It’s been all-liver, all the time for me the past couple of weeks as I’ve been preparing for Purify, a spring liver cleanse. Spring is the perfect time to perform a little “spring cleaning” on our bodies by removing some of the foods and habits that slow us down, and refuel with light, energetic foods that promote the removal of toxic stores from our bodies, but it always gets me thinking…
How can I better care for myself and my liver all year long?
The list is endless, but I like to keep things simple, so I’m only recommending one trick: turmeric!
Turmeric is the bright yellow spice traditionally found in curry and lends its color to your favorite ballpark mustard. It has a warm, pepper flavor and comes from a pant that could easily be mistaken for an orange-hued ginger.
Turmeric has long been used in Chinese and Indian medicine to treat a variety of conditions, and Western medicine has found the curcumin in turmeric to be the primary pharmacological agent.
In a recent study, curcumin was shown to increase two very important liver detoxification enzymes, which mitigate the effects of cancer-causing compounds found in food. The rats in this study that were fed curcumin were resistant to any free radical damage, while the rats that were not fed curcumin had increased free radical damage to the colon walls. Combined with its antioxidant content, curcumin supported the liver to get rid of carcinogens.
All that to say, turmeric is a powerful spice that should definitely make its way into your pantry!
Curcumin has been used as therapy for the following conditions:
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Add turmeric to egg or chicken salad (it will give it a bold, yellow color)
- Add additional turmeric to curry powder
- Add to lentil recipes – the flavors pair magnificently
- Add a small amount to salad dressings to give it a golden hue
- Add to roasted or sautéed vegetables
Be careful, turmeric can stain! Avoid getting the bright yellow spice on clothing and be sure to wash anything it touches with soap and water.
So, what’s my favorite way to get a little turmeric in my diet each day? I make a week’s supply of this simple salad dressing and drizzle it over my salads, vegetables, and lentils for a daily dose of liver-supportive curcumin.
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp. finely diced shallot
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
Mix well and serve over any salad. I prefer to mix all the ingredients in a glass jar with a lid by shaking them well. This way, the dressing is already in a storage container and can be quickly added to salads all week long.