Turmeric, the spice that gives mustard its bright yellow color, is related to ginger, and is the most concentrated souce of the antioxidant curcumin. In a lab test, curcumin caused the death of cervical cancer cells and blocked harmful cell changes. In addition to its cancer-reducing qualities, curcumin could help stave off heart disease as well as damage related to high blood sugar, as it helps prevent blood sugar surges. Turmeric is particularly good for stomach ailments and colon cancer. Most recently, however, researchers have begun to look at whether curcumin may help to prevent Alzheimer's because it decreased the formation of amyloid, which makes up the brain deposits characteristic of people with Alzheimer's. Most of the studies with turmeric have used curcumin extracts derived from turmeric, so its hard to know exactly how much is beneficial. Usually a dish only takes about 1/8-1/4 teaspoon at a time, so use turmeric whenever you can. Here is a dish to get you started.
Bombay-Inspired Green Beans1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound string beans, ends removed
2 Tab. Olive oil
1 tab diced shallots or onion
1 tea. dry mustard
1 tea. cumin
1/4 tea. turmeric
2-3 tea. lime juice
Fill a large pot 3/4 full of water and 1 tea. salt to a boil. Add string beans and blanch for 3 minutes Drain and set aside.
In the pot, saute shallots and mustard and cumin with the olive oil for 30 seconds. Add the blanched beans and 1/4 tea. salt and turmeric. Toss, squeeze lime juice over the beans and serve.
source: modified slightly from One Bite at a Time, Rebecca Katz