Turmeric – benefits and properties
Turmeric is used successfully in gastronomy and it is well known for its medicinal properties against high cholesterol, osteoarthritis or cancer, among many other deseases.
Turmeric, also known as Curcuma longa or Indian saffron, is one of the most popular plants, due to its gastronomic versatility, as well as for its healing properties.
What is turmeric?
Plant from southwestern India, belonging to the same family as ginger (zingiberaceae), turmeric began to be used about 4,000 years ago. In Sanscrit, the word kunkuma was used particularly for turmeric, hence the name turmeric, under which this plant is also known.
How to prepare the turmeric powder?
By scraping and drying its stem, which grows underground and horizontally, a yellow powder is obtained which contains between 2 and 5% curcumin, a compound that is attributed to its health benefits.
However, turmeric powder should not be confused with curry, which is a mixture of several spices, among which we mention: turmeric, bell pepper, coriander, ginger, fennel.
Turmeric, the golden dust of gastronomy
The culinary use of turmeric is more deeply rooted in Asia and due to its sweet aroma, with spicy notes and slightly bitter, turmeric has become known in the whole world.
Turmeric is currently one of the most appreciated spices by chefs, who use it as a miracle ingredient in their dishes. By color, by aroma, by flavor, turmeric stands out due to its magical attributes.
How do we use turmeric in gastronomy?
We can use turmeric as: - spice: to season rice, meat, fish, salads etc.
- food coloring: to color cheese, sauces, dairy products, juices etc.
Nutritional information per 100 grams
- Calories: 354 cal.
- Protein: 7.80 g
- Carbohydrates: 64.90 g
- Lipids (fats): 9.90 g.
Turmeric contains fiber, protein, niacin, vitamins C, E and K, sodium, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc etc. However, as the amount consumed in the preparations is small, its nutritional value is low.
Its proportion can be higher if consumed in the form of a nutritional supplement, but only following a recommendation of a specialist.
Benefits of turmeric for the healthDue to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, turmeric is successfully used for:
- detoxifying the body;
- flue and colds;
- skin conditions: acne, eczema, psoriasis, healing of cuts, wounds and skin lesions;
- allergy relief;
- gastric ulcers;
- irritable bowel;
- diabetes (lowering blood sugar);
- dyslipidemie (high cholesterol);
- osteoarthritis of the hand, hip or knee;
- therapy to maintain ulcerative colitis in remission stages;
- osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis;
- knee arthritis;
How should turmeric be administrated correctly?
Consumption of turmeric as a nutritional supplement is considered safe when administered orally or topically and the amount is different depending on the condition we face, therefore a doctor recommendation is needed.
Side effectsWhen not used properly and in the right dose, turmeric can have side effects, such as:
- stomach ache;
- increased menstrual flow;
- hypotension (low blood pressure).
Turmeric is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women, because its consumption may endanger the pregnancy and health of mothers.
Used correctly and in the right dose, turmeric can do miracles
As we could see, turmeric powder fully deserves its name of magic dust, which, however, must be used in small quantities for the preparation of delicious dishes and only following the recommendation of a doctor for therapeutic purposes.
Therefore, let’s use it properly and enjoy its incredible properties in gastronomy and health.