I love herbs and spices, not only for their flavors but also for their medicinal effects. And if I had to pick one health all-star, it would have to be turmeric, the spice born of the curcuma longa plant that gives curries their rich golden yellow color. It’s more than just a tasty flavor-enhancer though. The chief polyphenol in turmeric, curcumin, has healing and protective powers that make it a nutritional force to be reckoned with. Here’s my in-a-nutshell guide to this miraculous gift of nature – and how to put it to work for you:
I'm an avid label reader. In fact, I was given the nickname "Inspector Label" many years ago because of my passion for calling out harmful ingredients lurking in our foods (and because it would take me three hours to walk through a grocery store because I had to read every label onevery single product I was interested in buying!). In fact, that's what prompted me to write our book, Unjunk Your Junk Food, Healthy Alternatives to Conventional Snacks.
I am always exploring ways to make it easy to prepare meals, and one of the simplest tricks is make a batch of different spice rubs that can used on fish, meat or chicken. Rubs can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 6 months (remember to date the container) so don't be afraid to double or triple the recipe.
Last year I was invited to an editor's summit in New Mexico hosted by Heel Inc. While out for dinner one night, I was sitting next to two people I had just met hours earlier, Suzy and Sam Cohen (Suzy is America's Pharmacist and a best selling author and Sam is her amazing husband, a chiropractor and president of her company). The waiter took our orders, and when my meal arrived I reached into my purse and pulled out a tiny salt shaker that I carry around with me because I refuse to eat bleached white table salt. My salt shaker had high quality, air-dried sea salt which contained 75+ minerals. When I looked over at Suzy, she had a huge smile on her face, and not a moment later, pulled out her own tiny salt shaker that contained the same salt as mine! As you can imagine, we became instant friends.