A Brief Discussion on Nutraceuticals: Turmeric

What is a Nutraceutical?
A Nutraceutical (bioceutical) as defined by The Oxford Languages and Oxford English Dictionary, is a food containing health-giving additives and having medicinal benefit. While still vastly unregulated throughout the US,  and is still highly regarded in holistic practices as a potential alternative to mass produced man made pharmaceuticals. 
The History of Turmeric.
The use of Turmeric dates back as early as 3000 BCE to the Harappan Civilization as cultivators of Turmeric, and while that may be an early knowledge of Turmeric, the origin of turmeric is widely debated, but is thought to originate from Northern or Southern India but is native to South and Southeast Asia. It is more widely known that India plays a big role as not only the largest producer of Turmeric, but the largest exporter as well, exporting at least 194 billion US dollars worth in 2019. Making 80-90% of the world's production in India. 
Turmeric in the Kitchen.
Turmeric is widely recognized as a spice, and is used in many cuisine dishes and exotic meals. One of my favorite dishes that use Turmeric is a Vegetable Curry with Turmeric Coconut Sauce which I found on laurencariscooks.com (all recipe credit goes to her, it is rewritten in accordance to her copyright guidelines. Follow the link to her website for the original recipe.)
 PREP TIME 10 minutes
 COOK TIME 45 minutes
 SERVINGS 4 people
1 White Onion
1 Clove of Garlic
1 Carrot
1 Zucchini
2 Bell Peppers (Color Optional)
1 Aubergine (Eggplant)
1/2 Can Chickpeas Drained and rinsed
2 tsp Ground Turmeric
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
1/2 tsp Curry Powder (You can increase this if you like your curry hotter)
2 tbsp. Golden Sultanas
1 can Coconut Milk
Dice all the vegetables into 1/2cm cubes, this will help cook thoroughly.
Add some olive oil into a pot and heat on a medium to high heat. 
Add the onion and sauté until the onion begins to soften.
Add the garlic, carrots and eggplant and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. 
Add the rest of the vegetables with the spices and stir everything so it is coated with the spices. 
Cook like this for 2-3 minutes for the spices to mix into the vegetables.
Stir in  the coconut milk, add a lid, and turn down the heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes. 
Add the sultanas about 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
Serve over couscous, rice, or even quinoa with some fresh coriander to top it off!
Uses Outside the Kitchen.
The golden colored, strongly flavored spice, found its place outside of the kitchen due to its non-intoxicating effects, and its potential to help with a multitude of medical concerns ranging from cell protection from cancer causing agents to cholesterol and even may aid in preventing heart disease. Those who use Turmeric without diagnosed conditions have found that taking about 500mg a day showed high potential as not only an antioxidant, but to contain curcuminoids, a bioactive compound, prominently curcumin which makes up to about 3-5 percent of Turmeric and 10% of quality Turmeric products, and is known in studies to have the potential to hold anti-inflammatory properties similar if not more effective than variety of anti-inflammatory drugs.
With the rise of nutraceuticals, Turmeric is just one of many that have gained a following amongst those searching for a natural supplement for their health. Check out some of our other blogs on other popular nutraceuticals! 

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