5 Health Benefits of Turmeric

A spice known for its rich colour and peppery flavour, turmeric is a core ingredient in Asha’s kitchens. Apart from its quintessential role in Indian cooking, there’s more to the spice than meets the eye.

A star component on every menu in India, the turmeric root is equally loved as a medicinal herb. For centuries, it’s been used globally to boost immune systems, relieve depression and help with various aches and pains.

But what distinguishes the spice from its counterparts and gives it that nutritious value? Curcumin, the main ingredient in turmeric, is said to hold wonderful healing powers for daunting illnesses, including cancer. While medical research has yet to confirm its direct power, adding turmeric, especially its curcumin component, to your diet can hold some health benefits:

It’s Anti-inflammatory

Got heartburn or indigestion? A 1989 study suggests that curcumin might be the perfect reliever. When it comes to chronic illnesses that involve inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease and Alzheimer’s, curcumin fights inflammation like no other spice.

It Stagnates Diabetes

In a recent medical study, patients in their pre-diabetes phase were diagnosed as diabetes-free after taking regular doses of curcumin capsules. The reason? Researchers credit the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers to curcumin.

It Has Antioxidant Qualities

Apart from adding flavour to your meal, turmeric dramatically helps in increasing the body’s antioxidant capacity, which assists in managing the ageing process and fighting the damaging effects of free radicals.

It’s Said to Fight Cancer

One of the most high profile, but medically unproven, studies conducted on the effects of curcumin is its fight against cancer. According to preliminary studies, curcumin interferes with the formation of cancerous cells. Further, lab test results suggest that curcumin has the ability to kill cancer cells and help shrink tumours.

It Boosts Brain Levels

Some studies show that curcumin has the ability to boost levels of a specific brain hormone, which, when levels decrease, can lead to brain disorders such as depression and Alzheimer’s. Another study found that a different turmeric compound – called ar-turmerone – might promote brain stem cell repair, which ultimately improves memory.

Although adding a spoonful or two to your favourite Indian dish might not translate into a disease free life, there is no denying the health-boosting properties of turmeric. When stumbling upon this bright orange spice in your kitchen, be sure to try out the following:

  • Mix a teaspoon of turmeric with olive oil, salt, pepper, chilli flakes and lemon for a zingy salad dressing.
  • Add a drizzle of turmeric-scented oil over golden roasted vegetables.
  • Spice up a winter carrot or pumpkin soup with a spoonful of turmeric for that extra dash of flavour and colour.

Don’t feel like cooking? Head over to Asha’s Restaurant and indulge in one of our turmeric rich curries!