It’s in the cupboard, behind the dried basil and beside the paprika, barely ever touched but now it’s popping up everywhere in the world of foodies and health gurus. But why? Why are we suddenly surrounded by turmeric lattes, turmeric soup and turmeric tea?
This trendy spice has actually been used medicinally in countries like South Africa for over 4000 years so they are well ahead of the game! The proposed health benefits associated with turmeric actually come from curcumin in the root of the turmeric. Research has shown that curcumin can help to break down some of the molecules that can cause inflammation in the body. Prolonged inflammation can cause a whole variety of health issues like arthritis, pain, high blood pressure and skin conditions.
Before you go and clear the local supermarket of this ‘miracle’ spice remember that dried turmeric contains only about 5% of curcumin, so you’d need to be consuming it in bucketfuls to reap any real rewards. If you’re still super keen turmeric supplements are available which contain approx. 95% curcumin. If you’re sprinkling it on your dinner, try adding some black pepper too as this has been shown to aid absorption.