5 Health Benefits of Turmeric

I'm moving into my own flat in London this weekend and I couldn't be more excited! I've treated myself to some new bedding and I've of course bought a whole host of staple cupboard ingredients, including a stock of dried spices and herbs. I still have lots to sort out but I can't wait to have my own space and my own kitchen!

This got me thinking about all the wonderful benefits of spices. Not only do they flavour your food naturally without the need for artificial nasties, sugar or sweeteners, but they also provide a wealth of health benefits.

One of my favourite spices of all times is the humble tumeric. Long used for its healing properties in Indian and Chinese medicines, this bright yellow spice has anti-inflammatory powers that make it perfect for dealing with a range of bodily problems.  

Here are my favourite 5 health benefits of tumeric:

1) Anti inflammatory
Curcumin oil extract gives tumeric its bright yellow/ orange colour, and is thought to have the same anti-inflammatory properties as over the counter creams like hydrocortisone. However, curcumin is completely natural and doesn't have the same toxic effects as these drugs. I suffer from eczema and often add a teaspoonful of tumeric to my meals as it noticeably helps to calm my skin. People with psoriasis, eczema and and acne can reap the benefits for their skin by adding tumeric to their diet.

2) Cancer prevention
Due to its high antioxidant count, the curcumin extract in tumeric can help to prevent cancer. These antioxidants help the body's cells to protect themselves from free radicals, as well as destroying mutated cancer cells. This is particularly true of the colon, where cells regenerate more frequently so have more opportunities to turn cancerous.

3) Gastrointestinal treatments
Often, when people struggle with digestive issues, taking antibiotics or other medication can be damaging to their gut flora, which may already be compromised. Tumeric's healing properties mean that it is a gentle alternative to managing inflammation of the bowels, aiding in the growth of gut flora.

4) Pain relief
In the science community, it is widely accepted that curcumin is an effective agent in managing pain; in particular joint pain and stiffness. This means that adding tumeric to your diet can be especially helpful if you suffer from arthritis or osteoporosis.  

5) Diabetes management
Tumeric has been proven to improve insulin sensitivity and help to reverse type 2 diabetes. This is, again, due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant content. Although it cannot completely cure diabetes, adding it to their diet means that diabetes sufferers can ease their symptoms.

How to add it to your diet?
Try incorporating it into your breakfast by drinking a turmeric mylk (almond milk flavoured with tumeric), spicing your porridge or adding a spoonful to to your smoothie. Tumeric also goes perfectly in curries and stews to add a hint of spice and a bundle of nutrients!

Tumeric spiced porridge

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