Turmeric: The Spice of Life

Turmeric, from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, has been highly regarded as a medicinal herb and spice for centuries. It contains an active compound called curcumin which functions as a potent antioxidant, fighting infections, helping to heal wounds and decreasing the risk of some cancers¹. It has thought to be beneficial in treating Alzheimer’s², largely due to its effective anti-inflammatory properties and lack of toxic side-effects which are often caused by alternative treatments.

Turmeric photographBefore I knew about the multitude of health benefits provided by curcumin, turmeric rarely featured in my diet. Only on a few occasions did it sneak into my diet when I munched on some pilau rice, fresh from a microwaveable pouch, or some cereal or popcorn, where it is frequently used as a natural dye. It’s a fact: you won’t reap the benefits of turmeric by gorging on these products. Even though it has notable anti-inflammatory properties, the refined, processed ingredients contained in such products promote inflammation, rendering their minuscule amount of turmeric ineffective.

Nowadays, I regularly eat turmeric and have seen a noticeable reduction in inflammation in my body. It’s a great flavour to add to any spiced dish, such as my “Curried Brussels sprouts with eggs“. Due to its low levels of bioavailability, it is best to consume turmeric along with some healthy fat, such as coconut oil, as well as some high-quality black pepper (provided you aren’t sensitive to it) as this makes the curcumin more bioavailable. Turmeric is also claimed to be an effective method for whitening teeth which is surprising as the yellow stains it leaves on everything else it touches are a nightmare to remove! I have yet to put it to the test but perhaps I will share my results if successful. Hopefully, my teeth won’t end up looking like I only brush them for a birthday treat.

G.

 

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