Turmeric or Curcuma Longa is an Indian spice characterized by its vibrant orange colour and it could quite possibly be the most studied herb to date for its potential health benefits.
Studies have shown many health benefits of turmeric including cardio protective effects, anti inflammatory and anti cancer properties. Looking specifically within the cancer field, turmeric has also shown the exciting potential to target Cancer Stem Cells.
“CSCs (cancer stem cells) are proposed to be responsible for initiating and maintaining cancer, and contribute to recurrence and drug resistance.”
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It is the bright yellow polyphenol extracted from the turmeric plant and sold as a supplement to achieve the plant’s health benefits. There is a draw back of curcumin and that is its poor bioavailabilty. But there are ways to increase its absorption. These include consuming curcumin with black pepper, with foods containing quercetin like citrus fruits, apples and onions and/or with a fat like coconut oil.
There is however another way to increase the bioavailability of curcumin and that is by eating the whole food itself. There is a synergy to whole foods that is often overlooked and in the case of turmeric, the natural oils in the root help to increase its bioavailability.
This leads to a bit of a problem however. Although it is becoming more main stream for westerners as a supplement, many struggle with how to implement turmeric in to their diets. For most of us turmeric is not a staple in our kitchen so we need to learn how to use it.
So to get you started on your way to incorporating this great whole food in to your diet, I have pulled together for you 5 of my most popular recipes using turmeric. These recipes are just delicious and they are a wonderful tool to start you on your way to including this incredibly healthy spice in to your diet.
Enjoy them. They are delicious!