Friday, 19 April 2013



Heard of Turmeric before? If not, I am sure you have eaten it as it's the spice that gives most curries that delicious and rich yellow colour.  As you can imagine it's very popular in India with as much as 78% of the worlds production sourced from here. Turmeric can be purchased as a fresh root spice but is more typically used as a powder. Given its vibrant colour, Turmeric is often used in food as a colouring but watch out it as can really stain your clothes. This versatile spice is a promising phytonutrient that has been found in various studies and reviews to be potent at fighting many diseases such as joint inflammation, Alzheimer’s, poor heart health, poor immune system and cancer. It is very safe to eat, even in high amounts.  


Today we are going one step further and talking about the very powerful active ingredient in Turmeric -Curcumin, a natural and powerful polyphenol. An overview published in Advanced Experimental Medical Biology in 2007 states that, "Curcumin has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease and other chronic illnesses."

So why is Curcumin good for you?

·         It has strong Inflammation-inhibiting properties
·         Promotes the flow of bile

·         Protects the liver and improves its function

·         Inhibits the growth of tumours

·         Lowers cholesterol

·         Has antibiotic properties

·         Antioxidative properties

·         Cardiovascular protection

Plus a few other benefits:

Curcumin may help the body clear the brain of the protein amyloid beta the substance responsible for the plague build up that slowly obstructs cerebral function in Alzheimer's patients. Turmeric, which is eaten daily in India may help explain the low rate of Alzheimer's disease in that country. In Indians  aged 70 to 79, the rate is 4.4 time less than that of the United States.

Rheumatoid arthritis
Given its strong anti-inflammatory action it has significant benefits  for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. 
My mom was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis about 15 years ago and has gone down the natural route of trying to manage her pain. In the middle of last year after I  attended a very interesting seminar on the benefits of Curcumin, she has been taking high doses of this every day, along with a healthy diet. While the pain has not disappeared all together, she has definitely seen an improvement and without the side effects of all the strong drugs her doctor prescribed her. 

Curcumin and athletic performance

A study in the American Journal of Physiology found that downhill running was associated with an increase in inflammatory Cytokines this was reduced by supplementing with Curcumin. This means it can help reduce inflammation and offset some of the performance deficits associated with excessive exercise-induced muscle damage.

So how can you add Tumeric/curcumin into your diet.
we always recommend whole foods so unless you are suffering with severe arthritis or a debilitating illness, simply add Turmeric into your diet on a regular basis. For those who need a more powerful punch, investigate taking a good quality curcumin supplement. Saying that, both Turmeric and curcumin are not easily absorbed by the gut. To improve absorption follow traditional Indian cooking and add pepper. Piperine, the active ingredient in black pepper will enhance the phytonutrients bioavailability. Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center also found that the Piperine appeared to make the Curcumin more effective at treating breast cancer and previous studies have linked a diet high in turmeric and Piperine to a lower risk of colon, and lung tumors.

So get your favourite curry recipe out and start adding some colour and health benefits into your daily life.

1 comment:

  1. I love the infortation. Thank you so much