Turmeric Recipes May Have Healing Powers

Sharalyn Hartwell's picture

Recipes using the Indian spice Turmeric may have healing powers. The Journal of the American Chemical Society published a study identifying a component of turmeric called curcumin that actually resists infection. Turmeric recipes may tap into that healing power.

Health Day reports researchers in the study discovered that curcumin molecules insert themselves into cell membranes, making the membranes more stable. The stability seems to boost a cell’s resistance to infection.

To fully take advantage of turmeric’s healing powers, always add black pepper to your recipe. A study at St. John’s Medical College showed that when ingested alone, the curcumin was quickly metabolized by the liver and intestinal wall, limiting its health benefits and healing powers.

But when curcumin, the healing ingredient in turmeric, was ingested with piperine, a component of black pepper, the absorption of curcumin was increased by 2,000 percent.

The National Institute of Health also notes in traditional Chinese medicine, turmeric has been used to aid digestion and liver function, relieve arthritis pain and regulate menstruation. It is also used for heartburn, stomach ulcers and gallstones.

Turmeric recipes will typically be a golden yellow color. The Indian spice has a strong , bitter flavor and is frequently used in curry, mustard powders and some cheeses, according to the National Institutes of Health. It is actually a shrub, related to ginger. Turmeric’s underground, fingerlike stems are dried and ground into powder.

To take advantage of its healing powers of turmeric recipes, some foodies suggest adding turmeric and black pepper to basic recipes such as potato salad, macaroni and cheese or scrambled eggs. Turmeric’s flavor is always described as strong, so be aware before attempting too many new concoctions.

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