Historically a range of herbs and spices have been used both to flavour food and for medicinal gains. Even going back as far as Egyptian times, dried mint leaves and garlic have been found in Egyptian pyramids, and ancient papyrus has been discovered documenting the use of cumin, coriander, juniper and garlic.
Turmeric has always been popular in Indian cuisine and is widely used to flavour many foods. Indian culture has always recognised its health benefits, however more recently turmeric has become popular in Western cultures also, with many people now adding it into their diet for its health properties.
So what exactly does turmeric do? With its rise in popularity, it is an area widely researched currently with new evidence coming out all the time supporting its use.
What is Turmeric?
Im sure you all know what it is - a root with orange flesh or more commonly a yellow powder which we buy from the supermarket and add to food. But delving deeper into the science, a research study by Rathaur et al. stated the structure of turmeric to be 69.4% carbohydrate, 6.3% protein, 5.1% fat, 3.5% minerals and 23.1% moisture.
The active ingredient in turmeric comes from a group of polyphenols called curcuminoids. Curcuminoid is the magic within the turmeric which contains the many proposed health benefits.
What does Turmeric do?
Research has suggested turmeric to have anti-oxidant properties and anti inflammatory effects within our body. This research has been supported by a wide range of studies now, with benefits being demonstrated for the use of arthritis, both acute and chronic illness and sports recovery.
Research has shown that cancer is also positively affected by the curcuminoids in turmeric through encouraging the death of harmful cells and inhibiting the growth of secondary cancers within the body. This is a developing area of research but one that is showing some promise in both the prevention and treatment of cancers. Other recent research has looked at the use of turmeric oil in the treatment of skin and eye infections with both showing early positive results.
How much Turmeric should I have?
Current government recommendations of nutrient allowances do not include herbs and spices.
This is not yet supported by other research and the optimal amount to take each day is still not yet clearly known. However given the health benefits already coming to light, it seems sensible to include turmeric within your diet in any way, shape or form. 10 Health Benefits and Uses for Turmeric Curcumin Supplements.
5 Easy ways you can add Turmeric to your life!
Curcumin research shows it can help us to stay mentally alert as we get older, with studies in older adults demonstrating that it can improve memory and attention span. Neubria Spark supplements for memory contain the 5 ingredient 'Clarity Botanical Complex', Cognizin®, Co Enzyme Q10 and 22 vitamins and minerals, designed to support memory and recall.