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Notes by Positive Paula 14/05/13

Monday, May 13, 2013

Turmeric the superstar spice

Often called “the Indian solid gold”, with superpowers that help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and common types of cancer, turmeric is fast becoming a superstar spice.

Turmeric gets its bright yellow pigment from an ingredient called curcumin, which is the essential part that gives turmeric its Alzheimer’s and cancer fighting power.

This spice originates from tropical South Asia, and is extremely popular in India. Studies have shown that the cancer and Alzheimer’s rates in India is 10-20 times less than that of Americans.

So what makes this spice so “super?”

✒ The orange root of the turmeric plant contains polyphenol compounds called circuminoids.

Ciruminoids have extremely strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which are the properties that fight Alzheimer’s and common cancer.

✒ They have been shown to decrease brain tumor size in animals by 81 percent in more than 9 studies.

Researchers at UCLA have even found that curcumin is able to block cancer growth.

✒ The spice has also been shown to help prevent breast cancer. Curcumin has been found to possess properties that reduce the expression of deadly molecules within cancer cells, and can potentially slow the spread of breast cancer.

✒ Turmeric powder has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties comparable to steroidal and non-steroidal drugs (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen). This also makes it an ideal antiseptic used in home remedies for wounds.

✒ It reduces the inflammation, oxidation, and amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

✒ It acts as a powerful antioxidant whose free-radical-scavenging activity exceeds that of vitamin C and most polyphenols, including vitamin E and the catechins in tea and the and flavanols in cocoa and dark chocolate.

✒ It protects the cardiovascular system by lowering triglyceride and cholesterol levels, reversing cell-membrane damage, and inhibiting inflammation and platelet aggregation.

How to use turmeric in food:

Turmeric’s powerful properties are best absorbed by the body when eaten with fish, or taken as fish oil, as stated by M.D. Anderson Cancer Center’s patient-encyclopedia on turmeric: “A lipid base of lecithin, fish oils or essential fatty acids may also be used to enhance absorption.”

Turmeric is best used in its natural form or as a powder. It is also available in pill form in most health food stores, usually in 250-500mg capsules.

Make sure you get it from a reliable source.

Once you start using turmeric on a regular basis, it is fun to find new ways to use it in recipes.

Use can add it to curries, health shakes etc. The possibilities are endless that you can add it to or cook with it.
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