Today’s letter is devoted to what some consider to be the gold offered to the Christ child together with frankincense and myrrh.  Curcumin, the potent deep yellow nutrient in turmeric, is the most clinically studied plant-based health supporting substance in nutritional science.  It has been proven to significantly lower the risk for the development of all auto immune diseases such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis and Alzheimer’s Disease.  It occurs through its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and immune promoting properties.

It is a reality that all of us are fighting cancer on a daily basis, even if we have never had a cancer diagnosis.  This is because we live in a cancer promoting environment and all of us have cancer cells in our bodies with the potential to initiate the disease.  If we consume processed and junk foods which are cancer promoting, we stimulate the growth of these cells.  On the other hand, when we consume nutritious foods with anti-cancer properties, we create an environment in which only healthy cells thrive and cancerous cells are killed. 

For cells to become cancerous, their DNA would have to be changed.  Once the DNA is changed so that the normal cell becomes a cancer cell, these cells start multiplying at a rate much faster than normal cells. Consequently, a tumor starts forming.  These tumor cells use up glucose much faster than normal cells and therefore compete with the healthy cells of the body for energy.  It also invades normal, healthy tissue.  This is of course a very simplified explanation of the process, but sufficient to help explain the anti-cancer effects of foods and curcumin specifically. 

To fight these cancerous cells there are different mechanisms which different anti-cancer foods use.  Some foods protect the DNA in such a way that it would not be changed through the exposure to cancerous agents.  Once the tumor forms, other super foods will very selectively cut off the blood flow to the tumor, killing it off, without hindering blood flow to healthy tissue.  A third mechanism is called apoptosis or programmed cell death.  This means that a cell, when it senses it is not healthy anymore will set off a series of events which eventually will kill it.  The cell basically suicides in order to protect the rest of the organism from the harmful effects of the disease. 

The reason why curcumin is such a power pack is that it promotes all three of these mechanisms - making it a must to include in our modern diets.  Taking supplements is a good idea if you ensure a good reliable source.  However, including curcumin in the diet is easy and comes with benefits we might not even know of yet.  Take into consideration that it needs fat to be absorbed and adding pepper to it increases absorption considerably.  Turmeric could be added to any stew or soup whether it is the fresh root or dried form.  It could also be added to warm milk and honey (with a pinch of pepper) for a soothing night time drink.  Tea could be steeped using either the root or its leaves which have a less pungent taste.