I love to find ways to use turmeric in my recipes. With its many health benefits (see below), it is definitely worth knowing how to incorporate into your dishes. This is a great soup for the colder seasons–inspired by super-spice, turmeric!
2 cups red lentils, rinsed and drained
2 vegetable bouillon cubes (or to taste)
1 tsp. grated fresh turmeric
1-2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 tsp. curry powder (or to taste)
¼ tsp. cinnamon powder
3-4 cups fresh chopped vegetables: kale, sweet potatoes, carrots, etc.
Put lentils into medium-size soup pot. Cover with an inch or two of water. Cook on medium-high heat. Add bouillon, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and curry powder. When lentils begin to soften, add veggies. Continue to cook the lentils until they break down and veggies are tender—adding more water as needed. Serve warm or hot. Enjoy!
Health Benefits of Red Lentils
Though all lentils provide fantastic health benefits, red lentils cook more quickly and are considered to be the tastiest of the bunch. While cooking, they usually turn from reddish to a lighter yellow color. Lentils should be rinsed before cooking. Like any legume, soaking lentils overnight and discarding the water helps speed up the cooking process and helps remove impurities.
Lentils are rich in protein, which is well known to the vegetarian and vegan communities. In fact, a 1 cup serving of lentils provides nearly 40% of your daily recommended value of protein, and you will only be getting 230 calories for that entire cup!
Often another big problem for vegetarians and vegans is getting enough iron in their diets. Lentils provide iron, without the fat and cholesterol associated with red meat. Women, especially pregnant women, and children should be especially careful to get adequate amounts of iron as their needs are greater.
Lentils are another great vegetable source of fiber, and their high fiber content helps you to feel full with less food. High fiber legumes like lentils are especially useful for those trying to stabilize blood sugar levels, as your metabolism burns them very slowly over time. The fiber is also effective in lowering blood pressure.
Lentils contain anti-oxidants similar to those in tea, red wine and other foods. In addition to the fiber, magnesium and folate, a B vitamin, are found in lentils and very good for the heart.
Health Benefits of Turmeric
The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. Turmeric has been used for over 2500 years in India. The medicinal properties of this spice have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease.
- It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
- When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing
- Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.
- May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.
- Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.
- Is a natural liver detoxifier.
- May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.
- May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.
- It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the
- Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
- Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.
- May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.
- Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.
- Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.
- Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.
- Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.
- Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.
- Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.
- May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.