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The Health Benefits Of Turmeric: The Spice Nutritionists Swear By

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The health benefits of turmeric are numerous, and nutritionists are all about it. A bright yellow Indian spice, it’s a key ingredient in golden lattes (a trend you’re likely to see blow up in 2017), a primary component in curry, and the secret behind the golden color of mustards, cheeses, and butter—it’s even part of Kraft mac and cheese’s new all-natural food coloring.

Sarah-Jane Bedwell, R.D., L.D.N., tells SELF that it has a slightly bitter and warm flavor that tastes great in sweet and savory dishes alike. But that flavor isn’t the only reason to love this trendy spice—she says it can also do amazing things for your body. So if you don’t already have it on your spice rack, stock up on it ASAP (you should be able to find it at your local supermarket). Here’s everything you need to know about the health benefits of turmeric.

It’s been shown to work as a pain reliever.

In a 2014 study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, 367 primary knee osteoarthritis patients were randomly assigned to receive either 1,200 mg of ibuprofen a day or 1,600 mg (less than a teaspoon) of curcumin, the active component of turmeric, every day for four weeks. The study found that by the end of the four weeks, curcumin was just as effective as ibuprofen at relieving knee pain in patients, with fewer adverse gastrointestinal effects.

This is likely due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Leah Kaufman, a registered dietitian in the department of surgery, division of bariatric surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center, tells SELF that curcumin has many anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling and inflammation caused by myriad different ailments. For this reason, you might want to consider incorporating more turmeric into your diet if you have arthritis or joint pain. She says that some people will even apply it topically to things like bruises and eczema, as those same anti-inflammatory properties help to soothe and heal those conditions.

Plus, it’s great for digestion.

Some evidence has shown that when consumed daily for a month, the curcumin in turmeric can help to reduce digestive issues. Kaufman says that it can help everything from IBS to colitis, and even bloating. (You can thank those anti-inflammatory properties for that.) What’s more, these same anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and digestive properties also enable turmeric to support the liver, the body’s natural detox system, says Bedwell. Early research has shown it may help to reduce damage to the liver caused by alcohol and other environmental factors.

You’ll get more bang for your buck if you pair it with black pepper.

So now that you’ve been clued into the superpowers of turmeric, here’s your final pro tip: To get the most out of its benefits, use it in a recipe that also calls for pepper. Pepper contains a compound called piperine, which promotes the absorption of turmeric into the bloodstream, Lisa Sasson, clinical associate professor of nutrition at NYU Steinhardt, tells SELF. In fact, classically prepared golden lattes actually contain black pepper. Together the two spices create an alluring spicy flavor profile that you’re bound to become obsessed with, which is great whether you’re trying to reap the anti-inflammatory benefits or not.

Try using it in soups, stews, curries, or anything you think it might taste great in. Or keep an eye out for golden lattes at your local coffee shop. Not sure where to start? Give this earthy turmeric potato recipe from Pinch Of Yum a try. If you’re in the mood for something a bit sweeter, test this carrot-ginger turmeric smoothie recipe from Minimalist Baker.

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Tabitha Brown and Other Black Personalities Focus On Joy Despite Crisis

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Happiness is an essential aspect of survival. For many Black influencers, promoting positivity among fans and followers, mainly during crises, is a must—that so-called reminder that there is still light at the end of the darkest tunnel.

Amid the ill effects of the present COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing debates regarding equality and racism, numerous Black celebrities and creators are offering the community a chance to laugh, reconnect, and heal. Tabitha Brown delights her audience with cooking expertise; Kerry Washington showcases yoga as a calming and reflective activity, and Rickey Thompson entrances followers with his dancing moves.

Brown and Her Cooking

The vegan actress provides both her Instagram and TikTok fans with motivational clips. She combines her southern cooking with inspirational narratives. She guides her millions of followers as she demonstrates how to cook a variety of dishes as she simultaneously calms her audience with her trademark expressions, including “’cause that’s our business” and “like so, like that.”

After her 2-year battle with chronic fatigue and pain, the actress turned to the web, posting motivational videos for fans. “I want to help people,” Brown shares in a recent interview. “I think my content has a responsibility to bring light every day, whether it’s in laughter, whether it’s in inspiration, whether it’s through food,” she adds.

Thompson and His Dancing Moves

Like Brown, Thompson has millions of followers on social media. He dazzles his fans with various dance clips coupled with relatable rants regarding relevant issues. His videos are bursts of color and gaiety, encouraging everyone to believe that things will soon be okay.

He shares that, after the terrible losses that he and his family encountered, he realized that he could use his voice to influence others. Nowadays, he provides his fans with comic relief through dancing, walking, and self-expression. “As a Black person, our whole journey is trying to keep all our emotions within because we’re supposed to be strong, we’re supposed to be these tough people,” Thompson explains. “But we’re also human… What’s important is letting other people know you’re not in this alone,” he continues.

Staying Positive amid Problems

Despite the current difficulties encountered by various Black and colored communities in the country, it is highly important to remain calm and steady. Laughter helps relieve the accumulated stress and pain brought on by the pandemic and increased racism, while motivational talks provide positive guidance on how to make the best of the situation.

Numerous Black influencers and personalities offer various stress relief options online, encouraging others in the community to hold on to each other, although virtually, as we all await the eventual cure to this present pandemic. “So that even if it’s for one minute, it’s an escape for whatever they have going on in life. They can laugh a little bit or cry if they need to, but they just feel like they have somebody at that moment,” Brown asserts.

Indeed, we may all be grappling with various issues at the moment, but hope must spring eternal as survival can only be possible for those who remain steadfast, strong, and happy.

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How To Determine A Food-Friendly Wine

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The language of wine can be romantic, mystifying, or nonsensical — sometimes all at once. Experts share their experience and research for some wines and winery in answering the question: “What makes a wine food-friendly?”. Some people are dependent on wine names and might seem self-evident, but frequently, they get deceived. 

“Food-friendly” is a common description that should seem obvious, but what does it mean?

Most people would say that wine is meant to be consumed with food. However, we usually drink wines as cocktails, or on their own, without thinking about what we eat to match the wine mood. Sometimes, people also enjoy them as trophies, for the experience of tasting a rare, expensive wine. In these contexts, food doesn’t matter. Wine is the highlight.

The concept of a “food wine” became a derogatory — a wine that didn’t taste good on its own and needed food as a counterbalance for its flaws. That’s not what we mean today by describing a wine as “food-friendly.”

  • Every good wine will be friendly with at least some food. A positively food-friendly wine plays nicely with a broad category of foods, from sweet to savory to spicy, from meat to fish to veggies.

“I’ve had A-plus perfect pairings, where every note in the wine and dish sync and amplify each other, but those are rare experiences, and I don’t think they are the point most of the time,” says Matt Stamp, a master sommelier who used to try to orchestrate such pairings at the French Laundry in Yountville, in Napa Valley.

  • Along with Rosé, Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Barbera are wines noted for their acidity and versatility with food. This can result in surprising pairings. Beef braised in Riesling is a traditional German dish, and pinot noir makes an exciting partner to sushi, roast chicken, pork, or grilled salmon. 
  • When in doubt at home or in a restaurant, look for these types of wines for challenging food pairings or find some bubbles, the second characteristic that defines food-friendly wines. Bubbles go with everything. The sparkling wine’s enthusiasm effectively cleanses your mouth and prepares you for the next bite of food or a sip of wine. Sparkling wines also manage to be refreshingly acidic. We do ourselves an offense by relegating champagne and other bubblies drinks, such as Italian prosecco or Spanish cava.

“Champagne can be had throughout a meal, even with the right steak,” says Nadine Brown, former sommelier at Charlie Palmer Steak in D.C. “Fried chicken and potato chips with grower champagne is hot right now,” Brown says, pointing to the ultimate combo of extravagant wine and poor vittles.

I usually don’t agree with the “drink the wine you like with the food you like” school of view because it can be lazy. But if you pay attention to the wines you drink and the foods you pair them with, you’ll develop your group of wine styles to draw on when wondering, “What on earth should I drink with this?”

And as Brown advises, “Stay curious.” You might find something unique and surprising.

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Turn Your Extra Rice Into Something More

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Rice is best paired with any of the viands you can think of, whether it’s vegetables or meat. It goes so well with anything. Without rice, sometimes, we feel unsatisfied; thus, we still feel hungry. However, you can turn rice into something you want it to be! Fried rice, for example, yet, it is not the basic ones; you can add something into it to make it more delicious and mouth-watering.

Depending on your position, leftover takeout rice can be the bane of your existence or a blessing. For most of us, it’s the latter. Extras such as these are the foundation for a superb reinvented supper, namely fried rice.

Fried rice is an excellent weeknight feed, whether you want to extemporize with what’s already in your kitchen or have a specific project. Here are some recipes from our archives, which are great as written and easy enough to achieve. They’re so great; you might find yourself ending up ordering more rice just to make them. 

Fried rice with broccoli and mustard greens

A vegetable-loaded version uses a sharp technique that has you cook the ingredients in steps, which is especially helpful if you don’t have a wok or large skillet.

Better than takeout fried rice

Sometimes, there are similarities between what you might get if you ordered fried rice, but we prefer the freshness and crunch of homemade. The ginger and red pepper flakes are making it sound, too.

Sesame fried rice with spring vegetables and egg

Brown rice binds more nourishment into the stir-fry, and fried eggs mean you can mix in a runny yolk for an extra-luxurious texture.

Garlic fried rice (Chahan)

This is for garlic lovers; celebrate because you’ll fry a few cloves for this recipe. It calls for short-grain Japanese rice, so here’s an ideal recipe for making a cut in any sushi rice you may get. 

Vegetable fried rice

This recipe helps you with extra brown rice. Other than that, it will also get you to reinvent those broccoli stems instead of throwing them away or doing the same recipe over and over again. 

Quick ham-fried rice with lavender

This is clearly off the hidden path, but the floral flavor plays well with the pork, ginger, and raisins. 

Spicy basil tofu fried rice

A stir-fry for one that recommends making a baked marinated tofu for extra flavor and thick texture. You can also swap in plain extra-firm tofu. 

African soul fried rice.

Food writer and culinary historian Michael Twitty is the source of this vivid dish that includes traditional or indigenous ingredients to West and Central Africa. 

Those are just some of the recipes you may use for converting your plain rice into something more tasty. Avoid food waste, get what you can consume. If we can’t avoid leftover foods, let’s not leave it. Let’s transform it.

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