Turmeric is a powerful spice. Its pungent flavor is necessary to curry and its bright yellow color is what gives yellow mustard its color. But, what makes turmeric powerful is its apparent health properties.
Turmeric, or Curcuma longa, is a powerful anti-inflammatory. It can be used to reduce the effects of irritable bowel syndrome and similar diseases. It has shown effectivity above and beyond drugs in these cases, without the side-effects. The chemical which makes turmeric yellow, curcumin, is an especially good anti-inflammatory substance that shows promise in treating rheumatoid arthritis.
Turmeric also has shown promise in preventing cancer. Curcumin helps the body destroy mutated cells by improving liver function. Studies have shown lower instances of colon, prostate, breast, and lung cancer when curcumin intake is higher than average. Turmeric intake may even slow the spread of cancer after it is already present in the system.
The risk of Alzheimer’s disease even goes down when turmeric is a part of your diet. The elderly in India, where turmeric is a common spice, has a much lower instance of neuro-degenerative diseases. Studies have shown that turmeric blocks the formation of beta-amyloid, which blocks normal neural function in Alzheimer’s. It may also help form protein antioxidants that keep free radicals from attacking neurons.