Super Spice: Turmeric Health Benefits

turmeric health benefitsHow would you like an easy, inexpensive and tasty way to help battle disease and boost your health? Turmeric, the spice that gives curry a yellowish color, has been used in India as a medicinal herb for centuries. The health benefits of turmeric are astounding!

Today we’re going to explain why getting more turmeric into your diet is important and give several ways to do it!

What Is Turmeric?

Even if you can’t identify turmeric off the top of your head, you almost certainly have eaten it. This is especially true if you enjoy Indian food.

Turmeric has a peppery, warm and slightly bitter flavor. It has a mild smell that has been compared to that of orange and ginger. It is best known as one of the ingredients in curry. But, most don’t know that it also gives yellow mustard a bright color.

The Curcuma longa plant is where turmeric comes from. It has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh. Traditionally, turmeric was (and sometimes still is) called “Indian saffron” because of the yellow-orange color.

Health Benefits of Turmeric

Recently, respected ethnobotanist James A. Duke, Phd., performed a comprehensive review of over 700 studies on turmeric. In the October 2007 issue of Alternative & Complementary Therapies, Duke compared turmeric and many pharmaceuticals on the market. What he found was that “turmeric performed better in its effects against several chronic, debilitating diseases, and does so with virtually no adverse side effects.”

Turmeric can help prevent or reduce symptoms related to many diseases. These include Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and several different forms of cancer.

Turmeric is especially useful as an anti-inflammatory. This is largely due to curcumin, a component of turmeric. Curcumin helps significantly to decrease inflammation, but increase antioxidant effects.

Reducing or eliminating inflammation is especially important because it is believed that persistent inflammation is a big problem in almost every chronic, Western disease. For example, heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and several degenerative conditions all involve significant amounts of inflammation.

Curcumin itself is very powerful, too. It’s been linked to increased levels of the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, which is a brain hormone that encourages growth of new neurons and battles degenerative processes in the brain.

Now that you know some turmeric health benefits, let’s cover some tips for adding it to your diet!

Tips for Boosting Turmeric Intake

The good news is that turmeric goes well with a LOT of different foods. Here are some simple ways to get more into your daily diet.

Eggs – Sprinkle turmeric onto your morning eggs for a peppery kick. Adding turmeric to egg salad will give it a stronger flavor and a deeper yellow color.

Rice – Mixing turmeric, cumin and coriander into some brown rice makes for an excellent side dish for any meal. Try adding some raisins and cashews or walnuts for extra flavor.

Veggies – Putting a dash of turmeric onto steamed veggies such as cauliflower, broccoli, green beans or onions adds some zest to meals.

Salad Dressing – Mix turmeric into your salad dressing or add into an olive oil/balsamic vinegar mix to get a light, healthy homemade option.

Turmeric Tea – Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Mix one teaspoon of turmeric and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain tea through a fine strainer. You can add honey and lemon to taste.

Don’t be afraid to experiment! Turmeric can go very well with many more foods, too.

Turmeric is a powerful spice packed with healthful properties. With lots of easy ways to get more into your diet, you’ve found another tasty superfood to boost your body’s health!



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