I’ve been hearing a lot about the health benefits of turmeric (aka curcumin), and wanted to experiment with it in the kitchen. Since it’s summertime and I really love an ice-cold, fresh beverage after a walk outside or sweating in the sun, a hot meal wasn’t going to work! So instead, I present to you…my original turmeric & raspberry detox iced tea!
As a Registered Dietitian, I’m obligated to say that your liver, kidneys, and intestines do a stellar job of clearing out the waste that comes from your food and environment. So any kind of “detox” program that you might want to try probably won’t be worth your money, and you might just end up spending lots of quality time on the porcelain throne.
However….it’s definitely true that consuming certain foods will keep you regular and help you to avoid bloat, gas, and water retention. There’s no need to take supplements or choke down any nasty concoctions. Fiber-rich, whole foods (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains), combined with spices that have a functional benefit, can have a big impact on your intestinal, er, movement.
So what’s the deal with turmeric? It’s been a hot topic in natural health news, and has been credited with preventing cancer, detoxifying the liver, aiding in digestion, and relieving arthritic pain. The literature doesn’t show any concrete connection between turmeric and these sorts of health claims, but there haven’t been many studies conducted. Preliminary research has shown that turmeric might act as an anti-inflammatory agent. In other words, it might have some fantastic benefits, but we don’t have scientific proof yet. In any case, most people have nothing to worry about from adding turmeric to their cooking! (Check with your doctor if you have a health condition like gallbladder disease.)
You can make this refreshing summer drink as long as you have a blender! With just five natural and whole ingredients, this delicious drink is just waiting to get in your belly and start hydratin’ you from the inside out.
Turmeric & Raspberry “Detox” Iced Tea
1. Assemble your ingredients: 1/2 cucumber, 2 cups red raspberries, 1-2 tsp. turmeric powder, and 2-3 tea bags of your choice.
I’m obsessed with the Pukka “Love” right now, since it’s delicious but mild. You can choose a caffeinated or non-caffeinated tea, based on your preference. Caffeine is a mild diuretic and can help to promote digestion.
2. Brew the tea and let it steep for 3-5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and add turmeric. Blend.
All that yellow is from 1 tsp. of turmeric!
*Pro tip: TASTE TEST this recipe as you go. I don’t find the turmeric to be overpowering, but you might. Add 1/2 teaspoons at a time to make sure you don’t overpower your drink!
3. Add the raspberries and cucumber. Blend. (Your choice to peel the cucumber or not — if you have a high-powered blender, leaving the skin on shouldn’t make a difference in taste or texture, and it adds lots of vitamins.)
Refreshing & hydrating beverage, or tequila sunrise? You tell me.
4. Pour the mixture into a carafe and stick it in the fridge to cool it down.
5. Serve with a straw over ice. Add agave and a tiny squeeze of lemon for added flavor. Lemon is also a mild diuretic and can help with getting rid of water weight if you’re feeling bloated, but it can easily overpower the fruit and zest in this drink.
The raspberries serve as a great source of fiber (8 g per cup!), and the cucumber is a fabulously hydrating vegetable with B vegetables to start your morning off with some zing, or act as an afternoon pick-me-up! I hope to see more research about turmeric in the future and will definitely be incorporating it into my diet more often.