Turmeric Health Benefits and Culinary Uses

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Turmeric Benefits and Uses

One of the spices that you often see on the shelves but do not think much about is the spice turmeric. I bet you didn't think that you could do much with that? Well you would be wrong about that! This spice has a ton of uses, both for food and for health purposes. The turmeric root can get rid of digestive problems, and alleviate inflammation. You will learn everything that there is to know about this useful root in this ebook guide. You will be able to get rid of inflammation and digestive problems with only one cheap spice from your local grocery store. Turmeric is also thermogenic in nature, so it actually causes your cells to burn calories just by eating. Once you start using this cheap, easy-to-get spice you will be able to get rid of inflammation, joint pain, digestive problems, and lose weight to boot! More here...

Turmeric Benefits and Uses Summary

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Official Website: www.secretsofturmeric.com
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Turmeric

Historical note Turmeric is a perennial herb, yielding a rhizome that produces a yellow powder that gives curry its characteristic yellow colour and is used to colour French mustard and the robes of Hindu priests. Turmeric was probably first cultivated as a dye, and then as a condiment and cosmetic. It is often used as an inexpensive substitute for saffron in cooking and in the 13th century Marco Polo marvelled at its similarities to saffron. Both Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines use turmeric for the treatment of inflammatory and digestive disorders and turmeric has also been used in tooth powder or paste. Research has focused on turmeric's antioxidant, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic and antimicrobial properties, in addition to its use in cardiovascular disease and gastrointestinal disorders (Anon 2001).

Spice Use In The West

Traders from the West seeking wealth in the spice trade came to India and other destinations in the Far East, such as China and the Spice Islands (Indonesia) for at least 3000 years. Arabs, Greeks, Romans, and other Europeans came to India's Malabar Coast, which they called the spice emporium, for cloves, pepper, pippali, zedoary, nutmeg, and turmeric. They carried their precious cargoes to Africa, the Mediterranean, and Europe.

Reported Therapeutic Effects of Spices

Is a wonder medicine and has been used and researched for its many healing properties. Curcumin and curcumene in turmeric are the active compounds. Turmeric has protection against free radical damage and cancer prevention possesses anti-inflammatory properties by lowering histamine levels protects the liver against toxic compounds reduces platelets from clumping together thereby improving circulation and protecting against arteriosclerosis prevents cancer acts as an antipeptic ulcer and antidyspepsia agent and heals wounds. Researchers at UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles) have shown curcumin to slow the formation of, and even destroy, accumulated plaque deposits that play a key role in development of Alzheimer's disease. Allicin in garlic lowers cholesterol, capsaicin in chile peppers prevents blood clotting, trigonelline in fenugreek seeds prevents rise in blood sugar, and gingerol in ginger aids digestion. Research is being conducted on many more spices. Turmeric...

Global Curry Blends and Their Characterizing Flavorings

Basic curry blend Mild, medium, or hot, aromatic Turmeric, cumin, coriander, ground Coconut, tamarind, fresh green chile pepper, fennel seed, dried red chile pepper, turmeric, mustard seeds, kari leaf, ginger Mustard, tamarind, kalonji, fenu, Greek Coconut, star anise, lemongrass, coriander leaf, turmeric, galangal, cayenne, mint, ginger, tomato fish sauce, shrimp paste, kari leaf, peanuts Soy sauce, turmeric, corn starch, caramel, fish sauce, sugar Habaneros, allspice, turmeric, vinegar, black pepper, fruits, onions Apples, raisins, cream, turmeric, sugar Black pepper, caraway, tomato, mint, olive, sumac, pistachio, sesame seed, nigella Turmeric, clove, mace, cinnamon, nutmeg, bay leaf spice mixtures for sauces) originated in India and traveled to other parts of the world, and ingredients were added and deleted to suit local tastes. Curry blends from India, Thailand, Japan, the Caribbean, England, and Africa differ greatly because of what they contain. Even in India, curry blends...

Spice Authenticity And Quality Concerns

Many commercially available dried spices are adulterated with cheaper spices or other parts of the same spice plant, or even bulked with fillers and dyes for cost and availability reasons. Since saffron is the most expensive spice, it is adulterated in many ways, including with safflower petals, marigold, coloring matter, gelatin, moisture, syrup, salt, and starch. Ground chilies and turmeric are frequently adulterated with cheap dyes, tapioca starch, cereal flour, and lead chromate all of which lower their coloring principles and create health concerns. Stems and other parts of the clove plant are added to clove buds and bark of cassia and other inferior types are added to true cinnamon. Dried ground cinnamon often has carriers, such as nuts, sugar, rhizomes, and dyes, aromatized with cinnamaldehyde. Concerns about adulteration are not limited to ground spices but spice extractives as well. Also, as discussed above, spices are sometimes mixed from a variety of origins or bulked with...

Spices as Antioxidants

Turmeric Rosemary and sage are the most effective of all spices in retaining the red color of processed meats by inhibiting the flavor and color degradation of fats and oils in them. The flavonoids and diterpenes and triterpenes of rosemary and sage are responsible for their antioxidant properties. They exhibit antioxidant properties superior to BHA or BHT. Other effective spices include thyme, turmeric, oregano, ginger, clove, majoram, red pepper, mace, sesame, and nutmeg. Rosmanol, caffeic acid, myristphenone, curcurmin, eugenol, thymol, and sesa-minol in rosemary, clove, thyme, oregano, ginger, turmeric, nutmeg, sage, and sesame seed are found to be strong antioxidants with meat, lard, and soybean oil. Spices such as celery, parsley, ginger, turmeric, fenugreek, mint, licorice, garlic, onion, mustard, horseradish, and chile pepper can be used to stimulate production of enzymes that detoxify carcinogens, inhibit cholesterol synthesis, block estrogen, lower blood pressure, elevate...

Chemical Components

Turmeric rhizome contains 5 phenolic curcuminoids (diarylheptanoids), which give turmeric the yellow colour. The most significant curcuminoid is curcumin (diferuloymethane). Turmeric also contains immune stimulating polysaccharides, including acid glucans known as ukonan A, B and C (Evans 2002).

Significant Interactions

Turmeric has a theoretical interaction with antiplatelet drugs antiplatelet properties have been demonstrated for curcumin, therefore it may produce an additive effect. The clinical significance of this interaction is unclear and likely to be dose-dependent. Theoretically, high-dose turmeric preparations may increase the risk of bleeding when used together with anticoagulant drugs caution is advised.

Pregnancy And Lactation

When used as a spice this herb is most likely to be safe however, the safety of therapeutic doses has not been established. Turmeric has been demonstrated not to be mutagenic in vitro (Nagabhushan 1986) or to be teratogenic in mice (Garg 1974, Vijayalaxmi 1980). Constituents and or metabolites of turmeric and curcumin were transferred to suckling pups, but no ill effect on the offspring was reported. In Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric is used to strengthen the overall energy of the body, relieve gas, dispel worms, improve digestion, regulate menstruation, dissolve gallstones, relieve arthritis and purify the blood (Blumenthal et al 2000). In TCM, turmeric is used for bruises, sores, ringworm, chest pain, toothache and jaundice. Turmeric was also recommended for abdominal pain, mass formation in the abdomen and amenorrhoea (Blumenthal et al 2000). Turmeric is commonly used in foods and is likely to be a safe and healthy addition to the diet. Turmeric has been shown to have antioxidant,...

Maintaining Spice Quality

When spices are exported into the United States, they must meet ASTA specifications. The general quality tests set by ASTA include cleanliness (foreign and extraneous matter), ash level (impurities), volatile oil (adulteration), moisture content (pricing, stability), water activity (microbial growth), pesticide levels, mycotoxin aflatoxin levels, and particle size. Other tests include piperine levels for black and white peppers ASTA color values capsaicin level Scoville units for chile peppers and curcumin content for turmeric color. Using these methods, quality limits are set for moisture, pungency, or color values. Most times, pungency, color, and other sensory values are correlated with organoleptic evaluations with trained sensory panelists. Spices not meeting the U.S. quality standards set by ASTA and recognized by FDA and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture have to be retreated and recleaned before distribution. Microbiological requirements for clean spices include counts for total...

Galangalgalangalegalingale

Kaempferia galangal aromatic ginger, finger root, Chinese ginger. Also called suo shi lap seuh jeung, ao chian jiang (Cantonese, Mandarin), temoe koentji (Dutch), Chinesischer ingwer (German), temu kunci (Indonesian), kunci (Malaysian), gazutu (Japanese), kchiey (Khmer), kasai (Laotian), Chinese key (Singaporean), krachai (Thai), and ngai num kho (Vietnamese). In Indonesia, it is sometimes confused with lesser galangal and called kencur. Zedoary (called white turmeric), which has a very bitter taste, is sometimes confused with kaempferia galangal. Greater galangal pairs well with coconut, garlic, chile peppers, kaffir lime leaves, turmeric, fish sauce, tamarind, and shallots. In Malaysia and Singapore, the Malays and Nonyas (female descendants of Chinese traders and local Malay women) use it abundantly with lemongrass, garlic, scallions, and tamarind for laksas, soups, and curries. In Thailand, it is used in pungent curry pastes, meat marinades, soups, and stir-fries. Indonesians use...

Typical Sensory Characteristics of Spices

Earthy Saffron, turmeric, black cumin, annatto Turmeric, from the ginger family, is often called Indian saffron. Its root is dried and ground to give a yellow color with an orange tinge. It is used as a natural food coloring in salad dressings, pickles, mustards, soups, and condiments. Its coloring is due to curcumin, a diketone, that accounts for 3 to 7 of this spice. The curcumin content varies depending upon its source, with Allepey (India) turmeric having a higher amount of curcumin than other varieties. Turmeric's color varies from a bright orange yellow to a reddish brown and is unstable to light and alkaline conditions. It can be used with high-heat products and in products with a pH of 2.5 to 6.5. Its color is yellow in an acid to a neutral pH, but reddish brown in an alkaline pH. Its color will break down when prepared in an iron utensil. Turmeric combination with paprika and turmeric oleoresins. Its coloring is due to norbixin (water soluble) and bixin (oil soluble) which...

The Asian Spice Emporium

One of the earliest written records regarding spices appears in the religious scriptures of the Aryan people of north India who had driven the earlier civilizations further south. The Vedas, written in Sanskrit between 1700 and 800 BC., refer to mustard (baja), turmeric (haridra), long pepper (pippali), and sour citrus (jambira). The Sanskrit language, itself, however, contains words for spices that reflect the well-established use of spices by the most ancient peoples in India. For example, the Sanskrit word for tamarind (chincha) has aboriginal origins. Haridra or turmeric comes from the Munda, a pre-Aryan people who lived through much of North India. The Vedas refer to a community called Nishadas, which translates literally into turmeric eaters. The Dravidians were the predominant civilization of South India. They used tamarind, black pepper, lemon, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, turmeric, and pomegranate to flavor their foods. Pepper plants, cardamom, and cinnamon grew wild in the...

Greek And Roman Spice Traders

During this period, the Romans sailed from Egypt to India to bring back spices such as black pepper and turmeric for food, wine, cosmetics, and medicine. The Romans became the first Europeans to cook with spices and used them lavishly. Black pepper was the most popular and most expensive spice during this period. Cumin and coriander were used for preserving meats and sausages. Fish were preserved with salt and leafy spices such as dill, mint, and savory, and flavored with pepper, cumin, and mint.

Spices as Antimicrobials

As early as 1500 BC, Egyptians used spices to preserve foods. In Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, before the days of refrigeration, spices were used to preserve meats, fish, bread, and vegetables. Spices were used alone or in combination with smoking, salting, and pickling to inhibit food spoilage. The Romans preserved fish sauce with dill, mint, and savory, and meats and sausages with cumin and coriander. The Greeks used garlic to prevent food spoilage, and in India, ginger, garlic, clove, and turmeric were used to preserve meats and fish. In ancient Egypt, cinnamon, cumin, and thyme were used in mummification. Spices are still used to preserve food in the villages of India, Africa, Indonesia, and Thailand. Spices have also been used for bactericidal and health reasons. During the Middle Ages, spices such as cinnamon, garlic, and oregano were used to treat cholera and other infectious diseases. In the late nineteenth century, clove, mustard, and cinnamon were shown to have...

Coloring

Some spices, such as saffron, paprika, turmeric, parsley, and annatto provide color as well as flavor to foods and beverages. Spices can meet consumer's demands for natural colorings (Table 7). The components responsible for the coloring in spices are oil soluble or water soluble. Some typical coloring components in spices are crocin in saffron, caro-tenoids in paprika, capsanthin in chile pepper, bixin in annatto, or curcumin in turmeric. The overall coloring given by a spice is sometimes a combined effect of two or more of its coloring components.

Spice Regulations

Another trade barrier with spices is regulations, which differ globally. For example, certain sterilization treatments for spices are allowed in some countries but barred in others. Use of ethylene oxide or irradiation, allowed in the United States, is prohibited in Japan. Turmeric oleoresin can be used as a spice but not permitted as a color in the European Union (EU), although curcumin is. In Europe itself, there is variation among member states in applying EU harmonized legislation.

Spice Preparation

Some spices are more stable to heat while others are added at the end of cooking. Adding different spices at appropriate times or stages during cooking helps each spice to retain its individual flavor and balance the other spices. For example, when making a fish curry, mustard seeds are added to the heated oil first, followed by cumin, coriander, fennel, and turmeric then garlic and ginger are added, after which onions are added. When the oil separates, tomatoes are added with fenugreek seeds (already dry roasted) and saffron is added toward the end, to avoid bitterness. This gives rise to a balanced layering of complex flavors in dishes of South Asia.

Lemongrass

How Prepared and Consumed lemongrass enhances many ingredients and does not dominate the flavor profile of a dish. It pairs well with garlic, galangal, shallots, cilantro, turmeric, kaffir lime leaves, candlenuts, ginger, chicken, pork, fish, and chile peppers. Lemongrass is used whole in soups or is chopped and pounded for use in soups, stews, curries, laksas, rendangs, and condiments of Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia. The ubiquitous sambals of Southeast Asia contain blended lemongrass as an essential ingredient with chilies, garlic, ginger, and shallots. The stalk is sliced into small rings and added to sauces and curries, or the stalk is cut into pieces, crushed with the back of a knife or spoon, and added to flavor soups or stews. The whole lemongrass stalk can be tied into a knot and added to soups or stews to give them an aromatic, fresh, citral flavor. It is discarded before serving. When cooked, lemongrass imparts a fresh floral, citrus, taste to foods. In...

Dill And Dillweed

Dill seeds pair well with cabbage, onions, bread, vinegar, potatoes, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and turmeric. Dillweed goes well with rice, salads, fish, eggs, mayonnaise, mustard-based sauces, yogurt, sour cream, and mild cheeses. It is usually added toward the end of cooking to retain its flavor.

Paprika

Paprika also pairs well with onions, sour cream, chile peppers, black pepper, corn, black beans, tomato, turmeric, and garlic and pork. It develops a brilliant reddish orange color and a distinct sweet, pungent flavor when fried in oil. Due to its high sugar content, it should not be overheated, otherwise it will turn bitter.

Asafoetidaasafetida

South Indians use it in sambar podi, a spice blend added to legume dishes to enhance their flavor and to prevent flatulence. Jains, a religious group in India, do not eat root vegetables or root spices such as garlic, onion, ginger, or turmeric, for fear of killing living organisms. Therefore, they rely on asafoetida as an alternative flavoring. The Brahmins, who will not eat garlic or onions because they consider them aphrodisiacs, also use asafoetida as a substitute flavoring.

Kari Or Curry Leaf

How Prepared and Consumed it is an essential spice in South Indian, Sri Lankan, and Malaysian curries, dals, samosas, dosai fillings, chutneys, snacks, sambars, soups, breads, and vegetables. Kari leaf is popularly used in South Indian vegetarian and fish dishes and Sri Lankan meat and chicken curries. Kari leaves par well with mustard seeds, turmeric, ghee, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, dals, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, and yogurt. It provides a certain zest to yogurt-based salad dressings and vegetable dishes, such as fried cabbage, lentils, beans, okra, or eggplant. It is usually removed before the food is eaten.

Spice Applications

The earliest marinade was a mixture of salt and spices with vinegar or fruit juices that was added to flavor and preserve meats. Today, marinades typically contain coarsely or finely ground spices (with or without particulates), oil, vinegar or other acid sources, salt, sugar, and alkaline phosphates. A marinade can be either a tumbling or an injection marinade. In a tumbling marinade, meat is placed in a tumbler, and marinade is added. The meat pieces are tumbled under vacuum until the marinade is absorbed by the product. Injection marinade is an internal soluble spice extractive with no particulates or insoluble spices. Flavor is delivered by injecting the spice solution into a whole bird or meat, such as rotisserie chicken, resulting in uniform flavor and color. To avoid color streaks on products, colorless spice solutions need to be used, such as decolorized capsicums, black pepper, or turmeric. Sometimes, this injection is followed by a tumbling step.

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