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Turmeric: The Healing Spice

Easy ways to benefit from nature's golden treasure.

Turmeric, a spice known for its glorious yellow color, has been used in Asian kitchens for thousands of years. The spice is more commonly known in the United States for the hue it imparts to prepared mustard and curries, but on its home turf of India it is revered for its medicinal properties: it works as a powerful anti-inflammatory for arthritic conditions; aids digestion; may improve cognitive function; and may even suppress tumors. Nutritionist Rebecca Katz, a senior chef in residence at a leading cancer wellness center and the author of the upcoming book The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying, Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods, says turmeric acts like a vacuum cleaner for your system: “It vacuums up free-radical debris that can cause disease. Turmeric is the aspirin or ibuprofen of the spice set. It controls internal or systemic inflammation, which is implicated in so many chronic diseases, from arthritis and Alzheimer’s to cancer.”Turmeric, whose Sanskrit name translates to “germicide,” is a rhizome (an underground root), like ginger. While it is available fresh in some As …

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