Turmeric – The Powerhouse Nutrient

The powerful benefits of including Turmeric into your health regime are undeniable.  It is a noted strong antioxidant and powerful anti-inflammatory to the whole body, in fact, studies have found that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs, only without the side effects. This magic is attributed mostly to the curcumin compounds in the Turmeric itself.

The action of the curcuminoids acts to block molecules that turn on our inflammatory pathways.  These molecules are believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases.

While most studies on this herb use turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram per day, dietary levels may be difficult to reach, therefore, if you want to experience the full effects, supplementation containing significant amounts of curcumin may be a better option.

Getting the best bio-availability for the body can be achieved by combining Turmeric with a just little black pepper due to its piperine properties. Curcumin is also fat soluble, so it may be a good idea to take it with a fatty meal.

Turmeric and especially its most active compound curcumin, have many scientifically-proven health benefits, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. It’s potent anti-inflammatory action and high antioxidant properties have been demonstrated to be neuroprotective improving symptoms of depression and lowering risk of other brain diseases as well as being beneficial in the treatment of  osteo-arthritis when used in combination with Skullcap and Acacia, as shown in a recent June 2018 Case study.

Turmeric does also have blood thinning qualities which are worthy of noting. Dosages need to be monitored and adjusted at times of impending  surgery or if using in combination with other medications, which is best done under the guidance of your healthcare professional for specific advice.  We are well supported with supplemental choices; just ensure that it is from reputable sources, while dietary intake is always best from good quality Organic forms of this beautiful spice and can be simply achieved.  Adding to your favourite curry (see this month’s yummy curry recipe), soups, roast vegetables, smoothies  and lattes, are just a few easy ways to embrace the Food as Medicine philosophy, to enjoy the many benefits that it can bring to enhance health and wellness.

Slow Cooker Beef Cheek Curry

This beautiful recipe is borrowed from one of my favourite health conscious websites.  It has a definite Thai flavour, similar to a Beef Massaman (but without the peanuts).  It is kid- friendly with no chilli  but you could add some heat by including 1-2 small red chillies. It is packed full of beautiful protein to sustain energy, sweet potato that will assist with blood sugar regulation and soo flavoursome, and who doesn’t love a melt-in-your-mouth, fall apart tender, slow cooked meal!

It’s sure to become a family favourite!


2 beef cheeks or 700gr of chuck steak or cheap sinewy meat (diced)

1 large sweet potato (roughly diced)

2 large carrots (cut into rounds)

1 brown onion (thinly sliced)

400ml coconut cream

4 kaffir lime leaves

1 tsp of ground cumin

1 tsp of ground coriander

1 tsp of turmeric powder

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 tsp of ground cloves

1/4 tsp of ground cardamom

1/4 cup of fish sauce (I use Red Boat brand)

1/4 cup of coconut aminos (could substitute with 1/8 cup of tamari plus 1 tbsp of coconut sugar)

juice of 1/2 a lime

1 tbsp of coconut oil

a good handful of green beans (trimmed and cut in half)


Brown the meat in a couple of batches in the coconut oil in a frypan

Pop meat in your slow cooker and add all the rest of the ingredients except green beans!

Pop it on a high heat for 4-5 hours or the lower heat setting for 7-8 hours

15 minutes before serving, add your trimmed green beans

Serve with cauliflower rice or potatoes

Garnish with some fresh coriander

*don’t forget to retrieve the cinnamon stick

Many thanks to the Naughty Naturopath and Cut Out the Crap for the inspiration!

– Pam Murphy | Naturopath and Remedial Massage therapist