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Monday 12 June 2017

Turmeric and its Powerful Benefits

"Nature provides many herbs, plants and foods that heal us. Turmeric is one of the most versatile healing spices in the world with over 600 experimentally confirmed health benefits. This brightly coloured spice from India has been a staple in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian cuisine. Chinese medicine has used turmeric for ages. Though turmeric is just now gaining mainstream popularity, it has existed throughout history.

When we break down the turmeric plant, we find it is made up of curcuminoids. Curcumin could be argued as the most important component of turmeric. Curcumin is most commonly known for giving curry its yellow colour. Turmeric can be used in a variety of recipes from soups and curries to a marinade for meats or simply sprinkle it on veggies. With a mild flavour, this spice makes for an easy addition to any diet.

The antioxidant properties of turmeric reduce the damage free radicals have in the body and alleviate inflammation, says the University of Maryland’s Medical Centre. Studies at the University of Arizona have suggested that adding turmeric to the diets of lab rats significantly reduced the symptoms of those suffering with rheumatoid arthritis. This is great news for people suffering with joint pain, as it works rapidly.

It is so effective that it matches some anti-inflammatory drugs on the market. In that way, curcumin delivers a one-two punch against free radicals. It blocks them directly, then stimulates the body’s own antioxidant mechanisms.

Chronic, low-level inflammation is known to play a role in almost every chronic disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various other degenerative conditions.

Recently, doctors at UCLA found that curcumin could block the enzyme that promotes the growth of head and neck cancer, inhibiting and preventing the spread of malignant cells. Curcumin works to stimulate the growth hormone of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). Alzheimer's patients have decreased levels of BDNF. Increasing curcumin in the diet may be effective in delaying and possibly reversing many brain-related diseases. It could also improve memory and brain function.

Over time, curcumin improves the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels and the major driver of heart disease. The endothelium regulates blood pressure, blood clotting and other factors in the optimal functioning of the body.
Randomized controlled trials conducted by Department of Pharmacology at the Government Medical College in India have found that when it comes to treating depression, turmeric produces anti-depressant effects in the brain, raising the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain that are known to cause depression.

This spice is so beneficial to our bodies that it behoves us to incorporate it into our daily routine either through supplementation or by adding it to our meals."

Above words and image from article

Here is a nice low carb curry recipe, using turmeric, why not try it 
Prawn, coconut and aubergine/eggplant curry

Serves Four
(9.2g carbs per serving)
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely grated
A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 red or green chilli, deseeded (if you like) and finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp turmeric
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 aubergine (eggplant), grated or cut into fine julienne
100g cherry tomatoes, cut in half
300ml vegetable stock
250ml coconut milk
200g raw tiger prawns, peeled
A large handful of baby spinach

You can find the cooking instructions using this link

We bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan


Christine said...

I've heard about turmeric's benefits, good information here. Your dish looks delicious.

Barbara said...

I’m going to add turmeric to my shopping list. Thank you for the recipe and the information.

JFM said...

Jan, thank you to you and the rest of the team for all of the helpful information and great recipes that you share here on your blog.
This post is a prime example of this 💮

eileeninmd said...

Hello, I will add turmeric to my shopping list too. The recipe looks delicious. Thanks for sharing the info and the recipe. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and new week!

Miss Val's Creations said...

We love tumeric in our house and add it to any dish that it works with. The spice is amazing! This curry recipe sounds delicious.

Lisa said...

Fascinating information. One I use at home from time to time, maybe it needs to be used a bit more.
Lisa x

Blogoratti said...

What a solid ingredient, interesting facts too. Thanks for sharing.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Brilliant! I always use turmeric in curries

happyone said...

Thanks for the information on tumeric. I too need to add it to my shopping list.
The recipe sound very good.

This N That said...

I have a friend who swears by it although she is frequently complaining about her pain anyway..I just don't like the taste..

Mary Kirkland said...

I've never had Tumeric but that dish sure looks tasty.

Valerie-Jael said...

Good to know about turmeric, and thanks for sharing the recipe. Hugs, Valerie

DeniseinVA said...

This is always interesting to read about the benefits of foods. I use Turmeric in a morning smoothie but this is a dish that I could enjoy. Thank you Jan :)

Lisabella Russo said...

I've been meaning to pick up some turmeric, thanks for the reminder and all of the info.

Elephant's Child said...

Tumeric has been a staple in our spice cupboard for years. I love it - though it can stain clothing badly (if, like me, you are a klutz).

Snowbird said...

I love tumeric, it seems to be a wonder spice, I've heard it's good for cancer

William Kendall said...

I think my mother used it very rarely.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the important info and the recipe. Enjoy your new week.

Sandra Cox said...

Great info, Jan. Turmeric sounds like a wonder drug. I'll have to pick some up.
The recipe sounds like it would be great, even without the prawns.

Lee said...

Gold! Gold! Pure gold!

Betsy said...

My mom always had tumeric in the spice cabinet and I do too. Now back to reading more of your posts to catch up. Thank you for such good information.

Carla from The River said...

I have used tumeric several times. My boys enjoy it in a rice dish I make. I really need to use it more often. I appreciate the recipe. :-)

Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

I just bought some tumeric and have been collecting recipes to use it in. Thank - you for sharing, this looks delicious! xx Karen

Margaret D said...

That looks like a nice dish of food - prawns on yes.
Tumeric - a lot of people are taking those pills, for some it works for some it doesn't but nothing has been proven so I'm told.

Sue (this n that) said...

Thanks Jan. My Hubby takes it in capsule form for pain relief due to inflammation. I also add it in powder form to many recipes (it's such a mild taste). Appreciate all the helpful information you share with us. Cheers now!

Linda said...

Such a helpful and informative post, Jan! I have heard about the benefits of turmeric, but just in passing, not as well mentioned like in your post.

Conniecrafter said...

I could use help with inflammation that's for sure, I read that you really need to combine it with black pepper to make it useful, I would do much better with a pill form because I don't see me eating it with my food every day

Alicia said...

Sent this post to my sister and mom. Great information! When you say sprinkle over veggies, would that be in raw form or cooked? Does it lose any of its benefits once cooked?

Lowcarb team member said...

Alicia asks:
When you say sprinkle over veggies, would that be in raw form or cooked? Does it lose any of its benefits once cooked?

"The amount of turmeric that you need to receive health benefits is not a lot. While researchers are accustomed to looking at countries like India where intake of turmeric often reaches a level of 1-2 grams every day (2.2 grams of the turmeric powder that we profile on our website equates to one teaspoon), studies show potential health benefits at much lower amounts. In some situations, as little as 50 milligrams of turmeric over a period of several months have been linked with health benefits. This small amount would be the equivalent of approximately 1/50th of a teaspoon."
The above words and much more about turmeric are from this excellent site here

There is more information about turmeric here too

Both of these sites give a very detailed insight into turmeric and I hope you may find it helpful and of interest.

When I use turmeric in cooking I use it in many different ways, depending on the recipe ... for example have a look here

Sorry if I seem to have given you more links, but there is so much more to turmeric than first meets the eye, so I hope you enjoy the additional reading and research - and also enjoy turmeric in your favourite dish soon!

All the best Jan

P.S. Many thanks to all the comments on this post, it's always so good to receive, read and share them.

Magic Love Crow said...

Unfortunately, this is one spice, our family can't have. It doesn't agree with us.