Health nuts, wellness advocates, and health stores are increasingly carrying juices made from turmeric root, the florescent-yellow spice that is best known as a staple of Indian cooking. But don't call this health trend a fad: the benefits of turmeric are well-documented. Most of its power comes from curcumin, a molecule which has been proven to fight inflammation, lower the risk of heart disease, and help speed recovery from a workout. Turmeric has even been linked to cancer prevention.
That's part of the reason big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton drinks the stuff every day. "I juice my own turmeric root, and have a full glass after lunch," Hamilton says. "You increase your body’s absorption of the spice when you consume it with a little fat, so I’ll make sure my meal has avocado, cashews, or coconut oil too."
Aside from the long-term health benefits, the Men’s Journal columnist claims his turmeric juice — which he doctors up with honey, apple cider vinegar, and black pepper — gives an energy boost that lasts for hours. (So much so that he won’t drink it at night, fearing he won’t fall asleep.) Make your own juice at home using Hamilton’s recipe.
Laird Hamilton's Turmeric Juice Recipe
- 4 oz freshly juiced turmeric
- 2 oz of apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp raw honey
- 4 drops of liquid pepper extract (bioperine, shown to enhance the body's absorption of curcumin)
- 18 oz of water
First, Hamilton uses a Super Angel Juicer to extract the turmeric, but a slightly less spendy machine can work too. He stays stocked on fresh turmeric thanks to a regular 40-pound shipment from a friend who owns a turmeric farm in Hawaii; you can find the root at health food stores like Whole Foods.
Stir all the ingredients together in a large glass, but mind your hands and lips. Turmeric is notorious for staining skin. "I call this a miracle drink," says Hamilton, "but you will be spitting yellow for days."