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4-Easy Ways to Add Turmeric to Your Diet: the Asthma-Friendly Kitchen

Does turmeric help asthma?

It is believed that turmeric reduces inflammation, and therefore helps improve all chronic conditions, including asthma. Turmeric is commonly used in Ayurvedic therapies, primarily to treat the skin, heart, liver, and lungs. It’s thought to fight allergies and boost immunity.

What do science and research have to say about turmeric for asthma?

In a study published in 2014 in the Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research, 77 people with mild to moderate asthma were given curcumin, also known as turmeric, in the capsule form as an “add-on” therapy to their asthma medications. The results showed that curcumin capsules help in improving airway obstruction, which was evident by significant improvement in the mean FEV1 values. This means participants had an increase in the amount of air they could exhale in one second, which is a measurement of asthma severity and control. Therefore, it is concluded that curcumin is effective and safe as an add-on therapy for the treatment of bronchial asthma.

How to add turmeric to your diet to help with asthma.

Of course, you can purchase supplements or specialty items that include turmeric, like tea. Since turmeric from outside of the United States can contain unhealthy levels of lead (https://asthma.net/living/turmeric-for-asthma/), I prefer to buy turmeric root and chop or grate it myself. Turmeric root looks like the smaller version of ginger root and can be found in the same place in the grocery store. Consider adding turmeric to your recipes that include lemon and ginger; all three go really well together. Below are my four easy ways (and recipes) to include turmeric in your daily diet:

  1. Turmeric tea. Tea is so warming and comforting. This is my favorite recipe from Dr. Weil: Bring 4 cups of filtered water to a boil, and add 1 teaspoon of grated turmeric root. Reduce heat to a simmer and steep for 10 minutes. Strain through a mesh sieve. Add lemon or honey. Experiment to get the taste you prefer; add chopped ginger to the boiling water (and double the tea’s healthy goodness!), or add a sprinkle of cinnamon at the end. Add a pinch of black pepper for an extra kick, or garnish with lemon.
  2. Golden Milk Turmeric Tea. If you prefer milk with your tea, this recipe from Epicurious will satisfy your craving. Whisk 1 cup of unsweetened, non-dairy milk (I prefer coconut) with a cinnamon stick, a half-inch piece of ginger and 1 inch piece of turmeric (both unpeeled and thinly sliced), 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, a few whole peppercorns and 1 cup of water in a saucepan until it reaches a low boil. Strain through a mesh sieve and serve. Garnish with grated cinnamon.
  3. Quinoa with turmeric. Quinoa is an ancient grain that is gluten-free and full of protein. My favorite recipe: add 3 teaspoons of fresh, grated turmeric to your quinoa cooking liquid. Add fresh squeezed lemon juice and a little coconut oil to the cooked quinoa and serve.
  4. Quick immune-boosting chicken soup. I’ve written about how chicken stock/broth/soup can help improve asthma symptoms. But adding turmeric just pumps up the nutritional value as well as the taste.

My recipe:  saute 2 thinly sliced, large garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon of peeled, grated ginger, and ½ teaspoon of grated turmeric in olive oil until fragrant. Add 6 cups of your favorite chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and add a small pasta like stellette (tiny star shapes) and cook until almost done. Add 2 cups of cooked, shredded or cubed chicken, and heat until warmed through. Garnish with fresh parsley.

I hope you’ll try and find ways to incorporate turmeric into your diet. Try these recipes, or share your own in the comments!

For more tips on how to eat well and breathe happy, follow me on social media @asthmachef, or check out my blog www.asthmachef.com.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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