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Turmeric (Hindi: हल्दी | Bengali: হলুদ | Telugu: పసుపు | Tamil: மஞ்சள் | Urdu: ہلدی) is a plant that belongs to the ginger or Zingiberaseae family of root with scientific name as Curcuma Longa. It is basically a tropical rhizome or underground stem, with a rough, segmented skin. It looks much like ginger and turns things into a lovely orange-yellow shade. Just a few grams of turmeric per day either in the form of powder, crushed root or fresh root can provide enough nutrients to help one stay healthy. 90% of the turmeric is produced in India.

Quick Facts
  • Turmeric roots have long been used in traditional Indian and Chinese medicines for their demonstrated anti-inflammatory (painkiller), anti-oxidant, and anti-cancer properties.
  • Curcumin, a poly-phenolic compound present in turmeric, is the principal pigment that imparts deep orange color to the turmeric as well has endless health benefits.
  • Curcumin present in turmeric is an anti-oxidant that helps to stabilize membranes damaged by inflammation and also helps to control blood LDL or “bad cholesterol” levels.
  • Turmeric stimulates digestion, supports the liver, and reduces intestinal permeability.
  • Several studies indicate that curcumin slows the development and growth of a number of types of cancer cells.
  • It is a rich source of many essential vitamins such as pyridoxine (vitamin B6), choline, niacin, and riboflavin, etc. 100 g herb provides 1.80 mg or 138% of daily-recommended levels of pyridoxine. Pyridoxine is used in the treatment of homocystinuria, anemia and radiation sickness. Niacin helps prevent “pellagra” or dermatitis.
  • Fresh root contains very good levels of vitamin-C. Which helps the body develop immunity against infectious agents, and remove harmful free oxygen radicals.
  • Turmeric contains very good amounts of minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is an important co-factor for cytochrome oxidase enzymes at cellular level metabolisms and required for red blood cell (RBC’s) productions.
  • Turmeric has Tetrahydrocurcumin (THC) which is a colorless compound that has skin lightening properties and is used to treat skin inflammations.
  • Turmeric contains health benefiting essential oils such as termerone, curlone, curumene, cineole, and p-cymene. Making these compounds useful in cosmetics formulations to beautify and enrich skin complexion.
  • Turmeric powder has been in use as a food colorant and adds a distinctive flavor, so it became a part of Indian and many south Asian Cuisines.
  • Turmeric is a natural food preservative so is used in food industry like canned beverages, baked products, dairy products, ice cream, yogurt, yellow cakes, orange juice, biscuits, popcorn color, sweets, cake icings, cereals, sauces, etc.
  • It is popular served as a tea in Okinawa, Japan.
  • It is also used as a fabric dye, a usually soluble substance for staining or coloring in fabrics.

Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Zingiberales
  • Family: Zingiberaceae
  • Genus: Curcuma
  • Species: C longa
  • Binomial Name: Curcuma longa
Nutritional Values per 100 g of turmeric ( 3.5 oz)

  • Energy 354 Kcal 17%
  • Carbohydrates 64.9 g 50%
  • Protein 7.83 g 14%
  • Total Fat 9.88 g 33%
  • Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
  • Dietary Fiber 21 g 52.5%
  • Folates 39 µg 10%
  • Niacin 5.140 mg 32%
  • Pyridoxine 1.80 mg 138%
  • Riboflavin 0.233 mg 18%
  • Vitamin A 0 IU 0%
  • Vitamin C 25.9 mg 43%
  • Vitamin E 3.10 mg 21%
  • Vitamin K 13.4 µg 11%
  • Sodium 38 mg 2.5%
  • Potassium 2525 mg 54%
  • Calcium 183 mg 18%
  • Copper 603 µg 67%
  • Iron 41.42 mg 517%
  • Magnesium 193 mg 48%
  • Manganese 7.83 mg 340%
  • Phosphorus 268 mg 38%
  • Zinc 4.35 mg 39.5%

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