One of the things I seriously admire about my boyfriend is that he’s a vegetarian. It’s a lifestyle that contributes so much to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and encourages fair treatment for animals around the world. I wish I could commit to it, but as a border-line anemic it’s hard to keep my iron levels up without consuming a little bit of meat here and there, so instead I just try to make the best and most nutrient-packed vegetarian foods for my boyfriend that I possibly can!
Searching for ways to keep nutrient and protein levels up in the diet of a vegetarian can be really tricky, but far from impossible as long as you do your research! Just last week, I convinced my boyfriend (his name is Aaron) to try Indian food for the first time since he was really little. He loved it, and one of the things I ordered for him was aloo gobi, which is a dish made with cauliflower and potatoes, and the key to it’s interesting color and amazing taste is…turmeric!
Turmeric has so many fantastic health benefits that I just had to write about it. It’s also used so widely in international cuisines and especially vegetarian dishes, it’s a great little spice to know about. So, here are some popular ways people enjoy turmeric and the health benefits that come along with them!
Turmeric in Curry
In curries, turmeric produces the yellow color you see, and this yellow color within the turmeric comes from a compound called curcumin. Curcumin is great for a whole long list of reasons, just like turmeric. For one thing, it is a very strong antioxidant and a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. And while turmeric is only around 3% curcumin by weight, you can increase your bodies absorption of the compound by adding black pepper to your curry (which contains peperine, which encourages absorption of curcumin but the body) or eating some high-fat foods with your curry (since curcumin is fat-soluble).
And, if anyone was wondering about making that Indian dish that Aaron liked at home, check out this fantastic aloo gobi recipe and get your daily dose of turmeric in with dinner!
This is a great alternative to get your turmeric fix if you’re not a curry fan. And, if you’re sensitive to spicy food, this is also perfect because the milk takes all the usual kick right out of the turmeric. This tonic is great because it can be consumed pretty much anytime you feel that you need a little immunity boost. It’s especially good for children in school or for anyone who uses public spaces often and interacts with a lot of people, and around flu season it’s been known to keep germs at bay. Most people drink it right when they wake up or right before they go to bed!
Turmeric milk is also a pretty good detoxifying agent of basically every part of your body! It can help regulate your digestive track, clean out your liver and even clear up breakouts, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Tea form of turmeric is great for pain relief, since warm liquids make you feel emotionally better (or at least, they make ME feel better!) and turmeric can make your body feel better! This tea is often used by arthritis patients to help manage their symptoms, and by women with very painful period cramps to manage their discomfort.
Turmeric tea also delivers all the other benefits of turmeric to the body quickly, like it’s anti-heart-disease properties and it’s cancer-fighting abilities! And it can be made with a wide variety of combined ingredients depending on the benefits you’re seeking or the taste you’re craving!