Let us take a moment to appreciate the amazing health benefits of turmeric also known as the golden spice. This humble spice has recently been called the most effective nutritional supplement in existence. In this article, we are going to see what all the fuss is about. We can certainly break it down for you. First of all, what exactly is turmeric?
Turmeric is the dried and ground root of a plant belonging to the ginger family. It looks similar to ginger except for its yellow-orange colour. It's been used in India for millennia as both a culinary spice (it gives curry its yellow colour) and as a medicinal herb.
Scientific research and ancient wisdom all agree that turmeric is good for you. Studies show that turmeric may help reduce inflammation, fight infections and treat digestive issues.
Turmeric the Natural Healer
Curcumin - the good stuff in turmeric is such a powerful anti-inflammatory that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs. Not only is it a liver detoxifier, but it's also shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis.
Curcuminoids are the beneficial compounds in turmeric - the most important of these is curcumin, the main active ingredient that gives turmeric its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. But you need quite a lot of this golden spice to get a good amount as the curcumin content is fairly low - about 3% by weight.
Most of the studies done on the spice use curcumin in doses exceeding 1g a day, which just wouldn't be easy to get from food. Using the spice in your food is good for you but to get the full benefits mentioned in the studies, you'd need to take curcumin in supplement form. Curcumin is available from pharmacies and health food stores worldwide.
Eat Turmeric with Pepper
Because Curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream, eating it with black pepper helps. Pepper contains piperine which boosts the absorption of curcumin by some 2,000%. Curcumin is a fat-soluble compound, so it's absorbed better if eaten with fat and this can also be done in the form of plant-based food such as avocado.
Curcumin for Memory Improvement
A recent study found that subjects given curcumin showed significant memory improvement. The 18-month study looked at participants aged between 50 and 90 with no signs of dementia. Scans showed subjects given curcumin had decreased tau and amyloid proteins in the brain Both are linked to dementia.
Curcumin helps fight Cancer
Studies also show that curcumin can reduce the growth of new blood vessels in tumours thus reducing the spread of cancer. There is also evidence it may help to prevent cancer in the first place particularly of the digestive system. I one study 44 men with lesions in the colon that could turn cancerous, a dose of 4g of curcumin daily for 30 days reduced the lesions by 40%.
Curcumin helps fight Depression
Curcumin has been effective in the treatment of depression. A small study split subjects into three groups. One took the antidepressant Prozac, another took a gramme of curcumin and the third took both. The curcumin proved as effective as Prozac. The group that took both fared the best.
Spice up your Life
Turmeric goes well with eggs so add it to scrambled eggs and omelettes. You can also make turmeric tea or sprinkle it in a smoothie. Add half a teaspoon to soups and casseroles or make spicy rice - dice and fry an onion and two bell pepper, add a teaspoon each of turmeric and cumin and two cups of cooked rice.
A Word of Caution
Just be aware that too much curcumin can upset your stomach. It also thins the blood so those of you on blood-thinning medication should avoid it. It's also not recommended for pregnant women. That's it all for now folks.
If we had to stage an Oscar for herbs and spices, turmeric would be this year's non-disputed winner. The more we understand, the longer the list of health benefits of turmeric becomes. From cancer to depression, Alzheimer's to eye health, turmeric is an excellent preventative agent and an incredible anti-inflammatory. We feature delicious turmeric, coconut and ginger tea. that's both delicious and highly beneficial on so many levels.
1/2 teaspoon organic turmeric
1 Tablespoon raw honey
1/4 cup coconut flakes
3 tablespoons grated ginger
3 cups of boiling water
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
2 pinches black pepper
1) Drizzle the honey into a small round bowl and add turmeric. Use the back of a teaspoon to grind turmeric into the honey so that's it's well blended.
2) Put the coconut, ginger and black pepper into a big glass jug then add the boiling water
3) Leave it to brew for about 30 minutes then strain the mixture making sure you press out all the flavour from the coconut and ginger
4) Just before you serve it, heat it again then add the lime juice and honey turmeric paste. Stir it well so that the turmeric is caught up in the liquid. Serves two.
Did you know that by consuming turmeric alongside black pepper increases the bio-availability of its essential healing component, curcumin?
Please take note that the information on this site is designed for educational purposes and is intended solely for general readership. The contents herein are not intended to offer any personal medical advice or to diagnose any health issues you may have. This information is also by no means a substitute for medical care by a licensed healthcare provider. For that, you'd need to consult your medical doctor or a health care practitioner for any advice should you require prescription medication.