Hipster cafes aren’t the only places where we are constantly seeing ‘turmeric’; you can find it mentioned in almost every health and wellness magazine. So why is this vibrant spice absolutely everywhere, and what possible benefits does it have for us?
Turmeric is a plant that is usually found in the form of a powder, widely used in Eastern cultures and mainly found in India and China, which has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. It appears in various forms, such as, supplements, essential oils, food and drinks. This versatile spice is part of the Zingiberacaea family, cousins to our good friend, the ginger. One of the main properties that is found in turmeric is curcumin, which is what gives it its golden colour, and is the important element that is thought to have health boosting benefits. Curcumin is the bioactive compound found in turmeric that has supporting evidence of anti-inflammatory properties and is rife in antioxidants. (2) And one tip which is repeatedly mentioned across multiple articles is the combination of turmeric with black peppercorn. It is this duo which is said to be a great way to activate the benefits of cucurmin.
But this spice is thought to do much more, with studies alluding to its role in reducing symptoms in people with cardiovascular disease, inflammatory diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and even some cancers. Emerging studies – which we are constantly seeing pop up in the media – are beginning to support these claims and back them up.
In one study a preclinical study supports the idea that curcumin, found in turmeric, ‘may potentially counteract the consequence if diabetes’ (1). As just noted, turmeric and curcumin is specifically a potent antioxidant, and studies have shown that oxidative damage is involved in causing or exacerbating inflammation and main some cancers, diabetes, chronic disease and auto-immune disease. You should not miss out on this popular spice, not just because of its palette tingling flavour but for its multiple health boosting benefits!
- Singletary, Keith PhD Turmeric, Nutrition Today: 1/2 2020 – Volume 55 – Issue 1 – p 45-56doi: 10.1097/NT.0000000000000392