Cool and tart lemonades are ideal refreshments for the hot summer months. But foodies and dietitians alike find that adding ground turmeric and ginger slices to lemonade creates a potent immune-boosting drink capable of fighting inflammation and protecting against infections like the flu.
In one of her recent articles published online, plant-based dietitian Desiree Nielsen shared her simple ginger and turmeric tonic recipe for suppressing inflammation. Flu season is just around the corner, and consuming medicinal foods like turmeric and ginger can help stop a cold in its tracks, said Nielsen.
Turmeric, ginger and lemon: A potent combination
Healing herbs and spices found in the kitchen, such as turmeric and ginger, can help promote optimal health. In fact, both of these superfoods are used throughout India to treat a range of ailments, from joint pain and inflammation to gastrointestinal conditions like colitis.
Jessica Cording, a registered dietitian and a certified health coach, explains that turmeric has been linked to a number of beneficial properties and disease-fighting potential. For the most part, these can be attributed to curcumin, the main ingredient in turmeric.
Because of its beneficial effects on inflammation, natural health practitioners often recommend curcumin capsules or supplements to osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis patients. The regular consumption of turmeric has also been reported to support heart health.
On the other hand, ginger, a root related to turmeric, has been used to treat ailments for millennia in China and India. There are more than 100 organic compounds found in ginger, but gingerols stand out the most because of their antioxidant properties, according to registered dietitian Dionne Detraz.
In fact, clinical trials and recent research on ginger demonstrates that gingerols are capable of boosting immune function health for better protection against pathogens, said Detraz. Gingerols can also stamp out inflammation and act as an analgesic for rheumatic and arthritic patients.
Like turmeric, ginger also promotes optimal heart health because of its beneficial effects on cholesterol and blood pressure. In addition, there are studies that suggest ginger can minimize cancer risk. In particular, these studies found that gingerol can induce programmed cell death in cancer cells of the colon and intestine.
Turmeric and ginger combined make for a potent immune-boosting duo, but stirring in some fresh lemon juice doesn’t hurt. Lemon, another superfood, is abundant in vitamin C. This micronutrient is essential for immune health, skin health, iron absorption and blood pressure regulation, among others. (Related: Vitamin C can prevent gout.)
Plus, dressing this immune-boosting tonic as lemonade helps in getting kids to drink it. Toddlers and children are more susceptible to colds and the flu than adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This turmeric and ginger lemonade can help strengthen their immue systems.
Turmeric and ginger lemonade recipe
This refreshing turmeric and ginger lemonade can help increase one’s consumption of these three superfoods. It can also be consumed as an herbal tea for a more soothing drink during the colder fall months. Drink it first thing in the morning to jumpstart digestion, boost metabolism and suppress possible inflammation flare-ups.
Take note that this recipe calls for ground black pepper. Turmeric has a poor absorption rate, but black pepper has been found to enhance this absorption.
Total time: 35 minutes
- 6 cups water
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp ginger, peeled and sliced
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- Fresh lemon slices
- Fresh mint leaves
- In a large pot, mix water, turmeric, black pepper and ginger slices.
- Bring it to a boil, then simmer it for 15 minutes.
- Strain the mixture using a fine-mesh sieve.
- Stir in the honey while the mixture is still hot.
- Allow the mixture to cool for 15 minutes, then stir in the fresh lemon juice.
- Pour the mixture into glasses and garnish with fresh lemon slices and mint leaves as desired.
Turmeric, ginger and lemon are medicinal superfoods that fight inflammation and infection. Combining them results in a potent medicinal drink that promotes optimal immune health.
Read more articles about the health benefits of turmeric, ginger and lemon at FoodIsMedicine.com.
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