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The Health Benefits of Turmeric

By Ruchel Louis Coetzee
Posted On Jan 21, 2016
The Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric is the spice that makes your rice yellow and your curry dishes decidedly more interesting and tasty. The yellow-orange spice is native to the south west region of India and has a slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell. So why is turmeric so beneficial to our health?  The most important and best studied chemical compound in turmeric is curcumin which constitutes about 3.14% of powdered turmeric.  Also, the root of turmeric has been widely used to make medicine. Here are the reasons why turmeric should be front and center in your spice cabinet.

  • The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin are believed to reduce certain enzymes in the body that are known to trigger inflammation. It helps to fight chronic pain caused by inflammation such as headaches, fibromyalgia, arthritis and menstrual pain.
  • Turmeric is used to help with heartburn, stomach pain, gall bladder problems, stomach bloating, diarrhea and loss of appetite.
  • Some people even apply turmeric as an anti-septic treatment to help heal infected wounds, skin rashes, and bruising. Just mix turmeric with a little water to form a paste and apply over the skin infection.
  • Turmeric is known to help with colds, bronchitis and lung infections. Make a homemade brew by adding turmeric together with ginger and garlic in hot water to fight any impending flu symptoms.
  • Research has shown that people in India aged 70 and older have a much lower rate of Alzheimer’s disease than those living in the United States. Many believe it is because their diet consists mainly of curry dishes with turmeric as the staple spice.
  • The antioxidant properties of curcumin help fight free radicals that cause damage to the DNA and cells.

And here are some recipe ideas.

  • Add turmeric to your mayonnaise for a healthy and colorful creamy dressing.
  • When boiling rice add a dash of turmeric and a handful of raisins as an alternative to white rice.
  • Sprinkle some turmeric over your steamed vegetables.
  • Steamed or baked fish with a pinch of turmeric, salt, pepper and lemon juice is a low fat and healthy alternative to fried fish.

You can find turmeric in the spice section of most major grocery stores. Enjoy!