It is a well known and researched fact that low grade inflammation drives the ageing process and many age related diseases such as metabolic disease, Atherosclerosis, some cancers, Rheumatoid Arthritis and more. If we want to delay the ageing process, we need to reduce inflammation in our body. Likewise, if we want to reduce inflammation, we need to take action against the onset of age related disease. This is where our diet comes into play in a huge way.
Inflammation and ageing quite often go hand in hand. Mother nature has known this for as long as the earth has been around, hence we see many anti-inflammatory foods, herbs and spices that contain powerful antioxidant properties to combat the ageing process. It seems that mother nature has an answer for everything... don't you just hate it when your mother is right?!?!
Tumeric would have to be one of the most perfect examples of this. It's a rather unattractive looking spice from the ginger family. It looks quite similar to ginger actually, but more yellow in colour, that is unless you get it in a packet from the spice section. It is one of the main ingredients in curry powder, so when in a powder form it could easily be mistaken for curry powder. It has a warm, slightly bitter and peppery flavour makes it perfect for a nice hot curry! But it's more than just a yummy spice... it is also an extremely powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory food.
Tumeric contains a specific phytochemical compound known as Curcumin which has been researched quite a lot in recent years for its ability to inhibit inflammatory processes. This, combined with its antioxidant properties makes it the food of choice for many arthritis sufferers for a bit of relief from joint pain and inflammation. It's also been proven to help with other age related conditions such as metabolic syndrome, cancer and heart disease.
In traditional Chinese Medicine, tumeric has long been used as a healing herb. They actually use several types of tumeric in their herbal formulation such as Giant Tumeric and White Tumeric. It has been used by the Chinese for many years for conditions of the liver and digestive system, as well as assisting with hormonal balance in women. Quite often it is prescribed to be taken dissolved in hot water and with a small amount of honey. Kind of like a nice hot cup of tea. The hot water helps to warm the digestive tract and assist absorption.
If you're a bit of a foodie, and would like to get more tumeric in your diet then why not whip up a nice big batch of curry. You can include so many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory spices in your curry. Fun fact - if you add a bit of black pepper, you can actually increase the bioavailability of the curcumin in tumeric by upto 2000%!!! So you're nice warm winter curry just became one of your best, most potent, and most delicious ways to reduce inflammation and combat the ageing process. It's the little things every day that make the difference in the long term.