Health Benefits of Turmeric

Health Benefits of Turmeric

Never mind if you have to stain your clothes turmeric stained, but make sure you add this exotic root-herb in the food you eat! This herb is actually an underground rhizome (root), which composes of unique phytochemical pigment compounds that impart an intense flavor, color, and distinctive fragrance to the recipes it added to.

Binomially, this popular herb belongs to the ginger or Zingiberaceae family of root herbs, in the genus; Curcuma. Scientific name: Curcuma longa. Its roots, as well as leaves, have long been used in traditional Indian and Chinese medicines for their demonstrated anti-inflammatory (painkiller), anti-oxidant, and anti-cancer properties.

Turmeric is native to sub-Himalayan mountain region and now grown widely in many parts of the tropical and subtropical regions as an important commercial crop. The plant grows to a meter in height and features aromatic, miniature plantain-like leaves.

Turmeric root features dark brown skin on the exterior and deep orange-yellow flesh internally. Its leaves, as well as the rhizome, features unique flavor and fragrance. Its taste is described as mild peppery to warm and bitter while its fragrance is sweet and pleasant, slightly reminiscent of a mix of orange zest, and ginger to which it is related. Once harvested, the root is boiled, dried, and ground to prepare distinctive bright yellow spice powder.

Turmeric plants produce no seeds and only reproduce via its underground spreading rhizomes.

Health Benefits of Turmeric

  • Turmeric has been in use since antiquity for its anti-inflammatory (painkiller), carminative, anti-flatulent and anti-microbial properties.
  • The herb contains health benefiting essential oils such as turmerone, curlone, curumene, cineole, and p-cymene.
  • Curcumin, a polyphenolic compound, is the principal pigment that imparts deep orange color to the turmeric. In vitro as well as in laboratory animal studies have suggested that the curcumin may have anti-tumor, antioxidant, anti-arthritic, anti-amyloid, anti-ischemic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • This popular herb contains no cholesterol; however, it is rich in anti-oxidants and dietary fiber, which helps to control blood LDL or "bad cholesterol" levels.
  • It is very rich source of many essential vitamins such as pyridoxine (vitamin B6), choline, niacin, and riboflavin, etc. 100 g herb provides 1.80 mg or 138% of daily-recommended levels of pyridoxine. Pyridoxine is employed in the treatment of homocystinuria, sideroblastic anemia and radiation sickness. Niacin helps prevent "pellagra" or dermatitis.
  • Fresh root contains very good levels of vitamin-C. 00 of root compose of 23.9 mg of this vitamin. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and a powerful natural anti-oxidant, which helps the body develop immunity against infectious agents, and remove harmful free oxygen radicals.
  • Turmeric contains very good amounts of minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. 
  • Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. 
  • Iron is an important co-factor for cytochrome oxidase enzymes at cellular level metabolisms and required for red blood cell (RBC's) productions.
  • Turmeric is one of the readily available, cheap herbs that contain notable phytonutrient profile. At 1,59,277 µmol TE/100 g, its total-ORAC value or anti-oxidant strength is one of the highest among known herb and spice species.

100 g of turmeric provides :

~53% of dietary fiber, (% of Recommended Daily Allowance, RDA per 100 g)
~138 % of vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine),
~32% of niacin,
~43 % of vitamin C,
~21 % of vitamin E,
~54 % of potassium,
~517 % of iron,
~340 %of manganese and
~40 % of zinc.
~but 0% cholesterol.

Just a few grams of turmeric per day either in the form of powder, crushed root or fresh root can provide enough nutrients to help you keep away from anemia, neuritis, memory disorders and offer protection against cancers, infectious diseases, high blood pressure, and strokes.
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