Beyond Curry: Cooking with Turmeric
Many people associate turmeric with the yellow coloring in mustard and spicy curry mixes, but it is truly a versatile herb. Not only can the dry turmeric rhizome be ground and used as a spice, but the leaves are also a highly nutritious edible vegetable. In fact, a recently published lab study revealed that compounds in turmeric leaves showed the following beneficial properties: (xii.33-34)
- Antioxidant protection.
- Anti-inflammatory activity.
- Anti-cancer (blocked the growth of pancreatic, prostate, and stomach tumor cells).
On the Research Frontier: Turmeric Can Make Cooking Oil Healthier
Be on the lookout for cooking oil containing turmeric leaf extract. According to recent experiments, adding as little as 0.2% of the extract can significantly slow down the deterioration of cooking oil — without noticeably affecting food quality. (xii.34)
The antioxidants in turmeric leaf extract helped maintain cooking oil integrity for up to 40 hours of deep frying at 356° F. This is important because as oil deteriorates it becomes oxidized and forms dangerous toxins — especially when frying starchy foods such as French fries. (xii.34)
When using turmeric powder, be sure to include in savory dishes that use black pepper and olive oil. Medical research shows these ingredients synergistically enhance turmeric's health benefits. These include turmeric's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant brain-boosting potency. (xii.35-37)
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