Spicing Up Your Drinks For Better Health

Called the "Queen of Spices," turmeric is one of Mother Nature's most powerful healers. Derived from the root of Curcuma longa, turmeric is a member of the ginger family and has been used in both medicine and food for centuries. A radiant golden spice, turmeric is a staple in Indian cooking, as well as the cuisine of Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Turmeric's healing properties are even more intense than its vibrant, gem-like color: it's packed with anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antimutagenic properties. Turmeric is a powerful detoxifier of the liver and has been shown to ward off Alzheimer's disease and allergies. The advantages of this miracle herb are almost too numerous to list.

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The National Institute of Health has 24 current studies on the effects of turmeric and its main active component, curcumin. Incorporating turmeric into your diet may help you reduce your cholesterol levels, provide pain relief from arthritis, heal wounds, control diabetes, inhibit liver disease, boost your immune system — and prevent cancer.

This year, consider incorporating turmeric into your everyday diet. There are many ways to sneak it into cooking, but I would like to recommend some ways to drink it. I myself drink it every day with a concoction of other spices. I could swear it is like drinking from the fountain of youth — sprinkle some over your shoulder for good luck!

Here are some tips:

• Blend it into a smoothie
• Add a pinch to a cup of tea or warm water
• Mix into warm glass of milk, which makes for a perfect nightcap
• Incorporate it into a soup
• Throw a little into the blender before juicing

Everybody should add a little color into their life with turmeric. This golden wonder is sure to brighten up your health. Turmeric can be used as both a preventative and therapeutic measure, making it a win-win situation.

Special Contributor Deepa Verma, MD, recently opened her new integrative medical practice, Synergistiq Integrative Health, in Clearwater, Florida. Her practice focuses on optimal aging, weight loss, IV nutrient therapy, fitness, nutrition, bioidentical hormones and more natural therapies and cures. Dr. Verma believes that healthy and holistic living is the key to happiness and aging gracefully.