Tumeric: Ancient Spice with Amazing Health Benefits


Turmeric is an ancient spice that has been used for centuries in Nigeria and other parts of the world. It is a main ingredient in Nigerian cuisine, as well as in medicines and remedies.

The plant typically grows to 1–2 m in height and has large, tuberous, rhizomatous roots, which are used medicinally and as a spice.

It has long, lance-shaped leaves, and tiny, yellow-green flowers, each with four petals. The flowers grow in clusters, and the root is harvested annually.

In the Nigerian context, the importance of turmeric cannot be overstated. This spice has enormous potential for promoting health.

In recent scientific studies, turmeric extracts have been shown to have powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic properties. As such, it has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, and is now being studied more closely to determine its effects on the human body.

Nutritional benefits of Turmeric

It is no secret that living a balanced and healthy lifestyle is essential for overall wellbeing.

In her research, Mary-Eve Brown, an oncology clinical dietitian/nutritionist at Johns Hopkins Medicine, has found that tumeric has the potential to provide numerous health benefits. One of such is its ability to provide protection from harmful cell damage due to its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

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The antioxidants in tumeric can help reduce inflammation in the body and help combat the damaging effects of free radicals, which are molecules that can damage cells and lead to diseases.

She also added that tumeric can help strengthen the immune system, improve digestion and help reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases.

Brown further explained that tumeric has also been found to have anti-cancer properties that can inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer cells, while also potentially reducing the risk of other types of cancer.

In addition, she said tumeric may also help reduce the risk of heart disease by helping regulate cholesterol levels and decreasing inflammation of the cardiovascular system.

According to her, tumeric can be highly beneficial for skin and joint health. The antioxidants in tumeric can help reduce wrinkles and signs of aging on the skin, while its anti-inflammatory properties can help alleviate joint pain and stiffness.

Tips for Incorporating Turmeric Into your Diet

With so many benefits tumeric gives, it should be a staple in any healthy diet.

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But, how can one effectively incorporate this fragrant spice into their diet?

Emily Han, a Los Angeles-based nutritionist and wellness blogger on her website, offers her top tips for adding more turmeric to your meal plans and increasing the nutritional value of your meals.

First, Emily Han recommends using turmeric in various dishes. This is because the spice has a unique and distinct flavour that can be used in many imaginative ways. For example, while it’s common to find it in curries, stews, and stir-fries, it can also be added to smoothies, salad dressings, baked goods, and so much more. This means that you’re never restricted to just one type of food when utilizing this spice, which makes it easier to increase your intake.

Secondly, Han suggests always having a fresh, organic version of turmeric on hand. This is because the fresh version contains more of the active ingredient curcumin than the dried, powdered form. Having a fresh, organic version ensures that you’ll be receiving more of the health benefits associated with turmeric.

Again, Emily Han recommends pairing turmeric with other spices to further increase its potency. While turmeric is a powerful spice on its own, it is even more potent when combined with other ingredients like cinnamon and ginger. Both of these spices also provide many health benefits, making the combination a powerful duo in terms of both flavor and nutrition. Plus, they’re easy to add to many different dishes.

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Finally, she advised supplementing with turmeric if you’re not able to easily add the spice to your diet. Supplements are a great option for those who are unable to eat the fresh version or cook with the powdered form of turmeric. There are various supplements that provide different doses of turmeric, making it easy to modify the amount of turmeric you take. Additionally, they’re easy to take without having to sacrifice taste or convenience.

Incorporating more turmeric into your diet can be an effective way to boost your overall health and nutrition. Following these tips from Emily Han, you can start to reap the rewards of this popular spice and enjoy the aromatic and flavourful dishes it can add to your table.






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