Before, it sat on your spice rack – a splash of orange amid an unnecessarily full shelf of seasonings. The seal would still be on the unused bottle, which just gathered dust and took up space. But then people heard the health hype and started blending it into morning smoothies or sprinkling it into lattes and herbal teas. What spice are we talking about? Why, turmeric, of course. The spice has quickly become the trendiest ingredient in town.
Don’t believe us? Well, in 2018 turmeric goods brought in close to $330 million across America. That’s a rise of more than 600 percent since 2008, as reported by Nutrition Business Journal in 2019. And with Google searches of “turmeric” rising by three-quarters since 2012, word of the vibrant spice has spread like wildfire. Turmeric now fills the Instagram feeds of foodies and health fanatics and colors — or stains — the counters in many of our households.
Hidden in recipes
Yes, the gingery spice is far from the modest base to a chicken curry that it once was. Turmeric has even migrated into recipes of nearly all food groups. Tuck into almost any meal at the moment — be it a juice, a soup or a salad — and turmeric could be in there warming its flavor and color palate. The spice is commonplace in health food stores, too.
Impact on the body
But why has turmeric become so popular? Well, part of the reason is that scientists have published more and more research into its effects on human health. And, as it turns out, turmeric could well spice up more than just your Saturday-night curry. That’s because there are strange and unexpected health benefits hiding behind the spice’s lurid hue.
You see, there’s a chemical compound inside turmeric called curcumin. And scientists think this could be responsible for far more than just the spice’s garish color. In fact, curcumin proved to be useful in protecting against a range of chronic conditions. So the more we understand the spice itself, the better we comprehend how turmeric can help people battle these common diseases.