The Vitality Exchange Community News
Hello Vitality Community!
In today’s news, I report on TURMERIC and its most active constituent, CURCUMIN. This aromatic golden yellow spice is ground from the roots of the turmeric herb which is native to Southeast Asia and to India. Within the roots of whole turmeric are volatile oils and active compounds, called curcuminoids. Each of these constituents has its characteristic health benefits. Curcumin, the plant nutrient that is the most active of turmeric’s curcuminoids and thus, best-studied, has strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. Curcumin is extracted and consumed as a supplement since it is difficult to get meaningful amounts of it from turmeric spice alone (curcumin makes up only 3% of turmeric powder by weight). Additionally, curcumin is fat-soluble and should be taken with other foods that contain fat or with absorption enhancers such as lecithin, turmeric oil, vitamin E, or piperine (black pepper; and the one I least prefer due to the irritation that can be sustained by GI tract as a result of the piperine) within the supplement. I re-iterate that curcumin is not the only health-promoting substance in turmeric but it is the most active and the most studied, therefore, when many articles tout the benefits of turmeric, they are often referencing curcumin.
Here are examples of health benefits that turmeric powder and curcumin exert:
- Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric, as a food-based spice or as a curcumin supplement, is effective at managing pain and chronic, disease-promoting inflammation. Such inflammation-driven disease states as osteoarthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis may be helped with the addition of curcumin to one’s healthy lifestyle regime.
- Research has shown that curcumin is anti-carcinogenic and helpful at combatting tumor cells. Curcumin actually regulates the expression of genes that lead to the formation and growth of new blood vessels in tumors, curbs cancer cell proliferation and survival. As an adjunct to a healthy eating plan rich in cruciferous vegetables, healthy fats and leafy greens, turmeric may help prevent such cancers as colon, prostate, breast, skin and pancreatic cancers.
- Curcumin may be a beneficial addition in Nutritional support protocols for those suffering from depression, especially when levels of inflammation are high and possibly contribute to depression.
- Curcumin can be used in any weight management program as it has the ability to reduce insulin and leptin resistance. Because of this, curcumin has shown active potential against such conditions as obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
- Turmeric can be safely used in any dietary plan and/or eating style targeted at reducing high cholesterol as it supports balanced cholesterol levels.
One can drink warm Turmeric Milk Tea at night for comfort and relaxation. Go to your local health food store to buy fresh, organic turmeric powder and Ceylon cinnamon powder or order it from a company such as Mountain Rose Herbs. A comforting turmeric milk tea follows:
Turmeric Milk Tea
- 2 cups almond milk (it can either be homemade or a high quality carrageenan-free almond milk)
- You can also use coconut milk or hemp milk, if desired
- 1 tablespoon local raw honey, optional ( or less if you wish it less sweet)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, optional
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (or slightly more if you can handle it)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (Ceylon)
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger (fresh is best)
- Pinch of black pepper (studies show it is one avenue that aids in absorption of curcumin but for those who are allergic or just don’t like it, you can omit it)
- Simply pour all ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a light boil, whisk to combine ingredients. Reduce heat to low and simmer for up to 20-30 minutes.
- Strain the milk if you have large pieces of ginger, cinnamon, etc.
- To serve, decoratively dash on a little extra cinnamon.
- Enjoying warm is best!
Please note that turmeric is not recommended for use in those with gallstones, gallbladder disease and bile duct obstruction or in pregnant women.To many years of Life and Vitality,
Camille Gallinger, CN; Self-care Advocate www.thinkvitality.com