Turmeric is an antioxidant spice with purifying and anti-tumor properties. Discover all the benefits and how to use turmeric in the kitchen too. Editing Claudio LuccaTurmeric ( Curcuma longa ) is a plant that belongs to the Zingiberaceae family . Its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are complemented by a purifying, choleretic, and cholagogue activity that is beneficial to the liver and gallbladder.
Due to its extraordinary health advantages, turmeric has recently experienced tremendous growth in popularity. This inexpensive spice, which is frequently used in Asian cooking, has long been valued for its therapeutic powers. We shall explore the many benefits that turmeric provides in this essay, supported by both modern science and conventional wisdom.
Table of Contents
What is turmeric
The turmeric genus belongs to the Zingiberaceae family and includes 80 known species, among which the one most used in nutrition and phytotherapy is Curcuma longa .While the flavor of turmeric is very volatile, on the contrary the color remains unchanged over time. For this reason , turmeric is a substance that is widely used in the food sector as a colorant (inci: E 100 ) of many foods such as cheese, yogurt, mustard, various canned broths and other products.which are often colored with turmeric derivatives.The turmeric plant is a perennial herbaceous plant , which reaches a maximum height of about 1m. It grows spontaneously in southern Asia , from India to Malaysia , in regions with a tropical climate , with temperatures normally between 20°C and 35° C and with high rainfall.
In its cultivated state, turmeric is present in many tropical or subtropical areas, particularly in Asia and Africa. The petiole of the huge, 20–45 cm long leaves is extended. The flowers are collected in a showy pseudo-inflorescence rich in large green bracts at the bottom and white or purple at the top.
Large yellow blooms (perhaps with orange undertones) are housed in a series of pockets formed by the green bracts.
The root is a large cylindrical rhizome , branched, yellow or orange in colour, strongly aromatic, which constitutes the used part (drug) of the plant.
Turmeric composition and calories
100 g of turmeric contains 354 kcal , and:
Protein 7.83 g
Carbohydrates 64.93 g
Sugars 3.21 g
Fat 9.88 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Dietary fiber 21.1 g
Sodium 38 mg
Uses of turmeric
For centuries, turmeric has been, and still is, used in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian cuisine .
To obtain the famous spice, the roots are boiled for several hours and then dried in large ovens, subsequently crushed to obtain a yellow ocher powder which is commonly used in South Asian cuisine and as the main ingredient of curry .
In India, turmeric powder is also one of the ingredients of masala , to which it gives its characteristic intense yellow color . In addition to many other Indian recipes, turmeric is used in numerous Asian recipes, such as the Nepalese dish called momos (meat-based dumplings) or the Thai dish called kaeng tai pla (curry with shrimp and fish).
It can be used like this :
Two tablespoons daily as a dietary supplement ;
adding many foods at the end of cooking ;
added to various types of yogurt or to make a sauce .
Easy Techniques to Include Turmeric in Your Diet
- A calming beverage mixed with turmeric, milk, and seasonings is known as “golden milk.”
- Vegetables roasted in turmeric: For a savory twist, add a dash of turmeric.
- Supplements containing turmeric: Powder or capsules for an easy daily dose.
Recipes with turmeric
The use of turmeric in the kitchen is very versatile:
Golden Milk (or golden milk) is the famous Indian drink based on turmeric: its name obviously derives from the golden color given by turmeric to the milk in this preparation loved by yogis .
Turmeric can be taken together with black pepper or green tea to facilitate its absorption. Even combining it with some fat, such as olive oil or butter , facilitates the assimilation of its active ingredients.
Properties and benefits of turmeric
Due to its natural dietary supplement properties and capacity to inhibit inflammatory processes in the body, turmeric has long been utilized in both Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. The plant has always been known for its purifying , choleretic (stimulating the production of bile by the liver ) and cholagogue (which promotes the emptying of the gallbladder, increasing the flow of bile into the duodenum and preventing the formation of gallstones ) action. It is a hepatoprotector , stimulant of the biliary tract , antioxidant and blood thinner .The most important active ingredient is curcumin , which recent studies have shown to have anti-tumor properties , because turmeric can block the action of an enzyme believed to be responsible for the development of several types of cancer.
This active ingredient also gives turmeric an anti-inflammatory and analgesic action , and for this reason it is effectively used in the treatment of inflammation , joint pain, arthritis and arthrosis .Among the healing properties of turmeric , the golden spice is recognized as protective of the immune system and is also a powerful antioxidant capable of counteracting the action of free radicals , responsible for the aging processes and damage to the membranes of the cells that make up our organism . Turmeric has a curative effect topically. In India, in fact, the rhizome is applied to the skin to treat wounds , burns , insect bites and skin diseases with truly satisfactory results.
Contraindications and side effects of turmeric
Turmeric has no particular side effects and contraindications but should certainly be avoided in some particular situations: in case of hypersensitivity or allergies to one or more components, for example.
- Who can’t take turmeric
Turmeric can interfere with hypoglycemic drugs: it is best to avoid taking it in conjunction with this type of pharmacological therapy.
- Why turmeric makes you lose weight
Turmeric is able to help the detoxification processes of the liver and reduce cholesterol in the blood. These properties have a direct effect on adipose tissues , and therefore on excess weight.
Overview of the Turmeric Phenomenon
- Spice with a Profound History
For more than 4,000 years, traditional medical systems like Ayurveda and Chinese medicine have used turmeric, scientifically known as Curcuma longa. It is a staple in many culinary traditions thanks to its vivid golden color and characteristic earthy flavor.
- the powerful compound curcumin
Curcumin is the primary bioactive component in turmeric. Turmeric’s powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are what give it so many health advantages. Its promise in preventing and treating a variety of chronic diseases has been recognized by numerous research.
The Health Benefits Unlocked
- Anti-Inflammatory Capabilities
Numerous contemporary diseases, including arthritis and heart disease, are characterized by chronic inflammation. Curcumin, an anti-inflammatory compound found in turmeric, works naturally to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
- Powerful Antioxidant
Turmeric’s strong antioxidant content aids in the body’s fight against oxidative stress and free radicals. In addition to reducing the chance of developing chronic diseases, this can help prevent cellular damage.
- Improves Brain Activity
In terms of enhancing cognitive function and lowering the risk of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s, curcumin has showed promise. It might raise levels of the brain’s growth hormone, called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), in the brain.
- Promotes Heart Health
According to studies, turmeric may help your blood vessels’ endothelium perform better. This may result in improved blood pressure control and general heart health.
- Digestive Aids
Bile, which aids in digestion, is produced by the gallbladder when turmeric is consumed. Additionally, it can aid in bloating and digestive symptom relief.
- Possibility of Fighting Cancer
Preliminary studies suggest that curcumin may aid in the prevention and treatment of cancer, while more studies are required. Its antioxidant qualities might contribute to preventing the development of cancer cells.