A recent Thai study found that the spice common in many Indian foods fights the pain of rheumatoid arthritis as effectively as ibuprofen. Turmeric also seems to inhibit the destruction of joints from arthritis, according to National Institutes of Health – supported research on rats at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Turmeric inhibits a protein called NF-kB; when turned on, this protein activates the body's inflammatory response, leading to achy joints. Investigator Janet L. Funk, M.D., and others are still working out the optimal dose, but "using turmeric as a spice in cooking is safe," she says.
Recipe: Cauliflower Sautéed With Turmeric, Pine Nuts, Raisins and Rosemary
by Monica Bhide
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small head cauliflower, broken into florets
1 teaspoon turmeric
Leaves from 1 sprig rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
2. Add the cauliflower, turmeric and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is brown and caramelized, about 8 minutes.
3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Stir in the raisins and pine nuts and cook about 1 minute more, until everything is heated through.
5. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with paprika.
Nutrients per serving: 166 calories, 3g protein, 13g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 13g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 317mg sodium