July 26, 2010
Science continues to prove what we at Indianlife have always known: healthy Indian cuisine benefits mind and body. And the latest studies on tumeric—a primary Indian spice— are especially promising.
The peoples of India, Southeast Asia and Indonesia have enjoyed the health benefits of Indian spices and tumeric for centuries. In fact, the use of turmeric in foods and as a yellow dye dates back nearly 4000 years to when turmeric was a revered spice in India’s Vedic culture.
Turmeric is a bright yellow-orange root that is a member of the ginger family and closely resembles ginger, another root prized for its healing properties. Tumeric is also known as “Indian Saffron,” and is typically dried and ground into a powder to color and flavor Indian dishes. And just as in berries, tomatoes and other vividly colored foods, the phytonutrient that gives tumeric its medicinal properties—curcumin—is also the compound responsible for its brilliant golden hue. Curcumin is found only in tumeric.
This ancient staple is in the modern spotlight for amazing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies indicate tumeric may reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease—a form of dementia affecting millions—by as much as 30%.
Scientists are seeking out innovative ways to treat this debilitating disease, and clinical studies show the curcumin in tumeric helps reduce the beta amyloid plaque found in the brains of Alzheimer’s victims—plaque that is an intrinsic part of this terrible disease. Curcumin shows great promise as it can both reduce existing beta amyloid plaque and prevent its formation.
Tumeric can also be used fresh. If you’re lucky enough to find organic tumeric root, try grating it into your cooked dishes, salads and more. The taste of fresh tumeric is very subtle, and you’ll be adding healthy phytonutrients to your meal.
All-natural Indianlife Foods are rich in the most potent fresh, sustainably sourced tumeric. So open a jar of our delicious Simmer Sauces, or bite into a flaky, delicately spiced samosa today—your brain and your body will thank you.
We’ll have more about tumeric in future posts. Do you have a story of how tumeric has helped you? Post a comment and share it with us…we’re always glad to hear from you!