This week is the start of football season, and you know what that means! It’s time to gather all of the snack recipes you can find on the Internet in preparation for your Sunday Night Football parties. We have a special recipe for you today that includes a super power ingredient and is easy to munch on while your eyes are glued to the screen. And if you eat too much, you won’t feel bad about it!
This turmeric dip recipe was borrowed from one of our favorite food blogs Rawmazing, on which you can find a great wealth of delicious and healthy recipes for all occasions. The main ingredient we want to point out in this dip is turmeric, or more specifically curcumin, the compound in turmeric that gives turmeric its distinctive golden color! Curcumin is also a cancer-fighting agent that one of our very own scientists knows quite a lot about!
Overall healthy ingredient profile
There is considerable research on the health benefits of curcumin. It has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help with arthritis, asthma, Alzheimer’s, cancers, heart disease, metabolic disease, and various other conditions that can arise from chronic inflammation in the body. The other ingredients in this recipe–ginger, garlic, olive oil, coconut, cashews, honey–are also great for you!
Evidence for cancer prevention by curcumin
There have been many clinical trials with curcumin in cancer prevention, particularly for colon and breast cancer. Hundreds of cell and animal studies suggest that curcumin inhibits the development of many cancers, including skin, pancreatic, colon, prostate, liver, esophageal, and multiple myeloma. Curcumin’s multiple diverse mechanisms of action make it an antiproliferative, antioxidant, and a carcinogen blocking agent. Curcumin affects multiple cell signaling pathways including those that mediate inflammation, survival, proliferation, invasion and metastasis.
♦ Interesting tidbit: In a paper written by Dr. Randy J. Horowitz, the Medical Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, to the American Academy of Pain Management he states, “Turmeric is one of the most potent natural anti-inflammatories available.” ♦
To improve the absorption of curcumin, piperine, in the form of BioPerine, is often included in these cancer prevention studies. In humans, piperine has been shown to increase the absorption of curcumin by 2000%!
Studies have demonstrated that it reduces inflammation by blocking nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB), TNF and COX-2. Laboratory studies have shown NF-kB also plays a key role in cancer by regulating genes that promote proliferation and prevent apoptosis.
Sources of curcumin
As revealed in this week’s blog post, curcumin is mainly found in turmeric, which is part of the ginger family and found in many Indian dishes. You can also find curcumin in other Indian curry powders. It is also used as food coloring in cheese, butter, and mustard.
Turmeric and curry powder are good sources of curcumin, but they are not easily absorbed in the digestive tract, so taking curcumin supplements is commonly recommended for best results. That said, be wary of turmeric curcumin supplements that lack quality and contain mostly filler ingredients. Look for at least 95% pure curcumin supplements.
Turmeric appears to have benefits in amounts normally found in food, while larger doses although often well-tolerated may have adverse health effects. Recommended doses are 1 to 3 grams daily for dried root, 400 to 600 milligrams three times daily for standardized powder, and 15 to 30 drops four times daily for tincture. Check with your health care professional before determining a dosage.
If you are being treated for diabetes and high blood pressure, turmeric may increase the strength of your medication. You can check here for a list of medication with which turmeric interacts negatively. Be sure to also check with your doctor or pharmacist before using turmeric daily.
♦ Additional suggestion: Adding black pepper to recipes containing turmeric can help increase the bioavailability of curcumin.
We hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about turmeric and curcumin! If you have any questions about this agent, please don’t hesitate to contact us, and we will direct you to our agent expert.
Have fun making Rawmazing’s recipe below, and Go Team!