Turmeric jar
Louisa Shafia

The Hidden Health Benefits of Turmeric

Every time you slather mustard on your hotdog or hamburger, you just may be helping to prevent Alzheimer’s or arthritis. The reason is that the humble spice turmeric, routinely added to mustard to give the condiment it signature yellow color, has been shown to have powerful curative properties.

Turmeric is a rhizome, like ginger, and in its native India, where people cook with it daily, the rate of Alzheimer’s in people in their 70′s is among the lowest in the world. Studies are now being conducted on turmeric’s prevention of Alzheimer’s, as well as its effectiveness as a treatment for people who already suffer from symptoms of the disease.

In addition to being a possible preventative of Alzheimer’s, turmeric is being studied as a preventative and even cure for certain types of cancers. Tests have also shown that turmeric is effective in preventing and treating arthritis, and it’s being tested for its beneficial effects in instances of cystic fibrosis, diabetes, psoriasis, and lowering cholesterol.

So, what makes turmeric such a magical healing substance? It contains something called curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory. Because inflammation is a contributor to so many diseases, including Alzheimer’s and arthritis, the curcumin in turmeric is a precious find.

Now that you know why turmeric is such a good ingredient to incorporate into your diet, you may want to know how to cook with it. The key to using turmeric is to incorporate a modest amount of it into your daily cooking. You only need a small amount, as turmeric has a deep mineral taste that is slightly sweet and very earthy. Add no more than a teaspoon to soup, stew, chili, or a marinade. Cooking mellows the flavor of turmeric, but you can even add a pinch of it to uncooked foods like salad dressing or a smoothie without affecting the taste.

As a rule, turmeric works well with in Indian recipes. Here is a simple recipe for red lentil soup flavored with turmeric. Put a different spin on this soup by adding a cup of chopped fresh vegetables, a few handfuls of leafy greens such as spinach, or a cup of a cooked grain like rice or quinoa.

Red Lentil Soup with Turmeric

Serves 4


2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 small yellow onion, minced

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 cup red lentils

1 teaspoon salt

1 lime, cut into quarters

1/2 cup plain yogurt


In a soup pot, heat the coconut oil on medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ginger, garlic, coriander, turmeric, lentils, and salt, and cook for one minute more.

Add 5 cups water and bring to the boil. Decrease the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils have cooked into a puree, about 20 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Top each serving with the juice of 1/4 lime and a dollop of yogurt.

10 Responses to “The Hidden Health Benefits of Turmeric”

  1. Karin says:

    I have heard so much about turmeric, and I know someone who makes tea with it. is that also an indian thing? she happens to be indian, and I would like to know more about how to use it.

  2. pbadger says:

    I’ve been using turmeric every day for a couple of months. I take a teaspoon in a cup of v-8 juice. I have cut way back on pain meds and anti-inflammatory drugs. I just wonder how much I should be taking. It has definitely helped my arthritis! I swear by it.

  3. John Pinion says:

    I’m lucky enough to find the raw fresh rhisome (root like ginger) at my local market! I love to just chew a small piece of it for a mouth freshener, add it to my morning shakes, and I find the taste is also much more pleasant and less bitter than the dried variety, which I also have.

  4. Jonny says:

    Does it help FIBROMYALGIA?
    please help!! I dont want to have
    to consistantly tk meds!!!!

  5. Becky says:

    I love curry because of the turmeric, but don’t love all the calories. I just discovered “Tu Me” a turmeric infused water with only 5 calories. All-natural and tastes great too! So easy to grab a bottle after a workout.

  6. Sac Lancel says:

    e suis blazée car nous avons pas de grands moyens et mon mari m’a vu tellement heureuse de voir le sac qui me fait rêver depuis 3 ans à un prix “plus abordable” qu’il me l’a acheté pour noël. Mais là j’ai plus envie de pleurer qu’autre chose. J’attends la livraison (si la douane ne le détruit pas car à prioris c’est de la contrefaçon) et je vais voir avec ma banque si on peut faire une opposition ou quelque chose

  7. paul says:

    I heard Tumeric is great for the skin. It can be used as a facial mask mixed with plain yogurt and honey

  8. James Hawthorne says:

    This is a great article! I have to say I have been using Turmeric 500 mg 2 tablets a day for 4 years now. I am pain free I have no more pain! My joints feel great and I am in superb Health.

    All thanks to Herbal Hearts – Turmeric 100% Organic and in Vegetable Capsules! They are my life savers – I usually get them from eBay – great discounts.

    I have tried my brands – Try to find one that 100% Pure and no additives or preservatives.

    Here’s a Link if anyone is interested:


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