For most people, turmeric is an ingredient being used to make curry. Best known for its peppery, bitter, and warm flavor, there isn’t a lot of people who know right away what turmeric is. Despite its mild fragrance that resembles that of an orange and ginger, many do not have a lot of uses for it other than cooking. If you’re curious enough, however, you may have started experimenting with the ingredient in trying to discover other dishes that can be make from it.
Where does it come from?
Turmeric is derived from the root of a plant called Curcuma longa. When harvested, the root appears with a deep orange flesh and tough brown skin. Because of its deep yellow-orange color, it was traditionally referred to as ‘Indian saffron’. Despite its current use as an ingredient for cooking, it was once used by both Indian and Chinese cultures as a form of anti-inflammatory medicine. Other uses of turmeric include for condiment, remedy, and textile dye.
Nutrients found in Turmeric
Vitamin B6 4.7%
When it comes to storing turmeric powder, it should be kept in a tightly sealed container inside a cool, dry, and dark place. Fresh turmeric rhizome, on the other hand, should be stored inside a refrigerator until ready to use.
When handling turmeric powder, it is important to wear gloves beforehand so that stains can be prevented on your hand. Any area that has gotten in contact with the root should be quickly washed with soap and water. If you are working with turmeric rhizomes, you can make your own powder easily by boiling the root, drying, then grinding into a very fine consistency.
Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric has a number of health benefits that it produces to the body. Apart from just making curries taste good, it can do the body a lot of good too. Here are the health benefits of the root:
Promotes Heart Health
Turmeric has been known to reduce the risk of blood clots and also prevents plaque build up in the arteries. As a result, it helps in lowering risks for stroke or other blood clot related health issues. Not only that, turmeric has been known to help in lowering bad cholesterol and improving the good ones. To make the most of your heart health, make sure you follow a healthy dosage of turmeric.
Turmeric contains an active ingredient called curcumin, which has been known as a powerful antioxidant. With the help of this ingredient, the free radicals in the body are targeted and destroyed. As a result, the damage they do to the cells and DNA are reduced immensely. By having healthy cells, the body also becomes healthy. This is why turmeric is considered as a big help to general wellness.
Another advantage of using curcumin is that it contains anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, it is able to help fight osteoarthritis pain, heart disease, and several other health problems that have been related to inflammation. Curcumin has also been known to help reduce enzymes in the body that have been known for triggering inflammation. This anti-inflammatory property of curcumin has also been considered as an effective treatment for skin conditions like psoriasis. Additionally, turmeric is used as a natural antiseptic for treating burns and cuts.
Because of turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties, it is able to fight the development of cancer in the body. At the same time, turmeric’s anti-oxidant properties also produces an anti-cancer effect in the body. Researchers even believe that turmeric helps in reducing the carcinogenic compound found in grilled, fried, or boiled meat by up to 40%.
Delays the onset of Alzheimer’s
Researchers have found that curcumin contains properties that help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s in those who are 70 years old and above. Comparing between a similar demographical group of respondents from the US and another group from India, researchers were able to discover that those from India have a much lower rate or Alzheimer’s disease. This is largely in part of turmeric’s ability to get rid of amyloid plaque buildup in the brain; which has been know to put people at risk for Alzheimer’s development.
Nowadays, you can start taking turmeric as a supplemental pill or in powder form. When you choose to incorporate it with the food you eat, you’ll find a number of uses for it and how it can make ordinary dishes taste better. If you want to get the health benefits of turmeric, the best thing to do is to start including it in your recipes.