The turmeric plant (Curcuma longa) has long been valued for its medicinal properties by traditional healers. An impressive amount of medical research also suggests that the therapeutic promise of turmeric is real. Why bring this topic up on the Dr. Russ blog? For 2 reasons:
1) There are many ways to make curry, but at least some part of the curry spice typically comes from turmeric, either for flavor or coloring
2) A newly publshed study out of The British Journal of Cancer suggests that a compound found in curry (curcumin) may have a role in both the prevention and treatment of some forms of cancer.
Curcumin has also been studied in other disease states and shown promise as a preventive agent against Alzheimer's disease and certain inflammatory conditions.
While turmeric and curcumin supplements are available, I prefer that we gain access to the potentially health-promoting actions of curcumin by enjoying the delicious taste of curry dishes on occasion. No less than Hippocrates said, "Let thy food be thy medicine." Sometimes we need other kinds of medicine, too, but when we can enjoy flavorful dishes AND maybe get healthier by doing so, all the better!
So explore the taste of curry the next time you're serving up an old standard - that new flavor twist may add an enjoyable "kick" to a favorite dish, and might just help keep you and your family well, too.
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