The root of the turmeric plant, Curcuma longa, has long been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory in both Chinese and Indian traditional medicine. Curcumin (turmeric) is a strong antioxidant, and has actually been associated with treating complications in Type 2 diabetes. It holds in check oxidation (an internal rusting), because it protects against free radicals that are brought about by high blood sugar.
* free radical damage,
* reduces oxidative stress associated with diabetes, and
* helps to remove or "clean up" metabolic waste.
Researchers at the National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology in Kerala, India, looked at the chemistry of turmerin, a protein found in turmeric, to find how it might help to control of Type 2 diabetes. Their work was published in the journal Natural Products Research in November 2011.
Plants contain enzyme inhibitors to protect themselves from being broken down. Turmerin was studied for its possible potential for inhibiting enzymes. It was found to inhibit the enzymes alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase, as well as having antioxidant activities. It was therefore concluded that turmerin's biochemical activities could be the reason that turmeric is used in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.
Alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase are enzymes that break down carbohydrates into simple sugars. One way of treating diabetes is by the use of alpha-glucosidase inhibitors. Acarbose, or Precose, and miglitol, or Glyset, are two medications used to inhibit alpha-glucosidase. Inhibiting the breakdown of carbohydrates to sugar helps to lower blood sugar levels after meals.
Other health benefits have been attributed to turmeric and are under investigation. Some possible uses of turmeric include:
* treating psoriasis,
* delaying liver damage due to cirrhosis,
* reducing cancer-causing compounds from eating meat,
* inhibiting the growth of skin cancer,
* preventing the spread of breast cancer,
* making cancer cells more vulnerable to chemotherapy,
* treating arthritis,
* preventing Alzheimer's disease, and
* treating irritable bowel disorder and other gastrointestinal discomfort.
Tumeric is also a very good herb for the liver, which is affected in diabetes.
Turmeric is used as a spice in southern Asia, and many tasty vegan recipes use the spice often and in great amounts...
* thatsfit.ca has a recipe for quinoa lentil soup that also includes vegetable stock, turmeric, onion, russet potato, garlic, basil and pepper.
* allrecipes.com suggests making Marrakesh vegetable curry with sweet potato, eggplant, bell pepper, carrots, onions, olive oil, garlic, turmeric, curry powder, ground cinnamon, cayenne pepper, garbanzo beans, almonds, zucchini, raisins, orange juice, and spinach.
* also from allrecipes.com comes a recipe for okra with tomatoes, onion, vegetable oil, ground turmeric and ground pepper.
Turmeric is a great spice to complement any recipes that feature lentils.
The deep color of turmeric can cause it to easily stain. Wear kitchen gloves when handling tumeric to prevent staining your hands, and if you spill tumeric... quickly wash the affected area with soap and water to prevent a lasting stain.