Known for its healing properties in Ayurvedic medicine, tumeric is the spice that gives curry powder its golden color. It’s a member of the ginger family and contains phenolic compounds called curcuminoids. Often just referred to as curcumin, it’s benefits include:
- As an antioxidant, it protects the body from free radicals.
- It has anti-cancer properties.
- It decreases inflammation and is helpful for arthritis.
- It protects the liver from toxins.
- It prevents the formation of plaque in the arteries, thus, improving blood vessel health.
With this many benefits, making tumeric or curry part of your diet is a great idea!
Note: Curcumin stimulates bile secretion so should not be used by individuals who have a biliary tract obstruction. It also acts as a blood thinner so should not be used by persons on anti-coagulant medications such as coumadin.
References: 1) Balch, P.A. & Balch, J.F. (2000). Prescription for Nutritional Healing. (pg 55). New York: Avery; 2) Packer, L. & Colman, C. (1999). The Antioxidant Miracle. (pg 182-183). New York: J. Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 3) Smythies, J.R., MD. (1998). Every Person’s Guide to Antioxidants. (pg 15). New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.