I am a firm believer in using food to heal the body. I'm am fighting arthritis much the same way I do with other health problems, using foods that heal, avoiding foods that harm and exercise. Two foods that are currently being used to treat arthritis are NEM (natural egg membrane) and curcumin (turmeric extract). NEM takes about 7 days to notice a reduction in pain. I specifically use Curcumin C3 Complex (1,160 mg/serving) in addition to turmeric.
Turmeric is the ribosome of a perennial plant in the ginger family native to South Asia growing in temperatures of 20 to 30°C. It is considered the Indian saffron, a cheaper alternative to regular saffron. Turmeric it's commonly dried and powdered then used as a spice and curries as well as a dye for foods like mustard. Turmeric will stain just about anything it comes into contact with, hence the yellow kitchen syndrome.
Turmeric is not only used for its culinary properties but also it's medicinal properties. It can be made into a paste then used on the skin to reduce hyperpigmentation. There has been a lot of interest in turmeric specifically the active ingredient, curcumin. Turmeric is antioxidant. Antioxidants help protect cells in the body by fighting free radicals to help fight against aging and prevent cancer. Turmeric also reduces inflammation so eases joint pain.
I generally have a whey protein smoothie mid-morning. This was the perfect target for turmeric. I used a BCAA (branch chain amino acids) 100% whey protein powder, cottage cheese, unsweetened almond milk, 1 tsp turmeric. 1 tsp fresh ginger and a dash of black pepper to make a yummy smoothie. Turmeric is pungent so the flavour dominated the smoothie but not in an unpleasant way. One teaspoon of turmeric is 3 g, a good booster for the curcumin. I liked this combination enough that I've made it a few times now. It comes in at 235 calories and 33 g protein per 12 oz serving.
recipe by Garden Gnome
1 c unsweetened almond milk
2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp stevia
Warm almond milk slightly. Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl then pour just enough warmed milk in to make a thin slurry. Pour the slurry into the remaining milk and mix well. Continue heating until mixture comes to a low boil. Remove from heat. Pour into mug and enjoy.
I was concerned that the turmeric would be overpowering in this hot beverage but surprisingly it isn't. I actually prefer the Golden Milk to the smoothie. It has a warm, pleasant flavour. I have been enjoying one of these hot drinks in the afternoon. My arthritis pain has lessened. The visible signs (redness, swelling) especially in my hands is significantly reduced. This one is a keeper and it's only 53 calories!