Anti-Inflammatory Medicine On Your Fork: Steamed Yellow Rice

June 3, 2016

By Kay Macinnis, Registered Dietitian for Providence Health

Turmeric is a yellow spice that is used in mustard and many Indian recipes. One of the beneficial properties of turmeric stems from the curcumin, the compound in the spice that gives it a bright yellow color. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory spice and may play a role in reducing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and help with stomach issues as well.

The evidence is building about the health benefits of this spice. There is some evidence that it may increase serotonin and modulate cortisol — increasing our happiness and decreasing our stress hormones. Basically it is a good source of antioxidants, and something we should try to have more often in our diet!

And before you run off to the store and look for the supplements, talk to your doctor. It is generally best to eat the food rather than take a supplement. You might consider adding turmeric to recipes other than Indian foods… such as smoothies, teas, or any type of sauce.

If you, like my sons, like yellow rice, try this recipe. It is a much better option than what you may purchase in a package and pretty easy!

Steamed Yellow Rice


  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 orange, red and green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric


  • Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Coat pan with olive oil.
  • Add onions, peppers, jalapeño and garlic.
  • Sauté for 3 minutes.
  • Add rice.
  • Stir in 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and cumin.
  • Add chicken stock – or water – and turmeric and bring to a boil.
  • Cover and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.

Nutrition Information: 86 Calories, 2.14 grams fat, 12.33 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrate, 192 mg. sodium.


This is another in a weekly series of healthy recipes from Kay MacInnis, registered dietitian at Providence Health in Columbia, SC.

Kay promotes health and wellness, helping cardiac and diabetes patients eat their way to healthier lives. In consultation with the trained chefs at Providence, combined with her nutrition knowledge, Kay creates delicious foods with healthy spins to help patients help themselves after they leave the hospital. She also conducts a number of health and wellness events for the public, including the monthly Providence Cooks! classes.