Turmeric has been shown to help relieve pain during labor, regulate the female reproductive system and purify the uterus and breast milk according to research.
My sister-in-law was gobsmacked to find that her breastmilk turned a golden colour when she started juicing with turmeric. It’s a powerful visual reminder of just how important nutrition is during nursing – and indeed when we start weaning.
So why is turmeric such a great food for baby?
‘So far, nobody has found a cancer, at least in the test tube, that curcumin cannot stop,’ said Professor Bharat Aggarwal, when I interviewed him for my book.
Professor Aggarwal, previously head of the Cytokine Research Group in the department of experimental therapeutics at renowned cancer hospital MD Anderson, is a world-authority on the benefits of turmeric.
Numerous animal studies have demonstrated turmeric’s potential against neurodegenerative diseases, depression, diabetes, obesity, atherosclerosis AND cancer. In one study the active compound in turmeric reversed the growth of human breast cancer cells by 98 per cent.
So here is a recipe to get some serious goodness into your little one – a vibrant change from those bland looking chicken blocks.
- 300g organic chicken breast fillet sliced.
- 1 clove garlic
- Half an onion, peeled and sliced
- 1 large lemongrass stem
- 1 3cm piece of fresh turmeric (or 1 tsp of powdered turmeric)
- 400ml can of coconut milk
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
Combine the chicken, garlic, onion, lemongrass and turmeric in a bowl. Place coconut oil in a wok over high heat. Add chicken mixture and fry for 1-2 minutes or until cooked. Add coconut milk, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes.
Remove the lemongrass, add the spinach and cook for a further minute.
Set aside to cool and then puree into portions (makes 6 baby portions). For babies over 12 months you may need to simply mash or chop the chicken.
If using a blender with a plastic container, leave to cool completely before blending to avoid the BPA leaching.
Store in the fridge for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to one month.
Serve with a side of green vegetable puree and mashed potato (or rice if you prefer).