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Why eating Turmeric is good for you.
Turmeric, known for its ability to stain a white shirt yellow while eating Asian food, is most commonly recognised as a cooking ingredient in its powder form. In Asia, for generations it has been well-regarded for its health benefits.
Used in millions of homes and restaurants, it is a vital component of the spices which make up South-Asian, Persian and Middle-Eastern cuisines, and is also used to a lesser extent as a natural dye (e.g. for, textiles).
Turmeric is from the ginger family and is comprised of rhizomes which when broken, reveal a deep orange colour inside which stains anything it touches. The leaves of the plant are used, in Southern India to wrap and cook food, and this imparts a distinctive flavour.
Turmeric has been widely used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for generations, and now Western medicine has a growing interest in its uses. It contains the chemical compound Curcumin which is well-known for its medicinal benefits as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial. It has been linked to treatments for:
High Cholesterol, Osteoartheritis, Pruritus, Stomach complaints, Skin wounds, Cancers, Depression, Gum disease, IBS, TB, headaches, and many more.
Curcumin’s medicinal properties cannot be achieved by consuming turmeric alone. This is because of its poor bioavailabilty due to its rapid metabolism in the liver and intestinal wall. However, it is interesting to note that when used with freshly crushed black pepper, its bioavailabilty increases by 20 times.
Beneficial in its cooked form or eaten raw, Turmeric should be in every pantry. It contains beta-carotene, calcium, flavonoids, iron, niacin, potassium, zinc and other nutrients.
Here is a recipe for Turmeric pickle which will keep in your refrigerator for a couple of months.
Exercise caution when taken in capsule form
You can find more information on medical uses for Turmeric here.