Turmeric is a Functional Food!

Turmeric – A Functional Food…

spices

Functional Foods are foods that have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition.

Turmeric is derived from the plant Curcuma longa, a member of the ginger family, and its rhizome (root) is the most useful part for culinary and medicinal purposes. Curcumin is one of the principal healthful components of turmeric and gives the spice its characteristic yellow color.

Recent research indicates that chronic inflammation initiates and promotes many disease states, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and inflammatory bowel diseases. Curcumin exerts a protective role against inflammatory diseases by scavenging free radicals and suppressing inflammatory mediators.

Researchers have found that phytochemicals from natural foods, including spices and herbs, are safe and effective therapies to help reduce inflammation and prevent and treat disease. Curcumin one of the components of turmeric has been found to have not only anti-inflammatory properties but also cholesterol lowering, antidiabetic, and antioxidant properties.

Turmeric and Obesity/Diabetes Type 2

Obesity and insulin resistance in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes are associated with chronic low-grade systemic inflammation, resulting in increased inflammatory markers. Adipose tissues is the main origin of this inflammatory response. Evidence from cellular and animal studies supports the beneficial effects of curcumin on obesity and related metabolic disorders. Clinical studies support curcumin’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on obesity, leading to outcomes such as weight loss, improved blood lipids, increased basal metabolic rate, improved insulin sensitivity and reduced risk of atherosclerosis.

Turmeric is a food and thus should be taken by mouth. You should always add turmeric to food that includes fat for the best absorption.

1/2 teaspoon of powdered Turmeric is about 1 gm (1000 mg) of turmeric,

As always, check with your MD or health care provider before adding any new item into your diet even if it is a food. There can be food/drug interactions.