Turmeric and Curcumin Show Major Health Benefits
The health benefits of a good curry have been known for a long time. A diet rich in spices is very beneficial to your health, but perhaps the most powerful of all the spices is turmeric. The yellow, flavorsome spice is a part of the root ginger family, and it is packed full of great qualities. It has been linked with treating dementia, arthritis and, when applied directly to the skin, it can relieve skin problems. It has even been said that Turmeric can take the edge off a hangover! More is being discovered about this wonder-spice, and it seems certain that a diet rich in turmeric is good for you.
A Cure for Cancer?
Scientists in Europe and America have been working on discovering the extent of the health benefits you can get from turmeric, and the exciting news is that ‘curcumin’ – a chemical that turmeric contains – has been found to eliminate cancer cells within the oesophagus. When the chemical was given to patients, it was found that within 24 hours the cancer cells began to reduce in size and eventually disappear altogether. There is no doubt that these findings will lead to more research, and medical professionals are pretty certain that there are far more types of cancers that could be treated with turmeric.
Studies in India, where Turmeric is added to curries regularly, show that there is a far lower rate of people who develop Alzheimer’s Disease. It won’t cure it, but all research points to turmeric being able to stave it off, so as a preventive measure it seems to be very effective.
How Do I Get The Most From Turmeric?
It’s not as easy as chucking ground turmeric over every meal we’re afraid! Our bodies are not naturally very good at absorbing all the goodness that turmeric has to offer, but it has been found that adding ‘piperine’ which is an extract of black pepper, can help your body take in far more of the good stuff. You can do this by either sprinkling pepper over every meal along the turmeric, or if you’re not the biggest fan of either then they can be taken as supplements instead. Taking turmeric with green tea is also thought to increase the body’s ability to absorb the nutrients.
The Side Effects
Don’t be tempted to overdo it with your turmeric intake – overdosing has been linked with quite severe hair loss, and if you develop anything like sickness and nausea, diarrhea or a lack of iron then you have probably taken too much, so reduce your levels.
Turmeric is also good in aiding digestion, and it is recommended for people recovering from operations as it’s a natural anti-inflammatory too. It seems that spices have more health benefits to offer us than we have discovered yet, and the particular benefits of Turmeric are still under scrutiny. As usual, it’s a case of ‘everything in moderation’, so don’t send your body into shock with a sudden dose of turmeric; just be mindful of its properties and enjoy your curries knowing you’re doing your body good!
The author of this post, Karen Fernandes, is a part of the team at Alladin, an Indian restaurant in Brick Lane. She enjoys writing about her experiences online, and she likes spending her free time with her family. You can follow her on Twitter for more information.