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.
Within this research, turmeric has shown minimal side effects with its use, often making it a better option for use than other methods of reducing inflammation in the body.
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.
According to Bengmark et al. the standard dosage of curcumin to elicit health benefits is 400 - 600 mg of curcumin a day. This is the equivalent of 60 mg of fresh turmeric root....or in easy-speak...around 10 teaspoons of ground powder.
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!
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1. Turmeric & Teff Porridge Recipe - The 2 Wonder T's
Click here to fuel your breakfast with some fantastic nutritional benefits!
2. Liquid Gold Vegan Turmeric Latte Blend - £9.99
Turmeric, along with cinnamon, ginger, vanilla & a hint of black pepper are used in the MAWish adaptogenic powder and this blend can be added to smoothies, turmeric oats and baking mixes, currys, vegetables, dressings and pancakes for a natural hit of flavour. Turmeric with sweet flavours gives an earthy depth, much in the same way as Beetroot does.
Perfect for post workout fuel - click here to shop
3. Turmeric Chilli Seeds Breakfast Boost by Two Birds Cereals - £5.99
Nutritious supercharged breakfast boosts, a perfectly mixed combination of ancient seeds: chia, buckwheat and hemp with added combinations of turmeric and chilli spices to sprinkle over avocado toast, savoury breakfasts, breakfast bowls, porridge, pancakes, bakes, and add to smoothies to kick start your day and keep you fuller for longer - click here to shop
4. Neubria Shine - Advanced Health Supplement To Help Maintain A Positive Mood
There is evidence that Turmeric can boost the brain neurotransmitters, which help to regulate your mood. Neubria Shine is unique as it includes an advanced blend of 4 natural botanical ingredients, carefully chosen for their ability to brighten your mood and proven effects on emotional balance - click here to shop the gift packs
5. Neubria Spark - Advanced Health Supplement To Support Cognitive Function
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 - click here to shop the gift packs