One of my favorite spices is turmeric which is a component of curry. Did you know it is also used as an herbal beverage in Okinawa, Japan? Could turmeric be a diet secret for the Okinawans whose population is known for its longevity? Turmeric has been used for generations in Asian countries to control infection and reduce scar formation. The spice's active chemical, curcumin, has been shown to act as an antioxidant and an antimicrobial. Studies have also shown that extracts of turmeric root can reduce the secretion of acid by the stomach to protect against inflammation and reduce ulcers. Turmeric has been shown to have a protective effect on the liver by clearing harmful toxins as well as preventing damage. Turmeric may also relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Current research by Cornell University shows promise for curcumin's positive effect on breast cancer.
How to add turmeric to you daily diet? Sprinkle it on your salmon or tofu, add it to soups and as the Okinawans - make an herbal beverage. Turmeric is available at Whole Foods (organic) found in the spice section, or you can purchase it elsewhere in capsules, fluid extracts and tinctures.