If you, like me, are confused about the difference between the Indian spices such as turmeric, curcumin, cumin, and curry powder, this post should help…
Let’s start with turmeric. Turmeric, also known as Indian saffron, is a plant in the ginger family, native to southeast Asia and India. It has a bitter but warm taste and is often used to color and flavor butters, cheeses, mustards, and curry powders. Although the leaves are used to wrap and cook food in areas where it is grown, it is the rhizomes of the turmeric plant that are ground into a powder used around the world to color and flavor food.
The root of turmeric is also used widely to make medicine to treat conditions such as heartburn, gallbladder disorders, diabetes, arthritis, stomach pain, headaches, cardiovascular disease, irritable bowel disease, lung infections, menstrual problems, depression, water retention, bronchitis, kidney infections, colds, fibromyalgia, skin inflammations, as well as both fungal and bacterial infections. Current research is hoping to prove that turmeric is also effective against cancer.
Personally, to take advantage of the amazing health benefits, I use turmeric in my custom smoothies every morning.
Curcumin is the main component of turmeric rhizomes that imparts the typical bright yellow color. It stains everything it touches, so be warned! That’s about the only downside of this wonderful, healthy spice though.
Cumin is the dried seeds of a herb in the parsley family, mainly grown in India as well as other tropical and subtropical, frost-free areas around the world. The seeds are used ground or whole as a spice to give flavor and aroma to food. I add ground cumin to soups, stews, stir-frys, and more. Once you learn and appreciate the unique taste, you can use your imagination to decide where it should be added.
Curry powder is a spice blend containing primarily turmeric, cumin, coriander, and chili pepper. A similar blend of spices is called garam masala in south Asia. Some commercial blends of curry powder also contain ginger, garlic, fennel seed, mustard seed, cardamom, nutmeg, black pepper, and or cinnamon.
Curry powder is very convenient as it contains most of the other Indian spices mentioned in one bottle. I add it to soups, stews, sauces, etc, even devilled eggs! Once again, use your imagination to add this unique flavour to just about anything.
Well, I learned the difference between these Indian spices (turmeric, curcumin, cumin, and curry powder) while researching this post. I hope it was helpful. Try some of these spices soon to add flavor and color to your cooking while preventing or treating many health issues at the same time.
This article was originally posted on Ivee, adapted for posting on Loreeebee:
While aging may not be the most pleasant experience, the memories, experiences, and life lessons we learn along the way are invaluable. What if someone told you there are ways to stop, or at least limit, the symptoms of aging? With help from specific vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, we can help rewind our body’s biological clock by replenishing valuable nutrients that we lose with age. That being said, aging is inevitable, and symptoms are almost impossible to avoid altogether. If nothing else, utilizing this collection of nutrients can increase our body’s efficiency to improve our quality of life.
What Happens When We Age?
As we age, our body stops producing certain chemical compounds that were plentiful when we were younger. Additionally, our telomeres shorten with age. Telomeres help protect the ends of our chromosomes from deteriorating. When our telomeres shorten, our body’s cells go through a negative transformation that drastically affects our health and lifespan.
Shorter telomeres have been associated with an increased risk of disease and lower survival rates. Most of the symptoms related to aging are cognitive. Yes, our hair turns grey and we start to get wrinkles, but the slow cognitive decline is the most reported and impactful result of aging. So let’s take a look at five supplements that can help reduce these effects.
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric, a spice used predominantly in Asian dishes that comes from the turmeric root. Curcumin is rated highly for its powerful anti-aging effects due to its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are substances that help protect your cells against free radicals, which may play a role in heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. Additionally, this antioxidant protects our cells from cellular senescence which occurs when cells stop dividing. As we get older these unresponsive cells accumulate, accelerating the aging process and the progression of age-related diseases.
You can easily increase your curcumin intake by incorporating turmeric in dishes or by taking curcumin supplements!
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is another antioxidant that is self-produced by your body. It is responsible for energy production and protecting cells from damage. As we age, our levels of CoQ10 begin to decline, and symptoms such as fatigue and brain fog become more and more apparent.
In 2015, researchers ran an experiment to test the effects of supplemented CoQ10 in 443 older adults. The study found that supplementing CoQ10 and selenium (an element that aids metabolism) over four years improved their overall quality of life, reduced hospital visits, and slowed the deterioration of mental performance.
Though CoQ10 shows the potential to be a powerful anti-aging supplement, there still needs to be more research and definitive evidence before it can be recommended as a natural way to prevent aging. Make sure to talk to a health care professional before trying it out.
3. Vitamin B12
This popular vitamin aids our body in numerous ways, such as keeping our nerve and blood cells healthy. Vitamin B12also helps prevent megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak.
Aside from its “inner body benefits,” such as added energy and cognitive clarity, B12 can also aid our bodies cosmetically. It can help improve our appearance by reducing skin redness, inflammation, and dryness. It can also reduce hair breakage and help nails become stronger.
Our bodies don’t produce B12 naturally, but we can obtain it through various foods like fish, eggs, and chicken. Different types of vegetables, such as mushrooms, are high in B12 as well. B12 is also available as a daily supplement and can be found at your local pharmacy or natural food store.
4. Vitamin D
Weakening immune systems are also a sign of aging so catching a common cold will have a much more significant impact than it did when we were younger. Thankfully, a new UK research study has found that Vitamin D can have a positive effect on the immune system and help offset some age-related health issues.
You can absorb vitamin D naturally through the sun’s rays, but vitamin D supplements are widely accessible at any pharmacy or vitamin shop for an extra boostif you don’t spend much time outdoors.
5. NAD+ Treatment
While we know this isn’t a vitamin or antioxidant, the potential of Nicotinamide adenine dinuleotide (NAD+)is something we cannot overlook. That’s because it is one of the most potent anti-aging molecules you can put into your body. In short, NAD+ keeps your cells “young” and helps to rewind your biological clock.
NAD+ treatment is relatively new on the scene. As of right now, the FDA has only given the green light for oral NAD+ supplements. However, injecting NAD+ intravenously is a very efficient way to receive the nutrient, as it allows for almost 100% bioavailability.
NAD+ treatment can last anywhere from two to six hours and has been reported by some as being quite uncomfortable. Some patients have reported nausea, chest tightness, and lightheadedness. Fortunately, these symptoms are short-lived and pretty much counteracted by the treatment’s lasting impact on energy levels, mental clarity, and overall sense of rekindled youth.
Aging is inevitable, we all know that. As we age our body slowly reduces its efficiency and there is no way around that. These supplements and treatments are in no way the “end all be all” for aging symptoms; what they do provide is a higher quality of life and help to manage current and future symptoms of aging.
Reading this information, I think my daily diet and routine covers four of five of these age reducers. Mydaily smoothiecontains turmeric and Co-Q10 containing strawberries, spinach and broccoli. Meat, cheese, mushrooms and eggs are common ingredients in my meals, covering my vitamin B12 requirements. I also make a habit of getting my natural vitamin D by spending as much time as possible outdoors.
I did a little research of my own regarding NAD+ and it turns out cremini mushrooms, tuna and salmon are all natural sources of the anti-aging compound. That means I’m covered for all five after all. I should be looking younger any day now!
I love reading about the recommended supplements in Dr. Connealy’s newsletters, especially when the suggested supplements are aimed at symptoms I suffer from. As we age, we cannot help but notice the changes in our bodies. Our skin loses elasticity, gains wrinkles, and loses that youthful glow. Our internal organs, our eyes, our joints, and our brains do not work as well as they used to.
My problem is, every supplement I take gives me side effects that are often worse than the original symptoms of aging. My solution is to research foods that provide or encourage the formation of the beneficial ingredient contained in the supplement. I then incorporate these foods into my daily diet. I realize that these supplements provide a much more concentrated form of these wonderful ingredients, but I figure every bit helps.
For example, the newsletter referred to above describes the wonders of melatonin, a hormone produced naturally in our bodies. Melatonin is responsible for enhancing our sleep so our bodies can recharge properly. Without adequate sleep, we can suffer from brain fog, muscles aches, anxiety, weight gain due to increased appetite, and a weakened immune system. Check out a previous post of mine about sleep deprivation.
Unfortunately, as we age the production of melatonin is reduced. Our options to increase melatonin are to take a supplement or to increase our intake of foods that encourage the formation of melatonin in our bodies. These foods include pineapple, bananas, oranges, walnuts, almonds, cherry juice, and dairy products.
Another wonderful ingredient recommended by Dr. Connealy is curcumin which is derived from turmeric root. I have added ground turmeric to my soups, stews, tea, smoothies, and stir-fries for the past few months, ever since I read that it helps relieve joint pain. Another previous post describes the benefits of curcumin or turmeric. I believe that I have noticed a reduction in joint pain associated with arthritis. This is even more significant for me this time of year since the cold weather usually brings an increase in arthritis symptoms.
To see if I can increase melatonin production naturally, I plan to experiment for the next while, making myself a smoothie before bedtime using pineapple, banana, orange, almond milk, cherry juice, and yogurt.