Turmeric is a spice that is most commonly associated with curry dishes, beyond this it is also a very versatile ingredient that has a huge range of health benefits. The spice itself is a derivative of the root of the Curcuma longa plant, which has an orange flesh and a rough brown skin.
As well as being used in cooking, turmeric also has other useful properties, most commonly being hailed as an anti-inflammatory in some Eastern medicine practices. The conditions that it is believed to treat are wide and varied from flatulence to jaundice and toothache to chest pain. Studies suggest that turmeric prevents cholesterol oxidising in the body which contributes greatly to the protection of your cardiovascular system. Due to turmeric being able to encourage the liver to increase the amount of messenger proteins that are being produced, it is in turn able to reduce cholesterol in the body. Many studies also now suggest that turmeric is a a great defender against certain neurodegenerative problems, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Less commonly it has also proved useful as a dye for textiles.
Getting more turmeric into your diet doesn't have to be a difficult process. If you love curry then you can happily slip a teaspoon or two into your recipe; this will work well regardless of the type of curry you are making, be it meat, fish or vegetable. You can also use turmeric in many other recipes such as to sautée vegetables or even in soups.
When it comes to vitamins, turmeric is a fantastic source of vitamin B6, this is essential for maintaining your blood vessels and preventing heart disease. This spice is also a great source of iron, manganese, potassium and fibre. Iron has so many amazing benefits, especially for muscle and brain function. Similarly, manganese and potassium ensure healthy bones as well as blood pressure and blood sugar levels respectively.
As you can observe, turmeric is an all round excellent spice for both its medicinal properties and flavour qualities; one that should be included in your everyday diet!
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