Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Why is Turmeric good for you?

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Yesterday I made Colleen's Turmeric Carrot Soup to have something healthy on hand. The house smelled really good!   And it is very tasty, too.  

I didn't add the rice or butter, and instead added some cream at the end.  Plus I added a couple tablespoons of honey because my tomatoes and carrots weren't very sweet.  On top I sprinkled some toasted sesame seeds.
Turmeric is a peppery, earthy spice with a hint of mustard to it. It is often used in curry blends.

We have been making a coconut rice dish with fresh turmeric.  I found the recipe in Fine Cooking magazine. (I will post the recipe for it soon.)
Until a few months ago.  I wasn't aware of fresh turmeric.  But there it was in the grocery store, when I looked for it.
It is a member of the ginger family.  Like ginger, it's a rhizome.

From what I have read about it, it is an ancient ingredient, with many medicinal properties.  It was also used as a dye.  No surprise, the way it stains your fingers when you grate it!

The main reason turmeric is good for you is the curcumin ingredient in it.

The Mayo Clinic says:
Curcumin is thought to have antioxidant properties, which means it may decrease swelling and inflammation. It's being explored as a cancer treatment in part because inflammation appears to play a role in cancer.
Laboratory and animal research suggests that curcumin may prevent cancer, slow the spread of cancer, make chemotherapy more effective and protect healthy cells from damage by radiation therapy. Curcumin is being studied for use in many types of cancer.
I was the most interested in the anti-inflammatory claims.  But you might be interested in one of the gazillion reasons people are claiming it is good for.   To name just a few:  it counteracts diabetes, helps with indigestion, reduces liver toxins, helps with weight management, slows Alzheimer's disease, and it can even be used as a tooth whitener!

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