Turmeric: One of the World’s Most Powerful Foods for Disease Prevention


Extremely potent in its flavor, if you can find clever ways to add organic turmeric to into your diet, you could see some tremendous benefits.  It may also be of particular interest to men who have concerns about Prostate Cancer.

Lets take a look at just some of its MANY benefits:

A Very Powerful Anti-Inflammatory  Curcumin, the oil in turmeric that gives it its strong yellow-orange color (which by the way, also gives American Mustard its color), is believed to be the pharmacological agent in Turmeric, is sometimes compared to the more toxic, man-made anti-inflammatory medications such as hydrocortisone, phenylbutazone, and the less potent, Motrin.  Because of the potent anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, turmeric can also help reduce symptoms resulting from menstual cycles, migraine headaches and other conditions where anti-inflammatory medications are typically used.

Rheumatoid Arthritis  Curcumin, a chemical in turmeric, might help reduce some symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Prostate Cancer  I was reading about this, and saw that the combination of turmeric and cauliflower (or other cruciferous vegetables) is being looked at as a considerable form of prostate cancer prevention.  Prostate Cancer is the 2nd most rampant cause of cancer death amongst American men.  In contrast, Prostate Cancer in India is quite rare (there is a lot of Turmeric and cauliflower being eaten in India)

From www.whfoods.com: “Scientists tested turmeric, a concentrated source of the phytonutrient curcumin, along with phenethyl isothiocyanates, a phytochemical abundant in cruciferous vegetables including cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, kohlrabi and turnips.

When tested singly, both phenethyl isothiocyanate and curcumin greatly retarded the growth of human prostate cancer cells implanted in immune-deficient mice. In mice with well-established prostate cancer tumors, neither phenethyl isothiocyanate nor curcumin by itself had a protective effect, but when combined, they significantly reduced both tumor growth and the ability of the prostate cancer cells to spread (metastasize) in the test animals.”

Improved Liver Function Also from www.whfoods.com: “Turmeric may increase detoxification systems in addition to its anti-oxidant properties…Turmeric used widely as a spice would probably mitigate the effects of several dietary carcinogens.”

Cardiovascular Health Curcumin may be able to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the body. Since oxidized cholesterol is what damages blood vessels and builds up in the plaques that can lead to heart attack or stroke, preventing the oxidation of new cholesterol may help to reduce the progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease.



Cancer Prevention (mentioned in many cases are Liver, Colon, Prostate – as above, Leukemia)

May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease  In Alzheimer’s patients, there is a protein fragment that accumulates in the brain and causes plaque buildup that disrupts brain function.  It is said that curcumin from Turmeric, acts as an even stronger agent to help break down and even inhibit the plaque from forming in the first place, “more effectively than the anti-inflammatory drugs ibuprofen and naproxen”.

As I mentioned, Turmeric is VERY potent, and it has a pungent aroma and flavor, so in some ways, I look for ways I can get it into my system as a preventative, natural ‘medicine’, instead of thinking it’s going to taste like a fig newton (which if you know me, I think fig newtons are the best cookie ever made – although I haven’t eaten one in maybe 10 years).  Of course, you may love it!

By the way women Turmeric is a very good source of iron – needed to generate healthy red blood cells, and for healthy skin, hair, and nails.

If you’re juicing, it’s great to add Turmeric in with a cold-pressed, organic juice of other fruits and vegetables.  I happen to LOVE Suja’s FUEL, because the carrots, blended with orange, pineapple, and lemon, mask the inch of Turmeric also in the juice.

Here are some other ways of incorporating Turmeric into your diet from World’s Healthiest Foods Organization (www.whfoods.com):

  • Mix brown rice with raisins and cashews and season with turmeric, cumin and coriander.  You can also do this with quinoa.
  • Although turmeric is generally a staple ingredient in curry powder, some people like to add a little extra of this spice when preparing curries. And turmeric doesn’t have to only be used in curries. This spice is delicious on healthy sautéed apples, and healthy steamed cauliflower and/or green beans and onions. Serve with raw cauliflower, celery, sweet pepper, jicama and broccoli florets.
  • Turmeric is a great spice to complement recipes that feature lentils.
  • Give salad dressings an orange-yellow hue by adding some turmeric powder to them.
  • For an especially delicious way to add more turmeric to your healthy way of eating, cut cauliflower florets in half and healthy sauté with a generous spoonful of turmeric for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

You can also look for Curcumin-Turmeric capsules at your local health food stores.

I would love to hear your thoughts about and recipes using this very powerful spice!



4 thoughts on “Turmeric: One of the World’s Most Powerful Foods for Disease Prevention

  1. Here’s a question. You indicate that, “Curcumin, the oil in turmeric that gives it its strong yellow-orange color (which by the way, also gives American Mustard its color), is believed to be the pharmacological agent in Turmeric.” Does that mean that some mustards have (some of) the same or similar health effects as turmeric?

    • It’s possible that some mustards could have some positive health characteristics as a result of the Turmeric, however, as you see below (from Livestrong), it is not disclosed how much Turmeric or curcumin is added (per serving) in effort to give mustard its bright yellow color. So – knowing that you are probably trying to figure out the easiest way to get Turmeric into some very picky tastebuds – I would try to stretch beyond mustard as the only way to get Turmeric into the diet on a regular basis. Mustard also has (roughly) 57mg of sodium per teaspoon.

      “French’s yellow mustard includes turmeric as an ingredient, although the company does not disclose the exact percentage of turmeric in its formula. This spice has antioxidant properties, according to Medline Plus. Antioxidants help your body repair the damaging effects of free radicals. These unbonded molecules that result from normal cell processes play a role in aging and several diseases. The USDA profile for prepared yellow mustard shows that ground mustard seeds also have omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to heart health by helping to lower cholesterol.” (Livestrong.com)

  2. I just started adding a teaspoon of it everyday to my smoothies in the morning. Very good read. Thanks

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