With deep orange hues and a warm peppery flavour, turmeric is one of the most powerful spices on our planet. Turmeric is an ancient spice that has been popular in India since 2,000 BC. Belonging to the ginger family, this spice has more than culinary advantages.

Turmeric has an incredible range of medicinal purposes, including anti-inflammatory benefits, decreased cancer risk, detoxification abilities, potential for improving cognitive function, and able to lessen the severity of arthritis and digestive disorders. It has long been used as an integral part of Ayurvedic medicine.

The science of turmeric

One of the most wonderful traits of turmeric is it’s changing abilities dependent on its form. Whole turmeric contains 3 different curcuminoids: curcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin and demethoxycurcmin. Keeping the turmeric whole also retains its volatile oils. These volatile oils include turmerone, atlantone and zingiberone. Turmerone, in particular, has powerful neuro-protective properties. This had lead studies to discovering that turmeric has cognitive improving functions.

Curcumin in turmeric

Curcumin is an extremely important part in the health benefits of turmeric. Curcumin includes better regulation of inflammation as it slows down the inflammatory pathway. Its anti-inflammatory properties have many subsequent benefits to your health. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of curcumin can regulate blood pressure and decrease the risk of many cardiovascular diseases. Clinical trials have also discovered that turmeric is effective for relieving pain and swelling for those suffering with osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, once again due to the presence of curcumin.

Turmeric in combinations

Turmeric also boosts the health benefits of other naturally healthy foods. Turmeric can help retain the beta-carotene in many foods. In many orange root vegetables, such as carrots and pumpkins, their beta-carotene is retained better when cooked with turmeric. Turmeric, as part of a spice blend, can also improve stress levels when incorporated properly with your diet.

Generally, colourful plant foods are incredibly health. This is owing to their phytochemical properties present within their plant pigments. Tell us how turmeric has helped you, or how you involve it in your cooking in the comments below!

2 COMMENTS

  1. Kohinoor Joy says:

    Hi Steve, if you grate the turmeric like you would with fresh ginger, or crush it like garlic then add to your recipes. If you use 3 times the amount you normally would compared to dried turmeric, e.g. 1 tsp of dried turmeric is equal to 3tsp of fresh turmeric

  2. Steve Harford says:

    I actually saw this in Morrisons yesterday and had to look twice as I didn’t recognise it. How would you use it, in cooking, in its whole form, as opposed to the usual powdered stuff we have?

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