Golden Spice Turmeric and Its Health Benefits
Turmeric is a traditional spice extracted from the rhizomes of Curcuma longa, a ginger family member (Zingiberaceae). Turmeric, also known as the “Golden Spice of India,” has been utilized for pharmacological purposes in India for ages. It has been used as a household remedy for biliary disorders, anorexia, cough, diabetic sores, hepatic disorders, rheumatism, and sinusitis in traditional medicine. Turmeric and its compounds, namely curcumin and essential oils, have a wide range of biological effects in addition to their usage as a spice and pigment. Curcumin, Turmeric’s active ingredient, is being studied by scientists for its antioxidant activity, anti-inflammatory properties, anti-metabolic syndrome activities, neuroprotective activity, antimicrobial effects, anti-arthritis effects, anti-asthma, anti-obesity, cardio and liver toxicity protection activity, anti-depression and anxiety activities, anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic, anticoagulant, anti-fertility activity, anti-diabetic, anti-fibrotic, anti-venom, anti-ulcer, hypotensive and hypocholesterolemic activities. As a result, turmeric and its compounds have the potential to be used in modern medicine to cure a wide range of diseases. These metabolic roles and actions of curcumin are depicted in this chapter for the benefit of human health.
Part of the book: Ginger
Pseudocereals: A Novel Path towards Healthy Eating
Nowadays, interest in research about pseudocereals has increased worldwide. Pseudocereals can be defined as seeds or fruits of non-grass species that can be consumed similarly to cereals. The most extensively used pseudocereals include quinoa, chia, buckwheat, amaranth, and so on. All of them, have good nutritional and bioactive compounds such as essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, phenolic acids, flavonoids, minerals, and vitamins. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has also reported that there is a buddle of plants that are under-utilized that significantly contribute to improving nutrition and health as well as enhancing food basket and livelihoods of the individual; contributing to future food security and sustainability. Earlier studies also reported that pseudocereals protein-derived peptides have anti-cancerous, anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive, hypocholesterolemic, and antioxidant properties. The presence of these interesting properties in pseudocereals enhances the interest to carry out extensive research regarding their health benefits and the way to incorporate them into the diet. In this chapter, we portray different types of pseudocereals with their nutritional benefits for living a healthy and active life.
Part of the book: Pseudocereals
Fight Hidden Hunger through National Programs and Food Based Approaches
Nearly 2 billion people, or one-third of the world’s population, suffer from micronutrient deficiencies. Micronutrient deficiencies or hidden hunger and the negative consequences of a diet deficient in essential vitamins, minerals, or trace elements continue to be serious public health concerns among Indians. This hidden hunger is especially prevalent among vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women, small children, and teenagers. As a result, the government has developed many national initiatives to combat malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, including ICDS, NFSM, Poshan Abhiyan, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, and others. Governments also use food-based techniques to combat malnutrition and hidden hunger, including supplementation, food fortification, bio-fortification, and dietary diversification. This chapter presents statistics from the NFHS 4 and 5 and numerous national programs and food-based measures taken by governments to combat hidden hunger.
Part of the book: Combating Malnutrition through Sustainable Approaches