Staying indoors has definitely encouraged people to discover their cooking talents. What is one ingredient every Lebanese probably has in their kitchen that they should start using more regularly? Sumac!
At such a crucial time, it is important to know what is going in your body in order to make sure you stay healthy.
One of the best things to add to your diet now is sumac. Besides adding a spark of lemony flavor to your dishes, sumac is a natural immunity booster.
Sumac comes from dried then crushed red berries of the sumac tree, which abounds in Lebanon.
It is packed with vitamin C, which we all know we can’t get enough of. Vitamin C is one of the main immunity boosters. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory.
In fact, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Linus Pauling and author of How to Live Longer and Feel Better says, “A good intake of vitamin C, essential minerals and supplements can prevent cancer and other diseases.”
Furthermore, sumac is rich in antioxidants. By removing free radicals, antioxidants are a defense against cancer, diabetes, as well as other heart diseases.
This detoxifier removes toxins from the body by means of excretion and, thus, can help with indigestion.
It has also been proven to help in the fight against certain bacteria such as Salmonella. It can even be used as a natural disinfectant for fruits and vegetables!
Additionally, studies have shown that sumac can reduce bone depletion and calm muscle aches. Ladies, this means it can ease menstrual cramps too!
And finally, to all the new mothers, sumac can even stimulate the production of breast milk!
Your local ‘kaak’ bakery has been unknowingly keeping you healthy with free sumac packets! At this point, your Lebanese heritage gives you an advantage, so let’s start using it!
How can you consume sumac? Integrate it into your food intake. Lebanese cuisine does so in various of its dishes so it should be an easy thing.
For instance, sumac is part of the Fattoush salad’s recipe. It is actually the main ingredient that gives the Fattoush all its particular lemony flavor. Similarly, you can sprinkle sumac on most seasonal salads.
Zaatar and sumac are a good combination. If the zaatar you purchased has no sumac added (some don’t), go ahead and add it before you mix it with extra-virgin olive oil. Zaatar itself comes also with great benefits, boosting the immune system is one of them. That said, eat zaatar every day!
More tips: Use sumac instead of lemon in any dish requiring a lemony flavor. Sumac can also be added to dressings, dips, BBQ’s marinades, omelets, roasted potatoes and vegetables, and… you got the idea!