Turmeric is widely known as a culinary spice, especially in Asia and South America. In Belize, they call it yellow ginger, and the part of the plant used is a root that looks quite similar to ginger. Turmeic has strong yellow dying properties and is what gives curry its yellow color. Turmeric is also used in various soups and pickle recipes. In fact, adding it to soup is an easy way to consume this superfood.
Tumeric’s popularity as a nutritional supplement has seemingly exploded. Turmeric is at the top of the list of foods with beneficial properties, considered a powerful antioxidant, and turmeric’s main constituent, curcumin, is considered a potent anti-inflammatory, which works by blocking NF-kB from invading cells and triggering inflammation. Inflammation and pain are commonly treated by NSAIDs, but these may have negative effects on the body and liver. Turmeric is beneficial and can actually be taken as a liver tonic.
Since speculations have mounted that chronic inflammation may be a contributing cause to many of the most severe health afflictions humans can suffer, it is not a far leap to imagine that foods that reduce inflammation could benefit many of the body’s systems. Reports have shown curcumin can have a positive effect in brain health, depression, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and age-related chronic diseases. Turmeric can also be taken by sufferers of ringworm and skin inflammation.
About 3 to 5 grams of turmeric powder would contain enough curcumin to be considered active. Taking turmeric with black pepper, which contains piperine, helps make the curcumin more bioavailable. It has also been discovered that both turmeric and piperine can also potentiate the effects of other herbs.
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