Turmeric: Will This Ancient Spice Help Protect Your Body From Disease? 11.03.2016

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Have you added Turmeric to your shopping list? Is it possible that this common spice can help in the fight against cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis and even depression? Let’s take a look at some of the claims being made about this store-cupboard staple, and think about how you can incorporate it into your regular diet.

Indian and Chinese folk-medicine has recognised the health benefits of turmeric for thousands of years. In Asia, the anti-inflammatory properties of this common spice have seen it being used to treat conditions as diverse as stomach problems, liver disease, toothache and even chest pains. Now, scientists in the West are starting to look seriously at whether turmeric, or possibly the curcumin it contains, may have important medical uses.

What might it help with?

Perhaps the most intriguing of the claims made for turmeric is its potential to fight cancer. A regular intake of curcumin can significantly decrease the chance of mice developing cancer and might even be able to slow the spread of cancers that have already formed.

Studies have shown that it can slow the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in mice. There also appears to be evidence that turmeric could be very effective in combating arthritis, high blood pressure and even depression. Obviously more research needs to be done on whether positive results from mouse- trials will translate to benefits to humans. But while we’re waiting for the results of studies from around the world, let’s see how we can easily incorporate a little more turmeric into our diet.

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Ideas on incorporating Turmeric into your diet

We don’t yet know the ideal dose, and high doses might well have side-effects, especially when combined with medication. However, adding a pinch of turmeric to your cooking two or three times a week is probably the best way to ensure you get the benefits of this spice without any risk. Some studies indicate that your body will get more benefit from turmeric when it is combined with freshly ground black pepper, so add that to your shopping list too.

  • Turmeric and pepper are key ingredients in most curries. If you are going out for an Indian meal, think about choosing a yellow curry.
  • If you’re worried about the fat content in a take-away curry, try making a one at home with fresh, lower-fat ingredients and add plenty of this awesome spice.
  • When boiling rice, sprinkle in a little turmeric for a subtle spice flavour and exciting color.
  • Add a pinch of turmeric and a little black pepper when you make scrambled eggs.
  • Don’t hold back when adding mustard to your hot-dogs and ham sandwiches. Did you realise that turmeric is the ingredient that gives yellow mustard its lovely color?
  • Turmeric makes a delicious addition to home-made chicken soup and will give it a beautiful, subtle golden color.

So, don’t hold back. Add turmeric to your shopping list now!


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