I just cleaned out my handbag. Let’s see – there was a lint-coated stick of gum, a couple of pills I couldn’t identify, my wallet of course, three crumpled up grocery lists, a church bulletin from last March, a tube of lipstick that had mysteriously lost its cap, and a hairbrush sorely in need of a soaking in the tub.
But I just found out what is missing. Let me give you a hint. It’s yellow and may be purchased anywhere. It’s mustard and it’s a huge health advantage in a tiny golden packet according to Dr. Michael Roizen,
cofounder of RealAge.com. He says it can be obtained at any fast food restaurant you visit.
The yellow mustard he carries in his pocket contains turmeric (look on the label; not all mustards have it). Turmeric not only gives its deep yellow color and spicy flavor to sandwich mustard; it’s also an essential seasoning in Indian curries. And it may soon become an essential ingredient in health care.
I checked the label on my Piggly Wiggly Brand of yellow mustard and sure nuff, it’s got turmeric. I’ll just get an extra bottle to carry in my purse – I also got the bright idea of adding a tablespoon of flaxseed to lend additional health benefits.
For centuries, country doctors in India relied on the spice to treat arthritis, liver disorders, inflammation, body aches, and more. (Even today, reportedly there’s an adhesive bandage on the Indian market that contains turmeric.)
Now, new research hints that these historical uses may have been on the right track. Curcumin, a compound in turmeric, shows promise against cystic fibrosis, colon cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s . . . even the discomfort of post-workout muscle soreness. I just don’t know if you rub it on yourself or swallow it.
Turmeric fortified mustard has been building up an impressive medical resume: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer agent, although some of these need to go through more testing.
But there’s no need to wait to unlock certain benefits, says Dr. Mike, who takes about 17 milligrams of turmeric a day in a teaspoon of mustard. Turmeric activates the genes that clear nerve-cell waste. When you don’t clear that brain poop (as Dr. Mike calls it), you develop inflammation that destroys brain cells. So Mike believes turmeric-laced mustard decreases his risk of memory dysfunction as he gets older.
I’ve long been a mustard fan and will now add it to everything. I always squirt a healthy dose in my homemade salad dressings, and chicken and steaks are delicious slathered with plain mustard before grilling or roasting. I found a cranberry recipe I’m going to try for Thanksgiving which calls for a whole cup of mustard. Since no one in my family ever eats the jellied cranberry sauce I serve each year, maybe this will tempt them:
- 2 cups chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup ground mustard
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened apple juice
- 3 eggs
- In a large saucepan, whisk all ingredients. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture is thickened and reaches 160°. Pour into small jars. Cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks. Yield: 3-1/3 cups.