Turmeric

Benefits of turmeric

TurmericMany people know turmeric as the spice that gives food its yellow colour. This is indeed the case. However, turmeric can actually be seen as one of the most effective nutritional supplements. Various studies show that turmeric provides major health benefits for human body. This article will start with providing some background information to the spice. It will then continue to explore the different health benefits this spice provides.

Description

The turmeric spice is used in many different countries all over the world. However, the spice is probably most commonly used in India. In India the spice is used to give a curry its yellow colour. The spice originally comes from the root part of the plant which is called Curcuma longa. Because of its scientific name, many people also refer to the dried powdered spice as curcuma instead or turmeric. People might also refer to turmeric as Indian saffron. While saffron actually has a deep yellow-orange and is commonly used in Middle Eastern dishes, turmeric provides a similar colour to dishes. When the root of the plant is not processes yet, it can be compared to ginger root. This is, however, not surprising. Ginger, cardamom and turmeric all belong to the same family called the Zingiberaceae family of plants. Interestingly, this family is also called the ginger family since the root of these plants look rather similar. While turmeric is most commonly used to add flavour and colour to a dish, it has also been used for other purposes. Throughout history, the spice has been used as dye for fabric and used as a herbal medicine. The taste of turmeric is often described as peppery. While its flavour can be said to be close to pepper, it also has a bitter and warm taste to it. Its fragrance, on the other hand, can be compared to a combination of orange and ginger. Most people purchase turmeric as a powdered spice. However, there will be a few stored which will sell the spice when it is still a fresh root. While it might look similar to ginger root, the flesh of turmeric has a vibrant orange colour is therefore very different from the ginger root.

History

Turmeric is a native spice to Southeast Asia and India. In the Indian and Southeast Asian cuisines, the spice has been used for thousands of years. While the main use of this spice is culinary use, turmeric is also used in botanical medicine. The tradition of using turmeric as a herb in Ayurvedic tradition goes back thousands of years. The next sections will provide more information as to why turmeric has been used for medical reasons. Also, it will become clear why turmeric has gained increased popularity is various parts of the world. The spice is widely recognized as being a healthy product and it is commonly used as a colouring agent. On a global scale, more than 800,000 tons of turmeric are produced on a yearly basis. More than three-quarters of this amount is produced in India. It is therefore no surprise that India is the world’s largest exporter and consumer of turmeric. The other leading producers of turmeric are Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. China, Taiwan and Myanmar also produce turmeric and export the product to various countries in the world. While the spice is currently not as popular in South America, turmeric is also being produced in a few South and Central American states.

Anti-inflammatory

Chronic inflammation is considered to be one of the main contributors to many diseased common in the Western world. Various studies have been conducted on turmeric and its influence on the prevention of chronic inflammation. Turmeric has bene proven to fight invaders to the human body and it also plays an important role in repairing damage caused. Short-term inflammation is actually considered to be beneficial for the body. Without inflammation it would not be possible for harmful bacteria to be killed. However, inflammation becomes problematic when it is chronic. When inflammation is chronic it deploys against the own tissue of the body. Various studies have concluded that inflammation plays a major role in the development of chronic diseases. These diseases include Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease and diseases found in the metabolic system. Interestingly, these diseases are most commonly found in the Western world. This implies that diet most likely plays an important role in the prevention of these diseases. Since these diseases are unfortunately common among many societies, it is important to find food products which can help to prevent and treat these diseases. Turmeric is considered one of the most strongly anti-inflammatory foods. It is even said that turmeric can be compared to be as effective as some anti-inflammatory drugs. Turmeric actually prevents harmful molecules from entering the nuclei of cells. Another benefit of turmeric and its role in preventing inflammation is that is does not have any side effects. Many anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs have unpleasant side-effects causing many people to stop using them after a while.


Lower risk of heart disease

As an anti-inflammatory agent, turmeric also plays an important role in the prevention of heart disease. Heart disease is currently amongst the main causes of the death globally. Many studies have been conducted on the causes of heart disease and which factors could actually trigger a heart condition. Researchers found that heart disease is an incredibly complicated condition and the cause of heart disease cannot be attributed to one single cause. Turmeric is said to reverse many steps in the process of heart disease when consumed regularly. Various studies have confirmed that turmeric improves the function of the endothelium. The endothelium is the lining of the blood vessels in the body. Endothelial dysfunction is amongst one of the causes of heart disease. It does not only cause blood clotting, but it also causes for an unstable regulation of blood pressure. While some studies have shown that turmeric is as effective as the drug Atorvastatin, others have compared the benefits of turmeric to the effects of exercise. Moreover, as mentioned above, since turmeric also plays a role in reducing inflammation, it indirectly also prevents heart disease in this way. One study explored the effect of turmeric on patients who were undergoing bypass surgery. The participants were given turmeric on a daily basis for a few weeks. It turned out that the participants who consumed turmeric daily had a 65% reduced risk of a heart disease.

Natural painkiller

One of the many reasons that turmeric is so popular, is because it can dominate pain. Recently, a researched came out about turmeric in the European Journal of Pharmacology. The research showed us that turmeric stimulates a system in diabetic rats that helps with pain relieving, the opioid system.  Last year, a study about turmeric has been published. The study showed us that turmeric can dominate several pain circumstances. Not only can it dominate pain when suffering from diabetes, but also with burns. The U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research states that turmeric is the medication man should use to dominate burning pains in contrast to medications that are used now. Not only does the U.S Army Institute of Surgical Research thinks that turmeric is an excellent painkiller, many therapists around the world tend to replace other medicine for turmeric, since it is a natural painkiller that legitimately works.

How to select and store

Turmeric can be found in many places. Most of the times, you will even find turmeric in the local supermarket. Although many herbs are sold at local supermarkets, try to avoid buying turmeric in regular markets. A trip to the spice markets or stores sell turmeric with a much better quality. On top of that, herbs are mostly a lot fresher at spice stores than supermarkets. Since you want to make sure that the turmeric is not irradiated, try to choose turmeric that is organic. When you purchase dried turmeric, make sure it is saved in a small container in a dry place. Another type of turmeric that has become very popular is the root of the turmeric. Its popularity rose immensely since the root of the turmeric is more accessible for regular shoppers. People tend to use this in many dishes such as salads and soups. When you purchase the turmeric root, make sure it is saved in a cool space, such as a refrigerator. Although the difference between turmeric and curry is big, the two tend to get confused a lot. Curry is a spice which consists of turmeric, amongst other spices such as cumin, ginger and coriander while turmeric is a spice on its own.





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 877x
Added: 28-11-2016 03:22
Last modified: 28-12-2016 13:10

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