The Ultimate Super Spice: Why You Should Be Using More Turmeric in Your Cooking
Used widely in many south Asian dishes, turmeric is a spice that gives food a bitter but warm taste and is known as much for its flavor as for its rich golden color. The true value of the spice goes beyond gastronomy, as the root of the turmeric plant is also widely used for a range of medicinal purposes.
Read on to see some of the ways that turmeric can do wonders for your health, and look for opportunities to incorporate it into your diet, like drizzling a bit in your favorite smoothies or whipping up a turmeric rich curry dish — all of which will allow you to the reap the benefits of this super spice!
Turmeric helps prevent cancer.
Studies have shown that turmeric may be effective in reducing the risk of tumor growth as well as the spread of cancer. In addition, the spice may play a role in attacking cancerous tumor cells while simultaneously leaving healthy cells unaffected, something which a lot of the common treatments for cancer, such as chemotherapy, largely fail to do.
Turmeric has natural anti-inflammatory properties.
Chronic inflammation is a condition which may pose a variety of health risks, including allergies, diabetes, and depression. Turmeric has the ability to reduce dangerous inflammation by inhibiting several molecules that play a role in inflammation and that may be at the root of the problem. Research on the topic has shown links between turmeric and a reduction in the symptoms of conditions such as uveitis, which is the inflammation of the eye’s iris, as well as inflammatory bowel disease.
Turmeric enhances the body’s natural production of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are essential to your body’s ability to combat free radicals, which are essentially groups of atoms which can cause a chain reaction of irregular behavior and pose a particular threat when it comes to their potential to react with other cells in your body. Turmeric not only stimulates the body’s own natural production of antioxidants in order to fight free radicals, but also plays a role in neutralizing these atomic groups on its own.
Turmeric improves brain function.
Adding a bit of brain boosting potential to your diet is always a plus, and turmeric may be one of the best ways to achieve that. According to research, the active chemical curcumin in turmeric may have the ability to enhance the process of neurogenesis — the birth of new brain cells — by increasing brain levels of brain derived neurotropic factor, a hormone which encourages brain cell growth as well as protects brain cells from damage. As a result, turmeric can ultimately improve overall brain function by boosting mood, memory, and learning abilities.
Turmeric can strengthen your immune system.
Because of its ability to build up levels of protein in your body and also because it is a strong source of nutrients such as potassium and manganese, turmeric can strengthen your body’s immune system and increase its ability to fight off cold and flu-causing bacteria.
Turmeric may lower your risk of stroke and heart disease.
Turmeric has several effects on your body which can contribute to a decreased risk of suffering from cardiovascular conditions such as stork or heart disease. For starters, the spice has been linked to improved lining of blood vessels, which in turn plays a role in lessening your risk for heart disease. Turmeric also has the ability to reduce the build-up of LDL, or bad cholesterol, in your body. If too high, LDL can lead to clogging of the arteries and may cause a heart attack or stroke as a result, so turmeric’s ability to regulate LDL levels is important in preventing such conditions.
Are you a fan of turmeric? Did you know that this super spice packed so many health benefits and medicinal properties? Share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me @tamarahoumi