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What’s the fuss about turmeric?

What’s the fuss about turmeric?


Turmeric is a common yellow spice, often found in kitchen cupboards and used to make curry powder.  It can be challenging to get enough in your diet by just using a pinch here and there, but is now readily available in capsule form – which is the better option for many people.


Why is it good?  One of the main reasons is its proven anti-inflammatory properties.  Inflammation has been linked to many chronic diseases affecting Western society, so this is something we really need to address.  Diseases associated with inflammation include heart disease, degenerative conditions, cancer, arthritis and Alzheimer’s.  It has also showed promise in studies for assisting with the control of depression and assisting release of serotonin and dopamine (neurotransmitters).


How does it work?  It affects inflammatory pathways by inhibiting certain inflammatory molecules the body makes, so thereby reducing inflammation.  Its antioxidant effect works by controlling free radicals (which can damage the body) and enhancing body mechanisms that are there to control oxidative reactions in the body.


If I am going to eat turmeric, what do I do with it?  Turmeric is a great spice to add colour and flavour to any dish.  For best results, add cracked black pepper and eat it with some fat (eg coconut oil, avocado, eggs) to maximise absorption, as it is generally quite poorly absorbed in its powdered form.


Turmeric is classed as safe when taken as directed, however before starting any form of supplement you should consult your healthcare provider.  Possible side effects can include reduction of blood sugar levels (so be aware if on diabetic medications) and anticoagulant activity (promoting blood flow), so discontinue use before any surgery.

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