Theresa (Tracy) Garrett
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Certified Diabetes Educator
(As seen in the Sun City Independent and Surprise Today)
I’ve been reading about turmeric and its healing properties. What can you tell me about it?
The ancient spice turmeric is enjoying a golden moment in nutrition circles these days and for good reason.
The yellow-hued staple of East Indian cuisine contains curcumin, a substance researchers have found possesses significant anti-inflammatory properties.
Inflammation, of course, can cause a variety of ills. Researchers have found evidence that turmeric can decrease infection, improve digestion and prevent cancer, possibly even Alzheimer’s disease. This all may sound a bit “new age” but turmeric has actually been used medicinally for over 4,500 years.
While turmeric is mostly used as a spice, it is also available in supplemental form. Using turmeric in beverages or foods is safe, however, as with most substances, larger quantities in the supplemental form may carry risks and should be discussed with a health care professional before you take them. Due to its potential blood-thinning effect, turmeric supplements should be stopped at least two weeks before a planned surgery.
Adding turmeric to your diet is easy. Sprinkle it on and in vegetables, egg dishes, pastas, sauces or salad dressings. Indian curry dishes or spices contain turmeric. Turmeric can even be stirred into hot water to make a tea. Expand your palate and you may just improve your health simultaneously.
Tracy Garrett is a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes educator at the Sun Health Center for Health & Wellbeing. For more information, call 623-832-WELL (9355) or go to sunhealthwewellbeing.org.
(Originally published April 3, 2017; last updated Jan. 12, 2019.)