Turmeric is a root, like ginger, that has anti-inflammatory properties. Growing up in southeast Asia, I became very familiar with turmeric root. I love its bright yellow-orange color and its zingy flavor. In India, turmeric is used to give curry its yellow color.
In America, it’s mostly seen as a dried powder and added to chicken-flavored soups or sauces. Turmeric is so good for us, I think it’s time we expanded our diets to include spicing fish and other foods with it.
Anti-inflammatories help keep our arteries young and less likely to clog, our skin from turning red or scaly, and our nasal passages from getting blocked. There are plenty of pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories like aspirin, acetaminophen, and steroids. But turmeric is a powerful, natural anti-inflammatory without the adverse side effects of its medicinal counterparts.
Dr. Nicholas Perricone, M.D. says in his book Forever Young, “Ingesting turmeric root on a daily basis can help prevent the loss of cognitive function that we face as we age.” That’s due mostly to the curcuminoids found in fresh and dried turmeric. People who live in India eat turmeric in their curries almost every day and reports show a reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease on a nationwide level there
Dried, powdered turmeric is carried in most grocery stores. Health-wise, it’s a good substitute for the fresh roots, which only about one week in the refrigerator. Turmeric works well in recipes with garlic, lentils, chicken, and lamb. Potatoes and cauliflower also work well with turmeric. In my cookbook, The Age Beautifully Cookbook, I have many recipes that use bright yellow turmeric powder and even fresh turmeric juice. My Egg Salad with Turmeric is delicious, and it will help you age with Grace. It’s hard to beat the combination of eggs, celery, and turmeric for brain health. I use my homemade mayonnaise to make this simple, brain-building dish, but you can use store-bought mayonnaise instead. You can spread this egg salad on toast, eat it in a sandwich, or serve it on a bed of mixed greens. It’s delicious with sliced tomatoes or thinly sliced scallions. For extra antioxidant power, add a few teaspoons of minced parsley or watercress. I prefer the taste of free-range hens (adult female chickens) whose yolks get their bright yellow color from the marigolds and grubs they graze on.
To make shelling the eggs easier, add a splash of vinegar to the cooking water. If you’re serving this dish as a salad, refrigerate it first for a minimum of 2 hours.
EGG SALAD WITH TURMERIC
Serves 3 -4
6 eggs (organic, free-range, or Omerga-3-enriched)
½ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs. capers
¼ cup diced celery
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. minced dill
1 tsp. minced chives
Salt or salt substitute and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Place the eggs in a pan of cold water. Slowly bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Cover the pan, remove from the heat, and let the eggs sit for 7 minutes.
2. Drain the eggs and cool them in a bowl of water with ice.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the mayonnaise, herbs, and spices.
4. Shell the eggs, then mash them with a fork or cut them into small cubes.
5. Fold the eggs into the seasoned mayonnaise.