Turmeric Latte. What is the truth to this latest trend?

Turmeric has been a staple ingredient for medicinal and cooking use or thousands of years. There is great recognition of turmeric in Ayurvedic medicine. The rise in turmeric over the last few years is mainly because of the active component within turmeric, called Curcumin.  Today, it is mainly used in cooking for flavour and colour, but as scientific evidence suggests the nutritional benefits exceed the cooking purpose, turmeric is now widely added to health supplements, food and drink and some medicinal ointments.

Scientific evidence over many years suggest that turmeric may possess anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Therefore, turmeric may be useful in attempting to reduce inflammation and oxidative damage in the body alongside a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Turmeric in cooking

Certain methods and periods of cooking may reduce the nutritional effects of curcumin, moreover the amounts added to food dishes tend to be no larger than a pinch or a teaspoon. From a nutritional perspective, this amount generally is not enough to take full effect. It is advised to build levels up slowly for safety and efficacy.  By increasing amounts to 1 teaspoon instead of half a teaspoon in meals, the collective amount in a day increases. Also consider adding a pinch to hot drinks. Supplementation has become widely recognised for larger dosages of curcumin for optimal benefits. Supplementation should only be advised by a health practitioner or registered nutritionist.

Benefits

Suggested benefits include the anti inflammatory properties of curcumin.  The inflammatory response is a natural response in the body and is required for healing and repair. However when the inflammation becomes increased and chronic , this may lead to a range of other unpleasant symptoms and conditions such as auto immunity. Therefore, opting for an anti-inflammatory protocol (diet, lifestyle measures and supplementation) are useful to follow. Curcumin has been compared with certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines in research papers. This is why many practitioners may argue that it is better to incorporate more natural based anti-inflammatory

As a potent anti-oxidant, curcumin may help neutralize free radicals in the body. This would also suggest that curcumin plays a protective role in cognitive health. Some studies indicate that curcumin use may improve brain function, memory and possibly lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Summary

Turmeric has been used in Central and South Asia for thousands of years. It forms a foundation within Ayurvedic Medicine. The active component within turmeric, curcumin, has become increasingly popular worldwide for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. More people are incorporating turmeric in their cooking and diet through hot drinks, intravenous therapy, supplementation and medicinal ointments. Studies also suggest that dietary turmeric is not enough for optimal benefits. This is why supplementation has become increasingly popular as an add on.

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