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Monday, 11 September 2017

Can eating haldi or turmeric actually keep you disease-free?

The ancient Indian spice haldi or turmeric has moved well beyond Indian curries and found its space in everything from soups, teas and lattes. And why not, turmeric contains the active ingredient curcumin which is said to give pain relief and also prevent heart disease. Also, the curcumin present in turmeric has a very potent effect in moderating insulin levels and enhancing the efficacy of anti diabetic drugs. Being an antioxidant, it fights off the ill effects of free radicals and reduces insulin resistance. Further, studies also suggest that curcumin can be a potential ingredient in cancer prevention [1]. But before you get excited and think that you are free of diseases because you had haldi in everything you eat here’s what you need to know.

Can consuming turmeric really prevent diseases?
You can reap the benefits of turmeric only if you consume concentrated curcumin. You need way more curcumin than you just get from sprinkling some turmeric on your curry or on your drink. Curcumin makes up only 3 percent weight of 5mg dry turmeric suggests a study published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer [2]. Plus, if you add turmeric to your milk, tea or latte any potential benefit of the spice can be outweighed by the calories and added sugar in the drink. Here are 3 reasons why you should always have turmeric with black pepper. 

Turmeric cannot magically cure all your health woes but if you want to reap some benefits of the spice you need a more concentrated dose. The recommended dose is 500mg per day and you will probably need a supplement to make up for it. You may also want to try these 5 spices to boost your health quotient. 

Bottomline-– There is no one food that can keep you disease-free. It all comes down to having a balanced diet.

[1] Rahmani, A. H., Al Zohairy, M. A., Aly, S. M., & Khan, M. A. (2014). Curcumin: A Potential Candidate in Prevention of Cancer via Modulation of Molecular Pathways. BioMed Research International, 2014, 761608.
[2] Curcumin Content of Turmeric and Curry Powders Reema F. Tayyem, Dennis D. Heath, Wael K. Al-Delaimy & Cheryl L. Rock. Nutrition and Cancer Vol. 55, Iss. 2,2006

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