So what is turmeric?
Turmeric is a plant within the ginger family that is native in southwest India. It has been used in traditional Indian/Pakistani cuisines, curries and also as dyes.
The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell.
Curcumin is the ingredient that has been studied to be beneficial to humans in many ways.
Studies are still being done on these benefits and here are some of these things that have been found thus far…
1. There was a significant improvement in people who used curcumin for indigestion and inflammation. Turmeric is really well known to reduce joint pain due to its anti-inflammatory response. This is still being studied, but curcumin is available in the extract form if you would like to experiment with this.
2. Curcumin is beneficial by improving the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels. So this means reducing the risk for heart disease.
3. Curcumin acts as an antioxidant against free radicals in the body. What does this mean? Free radicals can attack DNA which could possibly lead to cancer. There is also information leading to curcumin helping prevent the metastasis of tumors and reducing tumor growth.
4. And last but not least, it can improve memory and possibly brain function.
These are just a FEW of the reasons I love turmeric and add it to almost any and every dish I prepare. So throughout this blog, you will likely see it repeated in my recipes.