Ingredient Spotlight: Turmeric
If you haven’t noticed the multitude of turmeric lattes, iced golden milks or supercharged turmeric juices on menus around Melbourne, what can we say, you must have been living under a rock.
It’s undeniable, turmeric is having a moment. And it’s a moment we can fully get behind as we love this humble little spice! We dig its bright colour, but more importantly, the health benefits of turmeric are as long as they are diverse. From warding off Alzheimer’s disease to fighting colds and cases of flu, turmeric might just be our new favourite superfood.
Turmeric has long been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to treat inflammatory diseases and scientific research over the last 25 years or so appears to be validating this idea. A 2012 study has noted that promising effects have been observed in patients with various pro-inflammatory diseases including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Irritable bowel disease and many, many more conditions.
Avoid (or help with) Alzheimer’s disease
The thing that makes turmeric such an exciting spice in the health space is curcumin. Curcumin is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and has a lipophilic action (ability to dissolve fats). Recent evidence supports that an inflammatory response in the brain may be partly responsible for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). It makes sense then that use of curcumin to ward off AD is starting to become clear. Not only can you help to avoid AD with turmeric, you can also help lessen the detrimental effects of the disease too. A 2008 study found that due to various effects of curcumin the overall memory in patients with AD improved.
New research into cancer prevention
While there is no current research to show that turmeric can prevent or treat cancer, there are some promising early trial results coming out. Once again it’s turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, which is being linked to these exciting new discoveries. One trial has found that curcumin is showing in laboratory tests to have an anticancer effect on cancer cells. Watch this space!
Turmeric for heart health
What if we told you that turmeric can help to reduce blood pressure, protect your heart and blood vessels, help with weight loss, prevent blood clot formation and lower your cholesterol? Well, it can, and that’s why turmeric is such a great ingredient to ensure your cardiovascular health.
Fight cold and flu
Curcumin has strong anti-viral properties, making turmeric the perfect ingredient to add to your winter cold and flu arsenal! A 2009 study found that curcumin reduced viral replication by over 90% in the lab. Not only was it reducing replication in already infected cells, but it also protected the healthy surrounding cells. The researchers on the study suggest that turmeric is a “viable candidate” in the natural treatment of the flu.
Get your turmeric benefits now!
A turmeric latte isn’t the only place you’re going to find this bright and brilliant spice, check out our Mango, turmeric & ginger smoothie, Coconut, turmeric & ginger fish or Malaysian vegetable curry.