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Spice It Up!

Dr. Michele Doughty, Author Brown Bag Expressions, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Let’s talk about what spices are beneficial in preventing breast cancer. There is major attention given to a spice called “Turmeric”, anywhere you go you will see turmeric touted for it’s health benefits. First turmeric (Curcuma longa) is derived from the India culture, many dishes, which are rich in the spice curry, are also prepared with turmeric. The spice actually dates back to over 4000 years ago used in holistic Ayurveda India medicine. It is also used widely in China, East Africa, West Africa and Jamaica being recognized for its anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial properties. In common terms, it is used to fight cancer, digestive disorders, arthritis and other ailments.

However is all the hype really true about breast cancer? There are few things you need to know about the spice. Numerous studies appear to find significant evidence that the spice added into your diet has great anti-inflammatory effects. The ingredient curcumin found in turmeric is a cancer fighter. The University of Michigan (2009) published a study which showed evidence that the use of certain dietary compounds could result in the elimination of breast stem cells. The compound curcumin, which is derived from the Indian spice turmeric, and piperine, when applied to breast cells in a culture, decreased the number of stem cells while having no effect on normal differentiated cells.

In 2017, the spice is still being touted for it’s benefits in fighting disease and breast cancer. A recent study, "New insights into therapeutic activy and anticancer proerties fo curcumin” discussed again the power of turmeric stated to inhibt tumor growth by inhiting cell cyle progression. This provides promise related to the prevention and reducing the reoccuence for breast cancer.

A tip of the trade, when you purchase tumeric make sure it is USDA grade, some forms directly from India may have metals so be careful and purcahse only USDA grades. So instead of shaking the salt shaker…start including tumeric in foods, make a nice curry, tumeric tea or just add it in foods and enjoy the tangy spice the benefits are well worth it.


Please make a difference this month and GIVE, your DONATION to the American Cancer Society Making Strides for Breast Cancer will provide funding, research and assistances for someone in need.

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