01 Aug Turmeric Tonic – Two Ways
This is the ultimate anti-inflammatory tonic. Plus it’s got protein if you want it. Plus it’s super for the digestion. Plus it’s super tasty. It’s a tremendous, tasty, turmeric tonic. How tantalising!
Here’s a little low-down on the spicy, fruity & seedy side of things (in a good way…):
TURMERIC: Firstly, WHAT A GOD. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, accounting for it’s MANY health benefits including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anticarcinogenic, neuroprotective, and cardioprotective effects, just to name a few. Clinical trials support the use of curcumin in inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, post-operative inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis, with plenty more research indicating it’s use for many other conditions. Traditionally, it has been used for thousands of years for digestion, fevers, skin conditions, liver conditions, and for purifying the blood. Turmeric is notorious for poor digestive assimilation without the right conditions; it requires fat in order to be absorbed properly and is best paired with warming digestive stimulants such as black pepper to increase its assimilation further. To get the most out of turmeric in your diet, you should consume at least 2 teaspoons of the dried spice per day.
BLACK PEPPER: This guy is a powerful digestive stimulant, and pairs particularly well with turmeric, in aiding its absorption.
CAYENNE: A super heating spice that increases circulation, dilates blood vessels and speeds up the metabolism. These properties mean that it’s a good one for delivering oxygen and nutrients to tissues, and can may assist weight loss. Cayenne or Yayenne?! It’s cayenne obviously, but I really can’t resist a horrible pun.
GINGER: Also a massive winner. Ginger is well known for it’s calming effects on the digestive system, easing nausea and vomiting, but it is also fantastic for promoting digestion, increasing circulation, thinning the blood, reducing muscular spasm, and as a big player in reducing inflammation. (Win!)ger! No, it’s ginger… Last pun. Maybe.
CINNAMON: Another beautifully warming spice, cinnamon aids and calms digestion, promotes circulation, and has been to shown to have stabilizing effects on blood sugar through insulin-like effects. It is also a wonderful herb for constitutionally ‘cold’ people.
PINEAPPLE: Our key player here is Bromelain. This is a naturally occurring enzyme in pineapple, particularly in the core or the tougher bits of the pineapple. This enzyme is good for eating things up. Things like cellular debris that hangs around after injury or inflammation, cholesterol plaques, blood clots, excess mucus etc. It helps the body to recover from injury, reduce fluid accumulation, and modulate the inflammatory cascade. It’s a good (pine) apple!!
FLAXSEED OIL & HEMP SEEDS: Omega 3’s baby! Essential for so many functions, including cellular integrity and communication, healthy blood, healthy cholesterol levels, skin & hair health, and yep, as a wicked anti-inflammatory too. Omega 3’s help to modulate inflammatory mediators, including inflammatory prostaglandins, by keeping them in check and reducing inflammatory reactions.
Both versions of this tonic are delicious, but I wanted to provide a macronutrient balanced one for the option to have it as a decent snack, or as the ultimate post-workout/anti-inflammatory/digestif tonic, to not only restore your muscle glycogen and increase protein synthesis, but to soothe the gut and help clean up the inflammatory debris that can occur after high-intensity or endurance exercise. This type of inflammation is a normal, healthy, and transient response, but it’s great if we can help it along it’s course and recover with a bit more oomph!
2 tsp. ground turmeric
¼ tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of ground black pepper OR cayenne powder
Half an inch of fresh ginger peeled and chopped/grated
¼ tsp. vanilla
Juice of ½ – 1 lemon
100g fresh pineapple with as much core as possible
2 tsp. flaxseed oil
1 tsp. honey optional
Ice cubes optional
½ cup coconut cream + ½ cup water (or 1 cup coconut milk)
(as a protein boosted tonic)
½ cup yoghurt (Paris Creek Greek Style Yoghurt is my favourite)
1 ½ tbsp. hemp seeds
* Vegan Note: If you want a vegan version of the protein tonic, either double the hemp seeds or add 1 whole scoop of natural/vanilla plant-based protein powder, or add ½ scoop of protein powder with 1 tbsp. of hemp seeds. If removing the yoghurt, and wanting the tonic as a post-workout tonic, you will also have to add some extra carbohydrates to get a better ratio of carbs and protein (e.g. an extra 100g pineapple/half a banana/ one medjool date etc.).
Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender, or alternatively use a stick blender and a jug. Blitz for about one minute, or until smooth. Serve as is, or over ice. When removing the skin from the pineapple, keep as much core/outer harder parts of pineapple on the fruit as possible, as this has the highest concentration of bromelains. If your blender isn’t too crash hot, grate the fresh ginger first so it blends a bit more easily.
Nutritional Info: The protein tonic provides approximately 30g carbohydrate & 15g protein, and the regular tonic provides about 15g carbohydrate and 2g protein. Both contain a million grams of deliciousness (most important..).