Turmeric, the golden spice
This is a wonderful spice! It gives a warm, deep flavor to any recipe. It colors your food a bright, velvety yellow. Its emulsifying properties add consistency to your dishes. And - of course - it is very good for you. The more you eat, the healthier you will be. It is a perfect example of how good food and tasty food can often go together. This is the combination I am always looking for in the kitchen: a combination that makes you feel better, look better and gives you bags of energy.
Turmeric is 'hot': both in your meals and in the scientific world. There are several studies currently underway to investigate the working mechanisms of turmeric within the body. It not only is cancer-retarding, but has also shown beneficial effects in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (dementia), stiff joints and other inflammation-related complaints.
According to Dr. Richard Béliveau, turmeric - like ginger - has a direct impact on the growth of cancer cells, since it combats the chronic inflammation that is a prime cause for the growth of those cells. Other studies have shown the beneficial effects of turmeric on blood vessels, the liver and the brain. In other words, it is an interesting spice - and one that is of crucial importance, if you wish to enjoy optimum health.
Almost everyone has eaten turmeric at one time or another - although you might not always have been aware of it. It is a key ingredient in curry and helps to give it that distinctive yellow color. In the Orient, turmeric is known as 'the holy powder'. It is for good reason that turmeric has been used for thousands of years as a remedy in traditional Indian medicine (Ayurveda).
Please note, however, that black pepper and olive oil should also be added to any recipe with turmeric. These 'secondary' ingredients spectacularly increase the body's ability to absorb curcumin, the main active substance in turmeric. The piperine in black pepper 'unlocks' the curcumin cells, allowing their health-giving properties to be released.
You can buy turmeric in little glass jars from any good supermarket. But it is cheaper to buy it in large bags from your local Moroccan or Asian store.