Turmeric: a spice as medicine

Turmeric, also called turmeric or turmeric, has been used as a medicine in Ayurveda and ancient Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Nowadays, the AMC is even doing research with turmeric. “Let food be your medicine” certainly applies to turmeric. How do you use it in the best way?

What is Turmeric?

Turmeric (curcuma longa) is the root of a plant that belongs to the ginger family. Turmeric is less known to us than ginger, but perhaps even more medicinal! You have probably tasted turmeric before, because it is always part of curry: the orange/yellow color of curry comes from turmeric. Turmeric is therefore used as a powerful coloring agent. E-100 is turmeric; not all E numbers are therefore harmful.

Curcumin is the active ingredient

The main active healing substance in turmeric is curcumin. This is the substance that has an anti-inflammatory effect, is a strong antioxidant, is antibacterial and appears to be toxic to tumor cells. There have been thousands of studies on curcumin and its healing effects on our bodies (including our brains) seem endless. More than 600 preventive and therapeutic applications have already been described in all kinds of studies. These studies do not use the (kitchen) herb as we know it. Only a very small part of turmeric consists of curcumin and we will not eat turmeric in large quantities. Powerful supplements are used for the truly healing effect. This does not mean that the herb is not effective if we regularly use it in our dishes.

Turmeric as medicine

I came across the picture below that doesn’t even list all the diseases and ailments that turmeric could possibly have a positive effect on:CurcumaIts most important property is probably that it is a potent anti-inflammatory. Chronic, hidden inflammation is the basis of almost all chronic diseases as mentioned above. To explain a few in more detail:

Turmeric and Cancer

Research is being carried out at the AMC into the healing effect of curcumin in cancer. On the site of the Dutch Fund against Cancer (NFtK) you can read: ” Curcumin inhibits all characteristics of cancer without affecting healthy tissues and is therefore a very special substance for the treatment of cancer .” And also “ It has now been shown in more than 1000 scientific studies that it works against cancer .” At the beginning of this year, Professor Doctor Caspar van Eijk, an expert in the field of pancreatic cancer, stated in the Telegraaf that chemotherapy has hardly any effect on pancreatic cancer, but turmeric does. He advises his patients to include turmeric in their food every day. You can read more about this interview here.turmeric

Turmeric and (pre-)diabetes

The journal Diabetes Care published a study on the use of curcumin extract in pre-diabetes. One half of the group (237 participants) received a few capsules of curcumin daily, the second half received a placebo. After nine months, no one in the curcumin group had diabetes, while 19 people (16%) in the placebo group had developed diabetes. The curcumin group had, among other things, better blood glucose levels, less insulin resistance, healthier pancreatic cells that have to produce insulin and, moreover, the participants had lost an average of 6 kilos. All results that most people with diabetes would be very happy with.

Alzheimer’s; diabetes 3?

Alzheimer’s is also known as type 3 diabetes. If you think of diabetes as the result of chronic inflammation in the body, which seems to be becoming increasingly apparent, Alzheimer’s is the ultimate result of these chronic inflammation on the brain. Reduce the chronic inflammation in your body and your brain stays healthy too; they are, after all, also a part of your body. So it’s no wonder that everything that works against diabetes is also good against Alzheimer’s. A second explanation for the preventive effect of turmeric in Alzheimer’s is that curcumin binds with toxic, heavy metals such as cyanide, cadmium and lead in the body, allowing the body to excrete them, so that they cannot damage the brain.

Other conditions

Because turmeric also works as a natural pain reliever, it can be used well in arthritis and rheumatism, diseases that are increasingly clear that they are also the result of inflammation in the body. Research in the elderly showed that curcumin supplements showed a rapid improvement in concentration and working memory. Like ginger, turmeric works very well for digestive problems and protects the health of your liver. Turmeric is also used for skin problems such as psoriasis and has been shown to be effective in the treatment of severe depression; it has a stimulating effect on your feel-good hormones, serotonin and dopamine. Well, I could go on and on, the list is endless. But how do you just use it in your kitchen? (Would you like to use it in concentrated form,

In the kitchen

You can buy it as a root, just like ginger, or as a powder. It tastes slightly peppery and somewhat bitter. Curcumin is not easily absorbed by the body, so it is recommended to always use it together with freshly ground black pepper and some oil. This significantly improves the recording. For example, stir some pepper and turmeric powder into a good olive oil, add some orange juice and you have a delicious dressing. You can add extra turmeric wherever you use curry, because the amount of turmeric in curry is often limited. Think especially of an omelette or egg salad. Pumpkin and turmeric go well together. I think cauliflower with turmeric is a fantastic combination, partly because it gives the faint beige of the cauliflower a beautiful yellow color.Here is my favorite curry recipe with sweet potato and cauliflower.


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