The power of Turmeric 'the wonder Spice'
You can’t turn many a page in the health news these days without coming up against the amazing health benefits of Turmeric.
At last Turmeric,’ the wonder spice’ as it is now being referred to is receiving the press coverage it deserves in both scientific journals and the national press. The reason for this is that researchers around the world are starting to discover that this popular spice adds more than just a pretty colour to curries. It seems that a regular intake of turmeric may promote certain aspects of our health. The powerful orange spice, comes from the ginger family and is naturally found in South East Asian Countries. It has traditionally been used for flavouring food and in Ayurvedic medicine for its digestive properties and protecting against stomach and liver ailments. It is known as the ‘golden spice of life’ in India.
Curcumin is the main active
and therapeutic ingredient in Turmeric which gives it its vibrant colour and flavour and is known for it’s anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and antioxidant properties. Talking to Indian people now, this is something that they grew up with and were told to eat daily by their mothers and grandmothers due to the health benefits. Over recent years turmeric has started to become scientifically validated and we are finding out a lot more about this incredible spice and what it can do for us.
It has higher levels of antioxidants than vitamin C and E , can boost a weakened immune system and our memory so we are told but there have been a number of other modern studies on Turmeric with some newsworthy results:
A Daily Mail headline from May earlier this year (2016)- stated
‘ Turmeric blocks the rogue proteins that trigger Alzheimers Disease’.
It is heart protective and very supportive for those with arteriosclerosis and arrhythmias according to a study from 2009.
A 2014 study conducted at a governmental medical college in Gujarat , India showed that curcumin was as effective as prozac in alleviating the symptoms of depression.
A study from last month ( September 2016) confirmed that Turmeric is a powerful ingredient in the use of osteoarthritis and significantly reduced need for normal analgesic drugs for pain releif in the subjects tested.
Turmeric has also been found to 'spice up' our immune systems according to a 2007 study on immune system modulation.
These are just a fraction of the newsworthy studies on this amazing spice.
So is there a downside and how do I get more of this amazing spice into my diet?
Well the only one downside is that turmeric is notoriously difficult for the body to absorb , it is however fat soluble so to get the most out of it you should eat it together with a bit of fat. So sprinkle some on your avocado , stir into olive oil and toss into some vegetables or dissolve in coconut oil before adding to a smoothie.
You can use it ground to add to foods as it is commonly found and it isn’t too spice more peppery in flavour. You can now start to pick it up fresh ( it looks a bit like fresh ginger) and is easiest to get from indian shops or health food stores.
Make more homemade curries or Asian soups and stews
Buy it fresh , take off the skin , grate it and freeze it then you can use it as and when you need it in cooking.
Make ‘Golden Milk’- the healthy alternative to a hot chocolate. Great at night as a winter soother, if you're feeling run down as a pick me up- milk/coconut/soya or almond milk, ½ tsp cinnamon and turmeric and dash of honey.
Make a Turmeric relish/chutney with fresh slices turmeric . Peel the skin add to an old jam jar , fill up with fresh lemon juice and plenty of Himalayan pink salt. Keep in the fridge for up to 2 months, using as a chutney with anything you fancy spicing up!
You can make some interesting desserts too- the Lebanese make a turmeric cake that is not overly sweet too!