How can you improve your diet almost instantaneously? Easy, add turmeric.
This ancient Asian spice is filled with polyphenols that benefit your health. Population and scientific studies have revealed that this spice has beneficial effects on multiple pathways in the body. It provides the tools needed to counteract excess oxidative stress, inflammation, and cell overgrowth.
In a nutshell, turmeric exerts very potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer effects.
Curcumin is the polyphenol that lends turmeric its yellow color. Not to be confused with cumin which has a more pungent flavor, curcumin has been highly studied as a hypoglycemic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer agent (1).
With over 7000 studies completed on turmeric and its famous component, curcumin, it is a wonder that this safe and promising spice is not recommended by dietitians left and right. This spice is so well studied that a resource database was created to organize all the research (2) (http://www.crdb.in/index.php).
Test-tube, cellular, and animal studies have revealed that curcumin promotes cancer cell death without harming healthy cells (3). Maybe this is one of the reasons that there are much lower rates of cancer in the populations around the world that incorporate this spice into their diet regularly (4).
Turmeric and curcumin have both been observed to reduce inflammation. Turmeric has been effective in the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (5); arthritis (6, 7); ulcerative colitis (8) and lupus (9).
Turmeric is not totally dependent on curcumin for its health effects. In fact, studies reveal that curcumin-free turmeric has the same potent effects on negative stressors in the body (10). So, this reveals that there are many components in turmeric that work in unison to provide benefits. These benefits occur with relatively small doses of turmeric (1/8 to 1/2 tsp per day).
Completely safe for the general public, this is a spice to start consuming today!
How can you consume turmeric every day? The ways to add it to your diet are almost endless. Refer to the Hot Turmeric Toddy recipe in my blog and stay tuned for more recipes that incorporate turmeric into healthy meals and snacks.
© 2016 NOVEDGO
nutritionfacts.org – http://nutritionfacts.org/video/which-spices-fight-inflammation/; http://nutritionfacts.org/2015/01/22/the-top-three-dna-protecting-spices/; http://nutritionfacts.org/video/who-shouldnt-consume-curcumin-or-turmeric/; and more
Nagpal, M., & Sood, S. (2013). Role of curcumin in systemic and oral health: An overview. Journal of Natural Science, Biology, and Medicine, 4(1), 3–7. http://doi.org/10.4103/0976-9668.107253
Bharat B. Aggarwal, Kuzhuvelil B. Harikumar, Potential therapeutic effects of curcumin, the anti-inflammatory agent, against neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, autoimmune and neoplastic diseases, The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, Volume 41, Issue 1, January 2009, Pages 40-59, ISSN 1357-2725, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocel.2008.06.010.
- Prasad S, Gupta S, Tyagi A, and Aggarwal B. (2014). Curcumin, a component of golden spice: From bedside to bench and back. Biotechnology Advances. 32: 1063-1064.
- Kumar A, Chetia H, Sharma S, Kabiraj D, Talukdar N, and Bora U. (2015). Curcumin Resource Database. 2015: 1-6.
- Park W, Amin A, Chen Z, and Shin D. (2013). New perspectives of curcumin in cancer prevention. Cancer Prev Res. 6(5): 387-400.
- Salem M, Rohani S, and Gillies E. (2014). Curcumin, a promising anti-cancer therapeutic: a review of its chemical properties, bioactivity and approaches to cancer cell delivery. RSC Advances. 4: 10815-10829.
- Vecchi Brumatti L, Marcuzzi A, Tricarico PM, Zanin V, Girardelli M, and Bianco AM. (2014). Curcumin and inflammatory bowel disease: potential and limits of innovative treatments. 19(12): 21127-21153.
- Chandran B, and Goel A. A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. Phytother Res. 26(11): 1719-1725.
- Kuptniratsaikul V, Dajpratham P, Taechaarpornkul W, Buntragulpoontawee M, Lukkanapichonchut P, Chootip C, Saengsuwan J, Tantayakom K, and Laongpech S. (2014). Efficacy and safety of Curcuma domestica extracts compared with ibuprofen in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a multicenter study. Clin Interv Aging. 9: 451-458.
- Lang A, Salomon N, Wu JC, Kopylov U, Lahat A, Har-Noy O, Ching JY, Cheong PK, Avidan B, Gamus D, Kaimakliotis J, Eliakim R, Ng SC, and Ben-Horin S. (2015). Curcumin in combination with mesalamine induces remission in patients with mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis in a randomized controlled trial. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 13(8): 1444-1449.
- Khajehdehi P, Zhanjaninejad B, Aflaki E, Nazarinia M, Azad F, Malekmakan L, and Dehghanzadeh GR. (2012). Oral supplementation of turmeric decreases proteinuria, hematuria, and systolic blood pressure in patients suffering from relapsing or refractory lupus nephritis: a randomized and placebo-controlled study. J Ren Nutr. 22(1):50-57.
- Gupta S, Bokyung S, Kim J, Prasad S, Li S, and Aggarwal B. (2013). Multitargeting by turmeric, the golden spice: From kitchen to clinic. Mol Nutr Food Res. 67: 1510-1528.