Health Benefits of Turmeric (Haldi)

(Waseem Razzaq, )

Turmeric is a spice which has medicinal properties. basically, it is a yellow powder which is found in every Pakistani and Indian kitchen, known as "Haldi" in Urdu/Hindi, Turmeric is a flowering plant, Curcuma longa of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae, the roots of which are used in cooking. The plant is native to the Indo-Pak subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Plants are gathered each year for theirrhizomes, some for propagation in the following season and some for consumption.

The rhizomes are used fresh or boiled in water and dried, after which they are ground into a deep orange-yellow powder commonly used as a coloring and flavoring agent in many Asian cuisines, especially for curries, as well as for dyeing. Turmeric powder has a warm, bitter, black pepper-like flavor and earthy, mustard-like aroma.Turmeric powder is about 60–70% carbohydrates, 6–13% water, 6–8% protein, 5–10% fat, 3–7% dietary minerals, 3–7% essential oils, 2–7% dietary fiber, and 1–6% curcuminoids. Phytochemical components of turmeric include diarylheptanoids, a class including numerous curcuminoids, such as curcumin, desmethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Curcumin constitutes up to 3.14% of assayed commercial samples of turmeric powder (the average was 1.51%); curry powder contains much less (an average of 0.29%).34 essential oils like turmerone, germacrene, atlantone, and zingiberene are present in turmeric. Before going to its health benefits, we will know about its culinary uses.

Culinary Uses of Turmeric: Turmeric is one of the key ingredients in many Asian dishes it is used mostly in savory dishes, but also is used in some sweet dishes, such as the cake sfouf. In India, turmeric leaf is used to prepare special sweet dishes, patoleo . It is used in many products such as canned beverages, baked products, dairy products, ice cream, yogurt, yellow cakes, orange juice, biscuits, popcorn color, cereals, sauces, and gelatin. It is a principal ingredient in curry powders.Although typically used in its dried, powdered form, turmeric also is used fresh, like ginger. It has numerous uses in East Asian recipes, such as a pickle that contains large chunks of fresh soft turmeric.

Turmeric is used widely as a spice in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking. Various Iranian recipes begin with onions caramelized in oil and turmeric. It is included in Moroccan spice mix . In South Africa, turmeric is used to give boiled white rice a golden color, known as geelrys (yellow rice) . Turmeric is also a part of Vietnamese cuisine, Cambodian cuisine and Indonesian cuisine, In Thailand, fresh turmeric rhizomes are used widely in many dishes. The turmeric milk drink known as haldidoodh (haldi means turmeric) is a South Asian recipe.

Health Benefits of Turmeric:Several compounds in turmeric may support your health. The most well-known of these is curcumin It has been shown to have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and can even support wound healing through its antibacterial effects.

Because curcumin can help fight inflammation and keep blood sugar levels steady, it could be a useful tool to prevent or treat type 2 diabetes. Curcumin can specifically lower inflammatory markers such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin 6 (IL-6), which are key contributors to type 2 diabetes

Curcumin might help you to fight off a variety of viruses, including herpes and the flu. So you can add turmeric to your tea or milk to tackle with these illnesses.
Many studies have shown that curcumin help ease premenstrual symptoms (PMS), turmeric may bring relief from menstrual cramps,

Some studies have found that turmeric can lower LDL "bad" cholesterol,

Turmeric has shown promise for its ability to ease joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation. Turmeric is also beneficial for cancer patients and persons with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), IBS is a widespread condition involving recurrent abdominal pain and diarrhoea or constipation, often associated with stress, depression, anxiety, or previous intestinal infection.

Turmeric is also used to treat acne and other skin problem and is included in face masks, face washes, face creams and ubtans (Ubtan is a powdered mix of Ayurvedic herbs and natural ingredients. In other words, it's a homemade paste which makes skin shine and fresh). Turmeric and curcumin also help relieve headache, stress and depression.

Absorption of curcumin from gut to bloodstream:
Curcumin is often poorly absorbed and can pass through your gut undigested. A helpful Tip for better absorption is to add some black pepper to your meals or supplements that contain turmeric or curcumin. A substance in black pepper called piperine can increase the bioavailability of curcumin

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