You may know turmeric as one of the main spice in curry dishes. I consider turmeric the “pot of gold” spice, and not just because of its bright yellow color. Turmeric is an ancient spice with powerful health benefits. Curcumin, a particular pigment in turmeric, may play a role in preventing and treating certain types of cancers, treating osteoarthritis, depression, and other inflammatory conditions such as lupus and irritable bowel syndrome.

How can you easily add turmeric to your foods?

  • Blend 1 teaspoon turmeric into smoothies.
  • Add 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric to soup recipes.
  • Sprinkle turmeric into breakfast foods such as eggs, savory toast, potatoes, or pancakes. (Golden pancakes anyone?)
  • Add ½ teaspoon of turmeric to macaroni & cheese.
  • Stir turmeric into your hot tea.
  • Cook lentils or other legumes with onions, olive oil, and turmeric.

When using turmeric, it is recommended to also add a dash of black pepper, as the black pepper enhances the powerful effects of curcumin.

Since it is the season for soup, I have included a chicken soup that uses turmeric. Feel free to substitute the zucchini noodles for regular egg noodles for a more similar recipe to classic chicken noodle soup. Enjoy!

Emily McMillan is a registered dietitian for Hy-Vee stores in Rochester. This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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