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Turmeric

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Turmeric Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 12.9 g
Calories: 312 kcal
Protein: 9.7 g
Carbohydrate: 67.1 g
Dietary fiber: 22.7 g
Sugars: 3.2 g
Fat: 3.3 g
Saturated fat: 1.8 g
Monounsaturated fat: 0.4 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.8 g
Vitamin C: 0.7 mg
Vitamin B1: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B2: 0.2 mg
Vitamin B3: 1.4 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B9: 20 μg
Vitamin E: 4.4 mg
Vitamin K: 13.4 μg
Calcium: 168 mg
Iron: 55 mg
Magnesium: 208 mg
Phosphorus: 299 mg
Potassium: 2080 mg
Sodium: 27 mg
Zinc: 4.5 mg

This bright yellow spice is used in a number of Asian dishes and adds a wonderful slightly gingery flavour. It has also been used for centuries in folk medicine and now we will take a look at the science that proves the effectiveness of this humble spice in the prevention and treatment of a number of ailments.

Prevent Inflammation Of The Endothelium. The endothelium is what lines the inside of blood vessels and circulatory system – if it becomes inflamed anywhere within the circulatory system it can cause a number of cardiovascular related problems including stroke, heart attack and high blood pressure. Research has looked at the effect turmeric has on inflammation of endothelial cells, which are the cells that live inside the endothelium layer.

The findings suggest that turmeric oil may help to reduce the occurrence of endothelial cell inflammation, which in turn will help prevent related diseases such as those mentioned above. The study was conducted on rats, so human trials are necessary to confirm the relevance to human endothelial cells, but the results are promising.

Prevent Heart Attacks. A recent study followed the occurrence of heart attacks in 121 participants, pre and post-bypass surgery, who had either taken capsules containing curcumin – a compound found in turmeric – or a placebo. The volunteers were asked to take the capsules from three days before their surgery right through until five days afterwards. The results showed that the test group who had taken the curcumin capsules only experienced a 13% likelihood of heart attack, compared to the placebo group whose risk increased to 30%

Reverse The Risk Of Developing Full-Blown Type 2 Diabetes. It may seem impossible for a person who is classed as having pre-diabetes to be able to reverse the risk of it developing into full-blown type 2 diabetes, but it is possible thanks to turmeric! In 2012, a group of researchers took 240 volunteers and divided them into two groups. Over a nine month period, one group received a curcumin supplement and the other group received a placebo.

At the end of the trial, 16.4% of the placebo group had developed type 2 diabetes, but no-one in the curcumin group developed the disease; thus supporting the idea that turmeric, which contains curcumin, is effective at reversing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in a pre-diabetic person.

Encourages The Brain To Repair Itself. Turmeric also contains something called aromatic-turmerone which has now been found to encourage the stem cells in the brain to repair themselves, according to a recent study carried out by Hucklenbroich et al. The findings are incredibly exciting and further investigation into how aromatic-turmerone can encourage repair in relation to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s needs to be done.