by Kevin Dundon for SuperValu
Turmeric, a spice from the ginger family and a major ingredient in curry powder, is the next best thing to add to your anti-cancer plan.
Although there is currently no research evidence to show that turmeric can prevent or treat cancer, early trials have shown some promising results.
Turmeric contains curcumin, a type of polyphenol. Polyphenols are important for our general health and wellness and are also part of the antioxidant family. A number of laboratory studies on cancer cells have shown that curcumin also has anti-cancer effects. It seems to be able to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. Studies are underway to see if curcumin could be used as a treatment for cancer and if so, how best to deliver it in a way that our digestive system will be able to best absorb it.
Turmeric used in cooking is very safe but the side effects of taking it in large amounts are not yet known. If you do decide to use curcumin for reasons other than in cooking, you should talk to your doctor first.
Turmeric for use in cooking is available in the spice section of most supermarkets. Turmeric supplements in capsule form are also available to buy in health stores across Ireland.