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Benefits Of Turmeric Will Change How You Look At Spices

05/21/2014 02:52 EDT | Updated 11/25/2015 09:59 EST

turmeric benefits

Spices are generally known for the unique flavours they add to our food, but turmeric contributes much more to your dishes. The powdered, bright orange spice is often regarded as a superfood in and of itself, with seemingly unlimited health benefits.

Turmeric is a rich source of vitamins C, E and B6, and minerals such as potassium and iron. It’s also widely used for its anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antioxidant qualities. According to Turmeric: The Wonder Spice, an ebook by Helen Saberi and Colleen Taylor Sen, the spice has a lengthy history in South Asian culture, with use dating back about 4,500 years.

The spice is often used as a common household remedy for minor aches and pains. It's even mixed in milk and spread on bride and grooms’ bodies to help their skin glow before their wedding day.

In addition to these household remedies, research shows that turmeric can also provide relief when it comes to more serious health issues, such as arthritis and cancer, according to CNN.

And then, of course, there's the food element. Turmeric is a key ingredient in a majority of traditional South Asian food. In fact, more than 90 per cent of the world’s turmeric is produced in India alone. The spice has an earthy, slightly bitter taste.

Haldi, as the spice is called in Hindi, is derived from the underground stems of a plant belonging to the ginger family, so it makes sense it would share in ginger's health benefits. If you’re using the spice, be sure to wear gloves and be extra careful not to get it on your clothes or on your kitchen counter – it can leave permanent stains!

Check out the many ways this super spice can help your health:

12 Surprising Health Benefits of Turmeric