Let’s Talk About Turmeric

By Veronica De Lira, ASU Nutrition Student


Turmeric is a super food that is a fantastic, flavorful addition to our daily meals.  The health benefits are endless and should definitely be used more often.  So here is a little more about the completely underused spice known as Turmeric.




Turmeric is an old spice that has been around for 4,000 years, according to umm.edu.1 According to turmeric.co.in, it was actually early in 3000 B.C. when it was cultivated by the Harappan civilization.2 Its long life makes sense when according to livescience.com turmeric has been used for thousands of years as a medical treatment in Chinese and Ayurvedic traditions as well as Indian religious ceremonies.3


According to turmeric.com, turmeric is actually considered part of the ginger family, they also explain that roughly 90% of all turmeric production is based in India. 2


Health Benefits and Characteristics


Turmeric has many positive benefits on the body. Livescience.com states, “turmeric contains vitamin C, calcium, fiber, iron, and potassium” those are just the beginning of the nutrients.”3


Turmeric is a good antioxidant. Umm.edu cites turmeric as being a beneficial aid in diseases like cancer, infections, inflammation, and other health problems. 1    


According to umm.edu, turmeric may also be used to prevent blood clots.1


Based off the positive buzz and encouraging feedback turmeric is constantly being studied to help provide us with more information on its benefits as well as other ways it can be incorporated to better our lives.


It is golden brown in color. (See photo) Or looks like a root when freshly picked.


It is possible to plant and grow your own turmeric.


What Can I Add Turmeric Too?


One of the easiest ways I have found to cook with turmeric is to buy the spice and use it in your favorite recipes or new ones.  A bonus perk of the spice is that it allows you to be creative.  Add turmeric to:


  • Cooking oil
  • Soups
  • Drinks
  • Use it as a seasoning for meats or vegetables (I like to sprinkle a little on steaks)
  • Potato or macaroni salad


Turmeric, when used, gives off a yellow color like mustard so do not be alarmed if you notice a color change.


Recipe to try


Here is a simple turmeric recipe to try out by Bobby Flay from foodnetwork.com


Oven Roasted Cauliflower with Turmeric and Ginger




3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • Salt To Taste




Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Whisk together the oil, mustard seeds, jalapeno, ginger, and turmeric in a small bowl.

Place cauliflower in a medium baking dish and toss with the flavored oil and season with salt.  Roast until lightly golden brown and just tender, 20 to 25 minutes.  Serve hot.




1.”Turmeric.” University of Maryland Medical Center. Web. 20 Sept. 2015. https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/turmeric


  1. Cox, Lauren. “What Is Turmeric?” LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 6 Dec. 2013. Web. 21 Sept. 2015. http://www.livescience.com/41760-turmeric-supplement-facts.html


  1. “Turmeric.” Turmeric the Golden Spice of Life. Web. 20 Sept. 2015. http://www.turmeric.co.in/turmeric_facts.htm


  1. “Oven Roasted Cauliflower with Turmeric and Ginger: Bobby Flay : Food Network.” Oven Roasted Cauliflower with Turmeric and Ginger Recipe: Bobby Flay : Food Network. Web. 20 Sept. 2015. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/oven-roasted-cauliflower-with-turmeric-and-ginger-recipe.html
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