Sirtfood spices chilli and turmeric are amongst the top 20 most effective sirtuin activators.
Whilst there is a major focus on the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, don’t let that divert focus from other elements of our diet that are as good. None more so than the culinary Sirtfood spices, which contain similar health-enhancing plant compounds (aka phytonutrients) as fruits and vegetables but often in much more effective amounts, which means a little spice can go a long way to boosting health.
Turmeric boasts a long history of use in Asia for both its culinary and medicinal uses. Its use as a staple ingredient in traditional Indian cooking is thought to be one reason for the significantly lower cancer rates in India compared with Western countries. Amongst its numerous active ingredients, it is the curcumin content that is believed to explain many of turmeric’s health benefits, which in addition to anti-cancer properties, include anti-inflammatory effects, and even benefits for preventing weight gain and obesity.
Turmeric advice: Curcumin is poorly absorbed by the body, but there are ways to improve this. Using turmeric in cooking, especially with fat, helps improve its absorption, as does the addition of black pepper.
The heat in chilli comes from a substance called capsaicin, and the more capsaicin in a chilli, the hotter it is. And recent research suggests that spicing up our food with chilli could be a life saver, concluding that eating hot spicy foods three or more times a week is associated with a 14 percent lower death rate compared to eating them less than once a week.
Chilli advice: As a general rule of thumb, the hotter the better – but don’t exceed what is comfortably tolerable.