the spices”, turmeric is used as a flavoring spice as well as medicinally for its numerous benefits. Does Turmeric fit into the Paleo diet?
Should I Eat Turmeric And Is it Paleo?
Closely related to the ginger plant, turmeric has been eaten for millennia and is widely considered by most Paleo experts to be in compliance with Paleo dietary guidelines.
In Asia and India, turmeric was first used as a dye and then later became a fundamental component of Ayurvedic and other traditional systems of medicine. Today, most turmeric is commercially grown in India or China. Most people in the west eat the dried and powdered form of turmeric, although there are Indian dishes that incorporate the leaves as well. In some health food stores, it is possible to get whole fresh turmeric.
In the west, the name is often pronounced as though the “r” is silent: tu-mer-ic.
Nutritional Value of Turmeric
As a powerful spice, turmeric is usually consumed in small quantities. The following information is for 1 tablespoon (6.8 grams) of turmeric:
- Calories: 24
- Total fat: 0.7 grams
- Saturated fat: 0.2 grams
- Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1 grams
- Monounsaturated fat: 0.1 grams
- Cholesterol: 0
- Sodium: 3 milligrams
- Potassium: 172 milligrams
- Carbohydrates/Sugar: 4.4 grams
- Dietary fiber: 1.4 grams
- Sugar: 0.2 grams
- Protein: 0.5 grams
Turmeric is also an excellent source of iron and contains magnesium, vitamin B-6, calcium and vitamin C.
Health Benefits of Turmeric
In alternative forms of medicine, turmeric is widely used to address digestive problems and liver issues as well as being applied to cuts and sores. Turmeric has natural antimicrobial and antifungal properties and research is ongoing to determine its clinical use for treating diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, autoimmune disorders, digestive problems and Alzheimer’s disease. Absorption of turmeric is markedly increased when consumed with fat and black pepper.
It should be noted that the consumption of turmeric will stimulate type TH2 cells so individuals suffering from autoimmune diseases should consult their healthcare practitioner before adding turmeric to their diet.
Where to Buy Turmeric
Ground, powdered turmeric is widely sold in supermarkets and health food stores. In certain cities, it may be possible to get whole raw turmeric or pickled whole turmeric. The spice is ubiquitous in Asian and Indian cooking so many be available in different varieties at specialty shops.
How to Make Turmeric
Due to being a tropical plant, turmeric is difficult to grow in temperate zones like the United States. Turmeric is usually quite affordable and purchased already dried and powdered from grocery stores and spice shops.
Below are two Paleo-friendly recipes for turmeric.
Considered to be very effective in reducing inflammation and the symptoms of many auto-immune disorders.
- 32 ounces of boiling water
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed
- the juice of 2 lemons
- 5 whole black peppercorns
- the juice of 1 orange
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp. turmeric
- 1 tbsp. of grated fresh ginger
- Combine all ingredients and add to tea ball, strainer or tea cloth
- Pour boiling water into vessel and allow to steep for 10 minutes
- Strain, serve, and enjoy!
For individuals wishing to eat turmeric for its taste as well as beneficial properties, the following recipe is completely Paleo compliant.
- Half of one cauliflower, separated into florets
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. turmeric powder
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C)
- Place ingredients in bag and shake until cauliflower florets are evenly coated
- Arrange evenly in a baking dish being sure not to let the florets clump
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil
- Roast for 75 minutes
- Serve and enjoy!