A staple spice in many international kitchens, turmeric has also long been used in Eastern medicine. With its strong yellow pigment, you won’t be surprised to hear turmeric is also used for dying material and in cosmetics!
The vibrant yellow root is also known as ‘Indian saffron’ and ‘the golden spice’. You’ll find turmeric most commonly available as a powder in Australia.
Aside from its bright colour and distinct flavour, turmeric also has many health benefits. Although used in Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years, it’s only been in the last decade that the Western world is starting to catch up. Read on to find out some of the exciting ways turmeric can support your health.
1. Anti-inflammatory effects
Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory helping the body to support optimal health. Chronic inflammation can lead to many common health problems like arthritis. Turmeric may help to prevent the onset of such diseases and also can be used to ease the symptoms.
2. Immunity booster
Your immune system is the body’s way of defending itself from illness and disease. A key to the health of your immune system is a properly functioning digestive tract. Your digestive system is responsible for discarding waste as well as dispersing nutrients throughout the body.
With nutrients like vitamins and minerals being key to a healthy and proper functioning immune system, it’s essential you include food sources that are good at this job. Enter turmeric, a spice that is packed with antioxidants, has antibacterial and antiviral properties and has the antimicrobial compound curcumin. This cocktail of benefits helps support both a healthy digestive and immune system.
The damage caused by free-radicals is known to be one of the biggest causes of ageing and disease in the body. The reason antioxidants are so crucial is because they help the body to fight off free radicals. The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, is a strong and potent antioxidant. As a bonus, curcumin also supports and boosts the body’s own antioxidant enzymes!
4. Prevent heart disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Australia and the world. Cardiovascular disease affects more than 3.7 million Australians, preventing many of them from living a full and happy life.
Turmeric helps to improve endothelium (blood cell lining) function, a significant factor in preventing heart disease. There has also been some research in reducing the risk of heart attacks in patients who had undergone coronary artery bypass surgery which has had positive results.
5. Links to improved brain function
Many common brain disorders (like depression and Alzheimer’s disease) are linked to decreased levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). It’s been found that the curcumin present in turmeric can increase the levels of BDNF in turn delaying, or maybe even reversing, decreases in brain function related to disease or ageing.
- Ditch the caffeine with a deliciously spiced turmeric latte.
- Thai yellow fish curry – with a from scratch curry paste!
- Vegan brunch made easy with a yummy tofu scramble that’s packed with flavour.