Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a delicious and nutritious culinary spice which is a staple in Indian curries and often the source of mustard’s bright yellow color. Used as both medicine and food for centuries, accumulating evidence suggests that this relative of ginger is a promising preventive agent for a wide range of diseases, probably due largely to its anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin is the chief active component of turmeric and is often taken as a supplement however we recommend you include it as a key ingredient in your daily cooking and wellness rituals.
Research indicates that:
Curcumin seems to delay liver damage in some instances that can eventually lead to cirrhosis.
Turmeric reduces levels of heterocyclic amines – carcinogenic compounds that are formed when meats are barbecued, boiled, or fried – by up to 40 percent.
Curcumin inhibits the growth of skin cancer (melanoma) and also slows the spread of breast cancer into the lungs.
Turmeric that is part of daily curries eaten in India may help explain the low rate of Alzheimer’s disease in that country. Among people aged 70 to 79, the rate is less than one-quarter of North America.
Some may find straight turmeric powder bitter or otherwise off-putting, but when a teaspoon or two is added to a pot of soup or stew, baking or beverages the flavor disperses and adds a subtle depth and complexity that most people find appealing. An important tip to remember is that the absorption is enhanced in the presence of piperine, a constituent of black pepper. Indian cuisine commonly uses turmeric and pepper together so we recommend you do the same.