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Spicy news: Turmeric is the trendy new nutritional supplement

Turmeric trendy anti-inflammatory supplement

What do French fries, a bottle of wine, and chronic stress have in common? They’re all causes of inflammation. (And you don’t want that, since inflammation is the root of pretty much every degenerative illness.)

But there’s an awesome antidote emerging—and it comes from the spice rack: turmeric.

With some promising research backing its benefits, turmeric—that very same staple of Asian and Indian cuisine—is becoming a trendy nutritional supplement. What can it do besides give your curries that signature shade of yellow?

Wellness gurus point to a megastudy that surveyed more than 700 research papers on turmeric, and concluded that curcumin (an antioxidant found in turmeric) has substantial disease-prevention powers and other benefits. Here are just some of them:

Turmeric Alive Juice

Turmeric Alive Juice: A sign of the spice's trendiness

1. “It guards against cancer, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s,” says Frank Lipman, MD, who personally takes two turmeric supplements a day. The megastudy also showed turmeric outperformed many pharmaceuticals, and with almost no side effects.

2. Turmeric can do wonders for inflammation-related skin-care concerns, like psoriasis, acne, and sun damage. That’s why Nicholas Perricone, MD, adds it to his sunscreens as well as his diet.

3. And one of the most recent studies to tout turmeric’s benefits and other antioxidant spices, showed that they reduced the negative effects of high-fat meals, lowering insulin response by about 20 percent. We expect a full-on turmeric boom when word gets out about this one!

So how much turmeric should you take to help manage your stress and inflammation? Dr. Andrew Weil, who’s written extensively about turmeric, recommends 400 to 600 milligrams three times per day. (Look for 95 percent curcuminoids on the label, and for piperine, a component of black pepper, that helps facilitate absorption.) Or sip on a Turmeric Live juice, sold at yoga studios, after class. —Jennifer Kass

8 Comments | ADD YOURS

  1. April 12th, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    I’ve been an avid tumeric fan for awhile now and love using it to spice up kale and tofu dishes. Thanks for writing such a great article on the benefits, Jennifer!

  2. April 12th, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I love tumeric on my tofu scramble!!! Sometimes when I make lentil soup, depending on what type, I’ll put tumeric in that too.

  3. April 13th, 2012 at 10:21 am

    I thought that they used the spice, curry, in India but Wikipedia says “So-called “curry powder,” denoting a commercially prepared mixture of spices, is largely a Western notion, dating to the 18th century. Such mixtures are commonly thought to have first been prepared by Indian merchants for sale to members of the British Colonial government and army returning to England.”

    Curry powder can contain different spices that are healthy but always has turmeric as the first ingredient. Cayenne is another healthy herb in most curry. Cayenne is the number one herb in American herbology.

  4. April 13th, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Last month, while working checkout at Park Slope Food Coop, I sold a woman a 5 lbs bag of ground tumeric root. She said it would last her just 2 weeks. She adds a tablespoon or more to her water. She said it really helped with her skin issues.

  5. May 12th, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Turmeric is fantastic. The essential oil of Turmeric(Curcuma longa)is steam distilled from the rhizomes & has a long list of healing properties: anti-inflammatory, analgesic, calming & warming to name a few. Perfect in a salve base for rheumatism.

  6. May 26th, 2012 at 8:56 am

    I’ve had chronic neck pain for many years after a car accident. I tried every kind of therapy to relieve the residual stiffness and soreness. When I recently heard about the benefits of Turmeric I bought an organic version which I now use in my morning yoghurt and fruit mix, in salad dressings and in my homebaked grain bread amongst many other recipes. It doesn’t have a very pronounced taste so you can use it in just about any recipe! As a result I’ve been able to turn my head to look behind me for the first time in many years! Pain free at last. The relief started around three days after I started using this amazing spice. Thanks for a great article.

  7. July 25th, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Onion bhajiis.. cumin and turmeric in action. Wonderful

  8. March 25th, 2014 at 2:10 am

    There is nothing new about turmeric. Indians have been using it for generations in cooking and beauty practices.

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