Open up the cabinet or drawer in your kitchen that holds your spices. Do you see turmeric? Now take a look on your counter or in your refrigerator. Do you see lemon (the whole fruit)? If you said ‘yes’ and ‘yes,’ fantastic! If not, you’ll be happy to know that you can reap the benefits of a couple of the most anti-inflammatory and detoxifying foods available for just a few bucks.
Turmeric has been used for thousands of years, but has become more mainstream only recently. The power behind turmeric is a naturally occurring substance called curcumin. Curcumin is closely connected to myriad healthy benefits, especially when it comes to detoxification and inflammation. In fact, studies have shown that moderate daily use of turmeric for aches and pains associated with arthritis has been shown to be just as effective as ibuprofen (with no side effects).
As popular as turmeric is, to get the benefits it’s important to know how to:
- MAKE IT GOOD: To enhance this benefit, pair with black pepper (see recipe below). An oil in black pepper, called piperine, amplifies the absorption – some research suggests by as much as 2000%.
- MAKE IT BETTER: Adding turmeric to boiling water will increase solubility, making it even more bioavailable.
- MAKE IT BEST: Pairing the heated turmeric with a small amount of healthy fat ensures maximum bioavailability.
Don’t worry! I’ll tell you how to make this happen with the recipe below. Super simple. I promise.
By now you’re probably wondering what’s so special about lemon? The be honest, turmeric does a great job upstaging just about everything else on the planet, but lemon is pretty darn great, and can be extremely complementary, especially when it comes to flavor, when paired with turmeric.
To be clear, I’m not talking about bottled lemon juice right now. I’m talking about the entire fruit (sans seeds). We all know that lemons are a good source of vitamin C, but did you know this?
- SUPERCHARGED WITH C: Lemon juice is a good source of vitamin C, but the peel contains up to 10 times more of this nutrient than the juice.
- MOVES THE TRASH OUT: If you read my article on detoxification, you know that Phase 1 bags garbage up, and Phase 2 throws the garbage into the truck and moves it on out of your body. Lemon peel is loaded with a compound called limonene. Limonene manages both Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification (something many healthy foods don’t do), which makes it very valuable to eliminating toxins your body would otherwise hold onto.
- MORE ALKALINE: Lemons taste acidic, and in fact, they are. But when we eat lemon, or drink the juice, it actually helps to alkalize our blood. Our body’s pH should hover around 7.4 – on the alkaline side. If you are chronically sick and can’t heal, you could be slightly lower than 7.4. Lemons can help to balance the pH of your body helping your become slightly alkaline. It doesn’t take much to throw this delicate balance off. A little warm water with lemon can help your body in a number of ways. There are plenty of foods (including most of the meals in The Belly Burn Plan) that help to maintain healthy alkalinity in the body. Consider picking it up.
*If you want a better understanding of how some foods help with detoxifying better than others, read an article I wrote on that subject right here.*
Here is a wonderful detox tea that I enjoy first thing in the morning. It helps me start my day off on the right foot.
Super C & Turmeric Detox Tea
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 lemon, washed, seeded and sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
1. Bring water to boil.
2. Add lemon, turmeric, ginger and black pepper to water. Stir for a moment, then remove from heat.
3. Pour into a large cup adding lemon and a tiny bit of honey, if you’d like.
4. Cool enough to sip and enjoy!
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