Want Stronger Bones? Try Turmeric
If your bones could use a boost, stock turmeric among your spices. Research shows that turmeric may prevent osteoporosis and cut the risk of bone fracture. Here’s the scoop your bones need.
In traditional Indian culture, the fragrant yellow spice turmeric is everywhere. Part of the ginger root plant family, it’s the key ingredient in the curry powder that gives Indian cuisine its distinctive flavors, and it’s sprinkled on the bride and groom at weddings to bring them prosperity and good health.
With good reason, it turns out. Research at the University of Arizona College of Medicine suggests that turmeric—which has already been shown to help prevent arthritis—may be effective for preventing osteoporosis.
Spicy News for Your Bones
The UA researchers worked with turmeric extracts that contained curcuminoids—chemical substances also known as polyphenols. The extracts with the higher levels of curcuminoids proved to be most effective in preventing loss of bone mineral density. And turmeric even improved the bone’s structure, reducing the risk of fracture even further.
Taking Advantage of Turmeric
You can tap into the power of turmeric by making it part of your diet.
Find the best quality. Though you can find turmeric on many supermarket shelves—and it may even be sitting in your pantry—the UA study showed that high levels of curcuminoids are paramount to the spice’s effectiveness. Your best bet? “Organic, non-radiated turmeric will have the highest concentration of curcuminoids,” says Frances Murchison, a certified holistic nutrition counselor and author of Breathe, See, Nourish, Energize. Try shopping in organic grocers and ethnic markets.
Keep it potent. Store turmeric powder in a tightly sealed container and place it in a cool, dark, dry place.
Sprinkle freely. Add turmeric to soups, salads, and casseroles, and use some in salad dressings and dips. “Turmeric is easy to put in any soup recipe, and it’s gorgeous on fish,” says Murchison. “It’s lovely in most Thai recipes, and for Indian recipes that call for curry, add a little more turmeric.”
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