Nutritional health benefits of turmeric as a spice

Over the years, turmeric has been used as spices in our traditional meals as flavour enhancers due to its volatile components. Also it has been used in the treatment/management of jaundice. More recently, research has been comprehensively carried out on the health benefits of the herbaceous root crop. Part of the numerous health benefits of turmeric include as anti-inflammatory agents, aids detoxification, reduction in blood sugar level among others.

Turmeric is an excellent source of both iron and manganese. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, dietary fibre, copper, and potassium. Phytonutrients in turmeric include curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, tumerones, and tumenorols.

Turmeric is a rich so

urce of many essential vitamins such as niacin, riboflavin and pyridoxine. 100g of turmeric contains 1.80mg or 138% of the RDA of pyridoxine, and 23.9mg of Vit. C.

100 g of turmeric provides 53% of dietary fibre, 138 % of vitamin B6, 32% of niacin, 43% of vitamin C, 21% of vitamin E, 54% of potassium, 517% of iron, 340%of manganese and 40% of zinc and 0% cholesterol.

The most active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin which was previously used to colour foods and used in antioxidants. Curcumin is a polyphenol in turmeric that is beneficial for prevention of inflammation, regulation of blood sugar and fat levels, and also it reduces the risk of cancer occurrence.

Turmeric has many health benefits because of the bioactive compounds present in it. Highlighted below are parts of the numerous advantages of turmeric.

Curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory agent, and several studies show that it is helpful against inflammation. Further studies show that it is also used in the treatment of arthritis. Turmeric is also good in increasing the antioxidant capacity of the body by preventing oxidative stress and damages to organs of the body. Antioxidants are beneficial because they prevent the activity of free radicals. Curcumin works by preventing the activity of the free radicals and then stimulates the activity of the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.

Turmeric is also good in fighting heart related disorders. One of the major importance of turmeric regarding treatment of heart diseases is that it improves the functioning of the endothelium which is the lining of the blood vessel. Improper functioning of the endothelium arises from the inability to regulate blood pressure, blood clotting and other heart related factors. These can lead to heart disorders if not properly managed.

Presently, there is a clinical study on the use of turmeric in the treatment and management of cancer.

Having considered the importance and benefits of turmeric, it is worthy of note to discuss the dosage of the plant. Turmeric is a local root and its usage has not been standardized. However, consumption of the herb should not be in excess dosages. Most times, the herb is consumed dried and used as seasonings, infusions and even spices. For use as preventions of ulcers it is advised to use between 3-6g/day. As digestive aid the recommended dose is 0.5-3g/day. Much higher doses is used for reduction in blood glucose.

So when next you are planning a meal, include a couple of grams of the herb as it not only gives appealing colour and taste to your food but also improves health and wellbeing.

 

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