Turmeric’s golden paste is great for digestive health
Arloe the super puppy is growing like mad and pooping perfectly.
In fact, she’s a perpetual pooper – one meal in, one meal out on a pretty predictable basis. That sounds like a lot but it’s actually very healthy. If you achieve that as a human, you’re on to a good thing. No need to keep that waste hanging around. (Unless it’s going through too quickly – diarrhoea, fatty stools and undigested bits of food would be your clue here. Sorry, I hope you’re not reading this with breakfast.)
Poop is a regular topic of conversation in my office and in our classes, because it’s such a good barometer for your digestive (and wider) health. Did you know that poop problems can lead to skin problems, brain fog and resistant weight loss, on top of all the stomach and bowel discomfort?! It’s definitely something to get in order – you know where I am if you need me!
Eating tons of fibre is helpful, but it’s important to have that as gentle fibre from lots of fruit, vegetables, brown rice and oats versus more aggressive supplements such as wheat bran. Another thing that helps is to have your liver in good working order as it produces bile, the body’s own natural laxative.
If you’re not having three consecutive alcohol-free days a week then do try and aim for that as a minimum. Seventy-two consecutive hours is really helpful for allowing your liver to clear free radicals generated by alcohol. (See my social media for some amazing non-alcoholic cocktail ideas that are actually healthy!)
One of the most powerful food-based supplements you can use for liver health – and in turn, digestive health – is turmeric. But it’s actually turmeric’s active ingredient curcumin that you’re after. Curcumin is hard to absorb but the good news is that you can improve absorption by heating it and combining it with a healthy oil and freshly ground black pepper.
As such, this “golden paste” recipe has become increasingly popular. You can make it in batches, freeze it in small containers and then keep one container at a time in the fridge. The goal is to cook turmeric powder with water to form a paste, and then stir through a healthy oil (curcumin is fat-soluble so it’s needed for absorption) and black pepper (the piperine in the pepper improves absorption too).
I’ve included the recipe for you below. It’s so easy, I promise! The hardest thing about it is avoiding turning your kitchen and hands yellow …. Good luck! Hopefully you’re a less messy cook than me! Once you have made the paste you can add half a teaspoon at a time to smoothies, oatmeal, curries … or use the golden latte recipe (also below) for a lovely, healthy hot drink.
Important note: curcumin (in turmeric) can interfere with radiotherapy efficacy and interact with blood pressure (and other) meds. So as always, if you’re going to supplement your diet with turmeric then it’s important to check in with your doctor if you have any medical condition, or take any medication. If you have any other questions though, I am happy to help!
Golden Paste Recipe
1/2 cup turmeric powder
1 cup water plus extra water in reserve, if needed
1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
2 to 3 teaspoons freshly cracked (ground) black pepper
1. Add the turmeric powder and water to a small pan and bring temporarily to the boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. The mixture will start to thicken. Cook for approximately seven minutes, adding another half cup (or more) water if needed to maintain a paste-like consistency.
2. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the oil and black pepper. Leave it to cool and then store in small glass containers in the freezer. Should keep for up to two weeks in the fridge.
Golden Latte Recipe
Ingredients: (per serving)
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk or other plant-based milk (hemp, coconut, flax etc.)
1⁄2 tsp golden paste
1⁄2 to 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
Few drops of vanilla essence
Blend in a blender and then heat on the stove top! You can skip the blender but then you just need to be more patient on the stove top.
• Catherine Burns is a qualified nutritional therapist. For more details: www.natural.bm, 505-4725, Natural Nutrition Bermuda on Facebook and @naturalbda on Instagram
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