Turmeric has risen to fame in the west, hailed by health experts as a 'super spice.' It has been used in India for thousands of years. What is it about this South- Asian spice that demands such reverence and praise?
Turmeric (also known as haldi in India), is undoubtedly in every Indian family's spice cupboard and has long been a staple in Indian cooking. The turmeric trend has been floating around for some time and perhaps you want to find a subtle way of adding this neon- coloured orange spice to your diet. Before we give you the ultimate turmeric latte recipe, we need to establish the health benefits of turmeric, which explain why you should make an added effort to incorporate it in your diet (other than in curry).
Turmeric is widely used in ayurvedic and traditional medicines to treat inflammation. Research has shown that turmeric extract can help alleviate pain and improve function in people with osteoarthritis of the knee. Curcumin is the compound in turmeric that has potent anti- inflammatory property. It inhibits the activity of nuclear factor kappa B- the master protein that regulates the inflammatory process. In other words, turmeric is beneficial for any health condition which causes inflammation. One advantage over anti- inflammatory agents is that turmeric does not cause gastric side effects.
Antioxidants are nutrient compounds found in nearly all plant food. Their primary function is to protect cells against oxidative stress caused by free radicals. The benefits of antioxidants include protection against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimer's to name just a few.
The dreaded C word has, unfortunately, become this generation's biggest problem. In a world full of beautiful minds and advanced technologies, it is shocking that we have not found a cure to eradicate cancer. Turmeric is the most frequently used spice in India, where the prevalence of certain types of cancers are significantly lower than in western countries. Such cancers include, but are not limited to colon, breast, lung and stomach cancer. Although studies are not conclusive, they look promising.
The medical world will agree that the most effective form of treatment is prevention! Changing your lifestyle, so as to reduce the chances of becoming ill. Turmeric inhibits free radical damage of fats, including cholesterol. It is also rich in vitamin B6, which is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
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