Tumeric is known for being one of the main spices used to give Indian curries their color and flavor, but in my opinion, its lesser known health benefits should begin to take center stage! This super-spice has been used for thousands of years to combat a variety of ailments, from infections to digestive problems to even some forms of cancer. Could it be the healthiest spice in the world?
Turmeric is a close relative of ginger and originates in India. It can be used fresh, but is more frequently found as in its orange-red powder form.
This spice has a characteristic aroma and contains curcumin, a chemical with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that improves the function of almost every organ and system in your body. Here are just a few of the many health benefits of turmeric:
- Eliminates free radicals that cause DNA damage, which can lead to cancer.
- Blocks the amyloid protein deposit in the nervous system, the required step for the presence of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Inhibits the damage caused by free radicals to the neurons that produce dopamine, which helps prevent Parkinson’s disease.
- Slows the destruction of the cartilage of the joints in cases of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Reduces LDL or “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing HDL or “good” cholesterol.
- Prevents the formation of blood clots and plaques in the walls of the arteries.
- Blocks the production of homocysteine, a chemical that has been associated with an increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.
- Increases the levels of dopamine and serotonin. Lower levels of these chemicals have been linked to people with depression.
- Helps control blood sugar levels.
- Reduces the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disese and ulcerative colitis).
Turmeric is also a good source of iron, manganese, potassium and vitamin B6.
So what can we conclude today? Don’t forget to add turmeric to your shopping list! Browse a few of our recipes, or buy it whole and make a homemade turmeric tea.
Learn more about the amazing health benefits of herbs and spices with the book “Condimenta tu Salud”, available on Kindle in Amazon at the following link, or like Dr. Jay’s Facebook page.
Photo credit @gastrobrand