This slightly sweet, earthy tonic is a wonderful way to start your day: Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Tonic. And the best part is that you don’t need a juicer to make it!
The word “inflammation” is a word we hear often in health circles these days. It has been linked to conditions like Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes. arthritis, and depression. It is also thought to be the culprit behind the visible signs of aging.
Inflammation is our body’s response to stress- whether this comes from the foods that you eat, the lifestyle that you live, or from an injury. Inflammatory responses such as fevers or pain and swelling are your body’s way of trying to bring itself back into balance. But that is not what we are talking about today.
What we are talking about is the modern epidemic of low-grade inflammation in our bodies that is making us sick. We are talking about the inflammation that comes from eating a poor quality diet loaded with refined sugars, processed foods, industrial fats, gluten, and poor quality meats. Other causes of inflammation include:
lack of sleep
lack of exercise
diets low on Omega 3 fatty acids and high in Omega 6 fatty acids
poor gut health
lack of time outdoors and away from media and stimulation
low-grade food allergies and sensitivities
This constant state of inflammation is weakening our bodies and our immune systems, making us more susceptible to illness and making us age at a faster rate.
So what are we to do?
Besides looking at the factors listed above and making lifestyle choices accordingly, there are some powerful anti-inflammatory foods that you can ingest to bring down inflammation in the body. If you reduce inflammation in your body, you’ll not only look and feel younger, but you’ll significantly lower your risk for chronic disease.
Health benefits of turmeric:
Research shows that turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and antioxidant properties. It has also been shown to block cancer cells, to reduce the risk for diabetes, and to be good for the liver. (source)
An easy way to reduce inflammation and to give your immune system a powerful boost is to add turmeric to your diet.
I use turmeric liberally in my cooking and will often whip up a Creamy Tropical Turmeric Smoothie for a mid-afternoon snack. Lately, we have been making this delicious turmeric tonic to start the day.
What’s in the turmeric tonic?
Now sold in many health food stores, this bright orange root is powerful anti-inflammatory medicine. If you cannot find the fresh root, you can substitute dry turmeric powder.
Ginger is another wonderful anti-inflammatory. It also promotes healthy digestion and improves absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients. The fresh root is best.
Coconut water is deeply hydrating and nourishing. It is loaded with vitamins (especially the B vitamins), minerals, and trace elements (including zinc, selenium, iodine, sulfur, and manganese). It is also full of amino acids, organic acids, enzymes, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. (source)
Lemon or orange:
Citrus fruits are not only sweet and refreshing, they are also loaded with flavonoids, which have anticancer properties. Citrus flavonoids are also antioxidants that can neutralize free radicals and may protect against heart disease. Citrus fruit is also high in Vitamin C, folate, and potassium.
High levels of beta-carotene in carrots act as an antioxidant to prevent cell damage. Vitamin A in carrots is said to promote healthy skin, improve vision, and to assist the liver in flushing out the toxins from the body
Honey or Maple Syrup:
A titch of sweetener gives this tonic a nice smooth flavor. Raw honey is rich in flavanoids which are antioxidants that reduce inflammation. Maple syrup contains polyphenols, antioxidants that quell inflammation.
Adding black pepper increases the bioavailibility of the active ingredient in turmeric, meaning it helps with the assimilation of turmeric into your body.
Cayenne can be added for a bit of heat and is a powerful digestive aid. Cinnamon is a warming spice that is said to stabilize blood sugar.
NOTE: I recommend consuming this tonic with a real food meal that includes healthy fats. The active ingredient in turmeric is fat soluble and requires some fat to be properly assimilated into the body. I also added black pepper to this recipe to help with absorption. Black pepper contains the ingredient Piperine which a bioavailability (absorption) enhancer that allows substances to remain in cells for longer periods of time. One study showed that adding pepper increases the bioavailbilty of turmeric by 2000%.
Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Tonic
2 cups coconut water (like this) (or filtered water)
2 tbsp grated fresh turmeric (or ½ to 1 tsp dried turmeric powder)
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
juice from 1 lemon or orange
1 medium carrot
1 tbsp raw honey (like this) or real maple syrup (like this)
pinch of black pepper
Optional: a pinch of cayenne or cinnamon
Place all ingredients into high speed blender and blend until smooth. Drink as is or strain before serving.