Why turmeric

Caffe latte, soy latte and almond and coconut milk lattes… The offering seems to be endless. But turmeric latte? This spice, native to India and South East Asia, now seems to be a prominent feature on many menu boards. Unlike the afore mentioned, there is no coffee involved in this style of latte so why am I suddenly starting to see this unlikely combination at mainstream cafes? And more so, why would I swap my morning dose of caffeine for turmeric?!

Most of our knowledge regarding turmeric would extend to it being burnt orange in colour, bitter in taste and the main spice used in flavoursome curries. So I spoke with Steph Geddes, Founder and Nutritionist, Body Good Food to gain some insight into why we might be seeing this spice starting to take on more relevance in the health space of late.

“Turmeric is well known for curcumin, its active constituent which is an orange-yellow powder that studies have linked to having potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties”.

Because of these antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric contributes to healthy digestion and gut health. However the benefits are thought to be even farther reaching with Steph sharing that “studies have suggested that turmeric has a role in prevention of conditions like cancer, Alzheimers disease, heart disease and arthritis”. She does note that the success of these claims in relation to typical dietary intake and the bodies ability to absorb it, warrant further research for confirmation. But what is absolutely clear however, is that turmeric is a super nutritious ingredient to be adding to your kitchen creations!

So whether you are looking at introducing the turmeric latte into your daily ritual, some ground turmeric into your smoothies or turmeric leaves over Asian greens or steamed fish, just remember a little goes a long way! This spice will not only add depth and colour to your meals, but including it as part of a balanced diet will have a positive effect on your digestive system and gut health plus may aid in long term preventative health measures.