TURMERIC: Is it really all it's cracked up to be?
The internet is flooded with articles and recipes singing the praises of this golden spice, but is it really everything they say?
What is turmeric, anyway?
Turmeric is a plant, quite closely related to ginger, that is native to southern Asia and is has been used in southern Asian cuisine for hundreds of years. It is a cornerstone spice of Ayurvedic medicine, and is used to treat a variety of diseases and conditions.
Recently, it has become very popular in western food blogs and cooking websites, which recommend including it in recipes, for it's health-boosting properties.
Is it really good for you?
The short answer is, yes!
Turmeric is a natural source of curcumin, compound, a natural antioxidant superstar and works in two distinct ways to help the body: it neutralizes free radicals which can interfere with DNA, proteins and fatty acids, while also stimulating the body's natural antioxidant enzymes. Turmeric is not the only surce of this compound, but the levels it contains are significantly higher than any other known plant.
Secondly, it has been shown that curcumin contained in turmeric can be as effective in fighting inflammation as specially formulated drugs. In various studies of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, a common disease involving inflammation of the joints, treatment by curcumin was considered equally or even more effective than the prescribed drugs.
Take the claims you read online with a grain of salt. Most medical experts conclude that although there are plenty of very promising signs about the health benefits of turmeric, it's not the magic bullet against everything from acne to alzheimers that some suggest.
so what now?
Personally, we love using turmeric in our cooking, for the flavor and color that it gives our dishes. If it has added heath benefits, even better!
If you are looking for recipe inspiration, get started with these delicious and original turmeric recipes!