Superfood has become such a buzz word that when talking about it, we often tune it out instantly. Are these foods just run-of-the-mill fruits and vegetables? What actually makes them super?
This time, backed by years of traditional usage and modern scientific studies, we have found the next big and real super food: turmeric root tea!
has been used in Asia for thousands of years in traditional medicine and healing practices. Particularly in India, which produces 78% of the global supply of turmeric, it has been historically used for its antioxidant, medicinal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Although it has been spread around the world as a spice to enrich flavors and bring it’s arresting yellow hue, we have only just started to wake up to its health benefits in products like turmeric root tea.
Turmeric, with the active ingredient curcumin, grows wild in the forests of South and Southeast Asia. Historically it has been collected here as an ingredient for Siddha or Ayurveda: Indian traditional medicine. Turmeric is also used for ceremonial purposes. One example is the Haldi ceremony (meaning “yellow on the body”) where, in some parts of India, Turmeric is used during marriage ceremonies. The people at the ceremony shower each other with this potent bright yellow spice.
So is turmeric really as magical as it seems?
A range of turmeric root teas are available in stores or online. But before you try it for yourself: look at why turmeric root tea really is the next big superfood.
Health Benefits of Turmeric Root Tea
Many of us have turmeric spice in our cupboards, waiting to be used for a complicated curry. However, one of the easiest ways to consume turmeric (and to receive it’s health benefits) is to drink it in the form of tea. This is because turmeric has low bioavailability, meaning that it is not easily accessed or absorbed by the body when it is consumed. Turmeric root tea has a guaranteed high concentration because it is brewed using freshly grated turmeric root, or a high proportion of turmeric powder; this makes it the most effective way to reap the health benefits from turmeric.
Turmeric root tea’s health benefits come from its active ingredient: curcumin. Curcumin is bioactive compounds which are known to have many benefits such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
According to Medical News Today, the following are some of the major health benefits of consuming turmeric:
Reduces the symptoms of arthritis.
Boosts immune function
Helps prevent and treat cancer
Helps in reducing cardiovascular complications
improves liver function
The Science Behind It
The claimed health benefits for curcumin, found in turmeric root tea, are numerous and far-reaching. Although some of the claims are backed up by scientific studies, many of these studies only find a circumstantial link between curcumin and the claimed health benefits and ask for further studies to be conducted to confirm the findings or hypothesis.
Many of the health benefits associated with curcumin come down to two of its properties: antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. These known effects of curcumin have led to turmeric being used for hundreds of years in traditional medicine, specifically for digestive issues, managing diabetes, and managing pain or inflammation.
So although all of curcumin’s claimed health benefits may not be scientifically ratified, it certainly has properties which could class it as a “superfood”, but it has just not been studied well enough. Some doctors suggest that curcumin is used as a preventative measure, to boost your overall health and immune system, rather than to treat one specific illness.
Although curcumin’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties are confirmed, one barrier which we can face as consumers is that curcumin is hydrophobic which means it doesn’t get absorbed well by the human body. While scientists find a way to increase its absorption and prove it’s supposed health benefits through further studies, we will continue drinking turmeric root tea as the most potent way to consume turmeric!
The reason for this is that the heat and potency of truer root tea mean it is the most effective way to absorb curcumin and receive it’s anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant properties: making turmeric root tea the next big superfood!
Is tea the only way?
Turmeric root tea is a delicious way to consume this superfood and receive health benefits. It’s a deep flavor, bringing a bright yellow color to your mug, which many prefer to consume combined with other ingredients such as ginger, or licorice.
Another delicious way to consume turmeric root is through chai tea, and an easy concentrate can be purchased to get that flavor mix just right.
For the more adventurous among you, check out our turmeric white hot chocolate recipe. Eating healthily and consuming your new favorite superfood doesn’t have to be like taking medicine - you can combine with a tasty, indulgent treat!
So now you know what all the fuss is about, and why turmeric root tea is served at some of the best coffee shops around the world!
Why Serve it?
As turmeric root tea increases in popularity, it is valuable to have the item on your menu! The drink options using turmeric are seemingly endless, so you will never be sort on recipes. Additionally, people tend to lean towards healthier “superfoods” when given the chance, especially when it is in the form of a delicious latte!
Whether you’re adding turmeric to your menu, or now know a little more about the drink you already serve, tell us about it! Join our Facebook group for updates and news about Barista Underground.