Edit ModuleShow Tags
Published:

Brain-Boosting Tropical Turmeric Smoothie



Turmeric Smoothie with Mango and Coconut | Food and Nutrition Magazine | Stone Soup Blog

Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE This featured post is by Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE. Follow her @RHartleyRD.

While all herbs and spices have some health benefit, turmeric really leads the way! Most of turmeric's beneficial properties stem from curcumin, the compound in turmeric that gives it a bright yellow hue. It's a powerful anti-inflammatory spice and has been shown to reduce risk of heart attack, diabetes and cancer, and may also be beneficial for arthritis pain.

Mood Boosting Turmeric for Brain Health

Most interesting to me is the powerful effect turmeric has on the brain. It was first realized when scientists found significantly lower rates of Alzheimer's disease in India (turmeric is native to India and is used frequently in Indian cuisine) and began to hypothesize dietary components that may be responsible. Subsequent studies found the curcumin in turmeric helps block the formation of the plaques found in brains of those with Alzheimer's.

That's impressive enough, but turmeric works on the brain in other ways as well. Its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect extends to the brain. It also increases serotonin (the "happy hormone") and modulates cortisol, a stress hormone. Another compound in turmeric — turmerone — boosts the regeneration of brain stem cells. It also inhibits monoamine oxidase, an enzyme that is linked to depression if found in high levels.

Although there hasn't been a ton of research looking at depression and turmeric, one impressive study found curcumin was only 2 to 5 percent less effective in treating depression than Prozac, without the side effects. Now, please do not stop taking an antidepressant and start chugging turmeric supplements! We certainly need more research. But, knowing the safety of turmeric, its other health benefits along with its positive effect on the brain, I think it's a smart idea to start incorporating more turmeric into your diet if you're looking to boost your mood.

Cooking with Turmeric

If you do want to increase your turmeric consumption, I recommend doing that through food instead of supplements. The spice's earthy, almost gingery flavor is not overpowering, and you'll find you can work it into a lot more than just curry. I mix it into tomato sauce, creamy pasta sauces and soups, blend it in fresh turmeric juice and even hide it in my ultra-creamy quick vegan yogurt.


Turmeric Smoothie with Mango and Coconut

Recipe by Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE

Ingredients

  • 2 mangos, peeled and chopped (or 2 cups pre-cut frozen mangos)
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1 raw carrot, chopped or shredded
  • ¼ cup cashews, soaked at least an hour or overnight
  • 1½ cups coconut water
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • A couple grinds of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

  1. If using fresh mangos, freeze them after peeling and chopping. If using pre-cut frozen mangos, skip to next step.
  2. Drain cashews and discard water.
  3. Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve in a pair of glasses. Makes 2 smoothies.

Cooking Notes

  • You can purchase turmeric fresh or dried and ground into a powder. Powdered turmeric is easier to find.
  • Don't leave out the black pepper. Piperine — the substance in pepper that makes it taste, well, like pepper — actually helps you absorb the curcumin in turmeric. It's just a little bit and you hardly taste it, so even if you're a little weirded out, keep in it there!


Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE, is a private practice dietitian and owner of Avocado A Day Nutrition, a nutrition counseling business in Columbia, S.C. Read her blog and connect with her on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.
 

Edit Module

More Stone Soup

Balsamic & Mint Beet Salad

Balsamic & Mint Beet Salad

During the winter, it can be hard to find fresh produce that's in season, of good quality and a decent price.
Sodium and High Blood Pressure — 5 Tips to Take Control

Sodium and High Blood Pressure — 5 Tips to Take Control

Sodium — that is, salt — is the food industry's dirty little secret for taste enhancement and cost savings in the production of food. Here are five ways you can get your sodium consumption and high blood pressure risk under control.
Southern Peach Frittata

Southern Peach Frittata

A flavorful frittata filled with caramelized onions and topped peppery arugula and feta cheese is a perfect one-pan meal.
Should You Choose Omega-3 Supplements to Lower Your Cholesterol?

Should You Choose Omega-3 Supplements to Lower Your Cholesterol?

Although food sources are the preferred way to meet nutrient requirements, omega-3s, which your body cannot produce on its own, are also available in supplement form.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Advertise with Food & Nutrition
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags


Stone Soup

Guest bloggers from around the world share with Food & Nutrition Magazine.

About This Blog

Stone Soup is a guest blog written by members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Content — including information, recipes and views expressed — is that of the authors and does not reflect the positions or policies of Food & Nutrition Magazine or the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Bloggers are required to pledge they will not write for Stone Soup on topics, companies or trade organization they currently represent or have represented at any time.

Learn about our guest blogs!

Comments Policy

Food & Nutrition Magazine provides this forum to exchange ideas, opinions and contributions within a positive community. Diverse viewpoints and constructive, respectful dialogue are welcome. Rudeness, misinformation, self-promotion and abuse are not. We reserve the right, without warning or notification, to remove comments and block users we determine violate this policy or our Terms & Conditions. You must include your name or be logged into a personal account on Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or Google+ to comment.

Archives

Edit Module

Get Stone Soup in Your RSS

Use your RSS reader's instructions to add Stone Soup to your list:

Atom Feed Subscribe to the Stone Soup Feed »

Get Our Blogs in Your Email

Stone Soup
Student Scoop