Here’s some timely health news: two spices — ginger and turmeric — could actually stave off the “ravages of aging and degenerative diseases” to use the words of medical researchers.
The research team, conducting a study at Damman University in Saudi Arabia, found that ginger and turmeric had a special ability to stave off a number of age-related diseases. They reviewed the physiological and therapeutic effects of ginger and turmeric on some endocrine gland functions.
They found that the two spices exert their healing actions through some/all of the following mechanisms: through reduction of high levels of some hormones or interaction with hormone receptors; by inhibition of cytokines/adipokine expression; by acting as a potent inhibitor of oxidative damage, which plays a big role between inflammation and progression of diseases; and, by suppressing tumor growth by blocking signal pathways in target cells.
The research team concluded that these multiple mechanisms of protection against inflammation and oxidative damage make ginger and curcumin particularly promising natural therapies in fighting the negative effects of aging and degenerative diseases.
Ginger contains a number of volatile oils that could help boost your immune system. These active compounds are believed to be responsible for ginger’s medicinal effects. They also give ginger its characteristic taste and odor. Ginger is a strong antioxidant and a very effective antimicrobial agent.
You can use ginger in just about any recipe, from a pie to a chicken stir-fry. Ginger tea is also available and can be used to clean out the digestive tract. Add ginger to your favorite smoothies — it is excellent in all sorts of fruit and veggie shakes. You can even buy ginger dried and chew on a piece to get some of its health benefits.
As for turmeric, you’ll want to turn your attention to some delicious curry recipes. In Indian cooking, curry is a word that simply means “sauce.” Curry is made up of a combination of spices, the main ingredient of which is usually turmeric (the yellow spice). And turmeric contains something called “curcumin.” Curcumin has well-known medicinal properties. Nutritionists have even said that turmeric helps regulate the metabolism, correcting both excesses and deficiencies, which can lead to putting on the pounds or dropping them, respectively. One other bit of health advice: turmeric may also play a role in the digestion of high-protein meals; therefore, it makes an excellent addition to beef and chicken entrees.