But are you aware that there is a culinary spice which was shown, in a study, to prevent age-associated decline in endothelial function in post-menopausal women as much as exercise did?(1) The endothelium is the lining of the blood vessels. A dysfunction involving the endothelium can impact the regulation of blood pressure, blood clotting, and various other factors which can lead to heart disease.
Can you guess the spice?
TURMERIC HAS IMPRESSIVE ANTI-INFLAMMATORY PROPERTIES
Turmeric is a potent antioxidant and has impressive anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is considered to be at the root of many of modern day chronic conditions. In several studies, turmeric's potency has compared favorably to anti-inflammatory drugs...except without the side effects. Turmeric boosts brain function, dramatically increases the antioxidant capacity of the body, relieves arthritis and depression and may help delay aging and fight age related chronic diseases.(3)
LOOK FOR FRESH TURMERIC ROOT IN YOUR HEALTHY FOOD STORE
Turmeric is such a nutritional powerhouse that it makes sense to make a conscious effort to incorporate it into your diet. It is one of the ingredients in curry powder which makes curry a brilliant golden yellow color. Recently I have been finding the fresh whole root in healthy foods stores such as Whole Foods and my local Mustard Seed Market. It looks similar to ginger, but has a red/orange cast to it. You can grate the peeled fresh root or buy it in powdered form. Observe the expiration date on the spice bottle as herbs and spices do not maintain their potency for more than a year or two. You can use turmeric in soups and stews where it blends very nicely. Or make curries or other recipes with warm spice blends such as cinnamon, fenugreek, nutmeg and paprika. Note that if you grate the root, it will stain your fingers and cutting board an intense golden yellow!
TURMERIC IS ALSO AVAILABLE AS A NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENT
If you would like to use turmeric for more of its targeted medicinal properties, turmeric and curcumin supplements have become popular. I have noticed that studies on the herb are typically done using 500-1000mg daily. If you decide to take it medicinally, be sure to ask you doctor if it is right for you or if it will interfere with anything else you might be taking.
Turmeric might be the World's Most Important Culinary Spice!