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Hot Right Now: Turmeric

Make this wonder spice a staple of your diet and your grooming regimen.

It’s been used as a magical cure-all in Asian cultures for millennia; now it’s showing up in the chicest juice bars in New York and L.A. Turmeric — the vibrant yellow spice that’s a key ingredient in curry — is having a moment. Why all the fuss?

“Numerous studies on the health benefits of turmeric have found that the spice has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,” says Vandana Sheth, R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Research shows that turmeric may help stave off Alzheimer’s and heart disease, and a recent study from Oregon State University found that the substance helps increase CAMP, a protein that helps your body fight infection. The spice also could help with joint pain: In a paper in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, two grams of curcumin (the main chemical in turmeric) daily was as effective as 800mg of ibuprofen for improving severe knee pain. A review from earlier this year shows that turmeric may help keep your skin healthy—and sure enough, it’s now starting to turn up in cosmetics.

“As a spice, it helps slow oxidation and spoilage,” explains Kenneth Beer, M.D., a derm in West Palm Beach and Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Miami. “As a skin care product, it largely does the same thing.”

Here, five interesting ways to get on this healthy-spice bandwagon.

Dr. Alkatis Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil
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Dr. Alkatis Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil

This therapeutic serum for the face, scalp and body uses organic turmeric to revitalize dry, damaged skin and improve its elasticity, restoring shine.

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Clear as Crystal facial at the W Retreat & Spa Bali
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Clear as Crystal facial at the W Retreat & Spa Bali

It’s a luxe treatment that combines turmeric serum with fruit enzymes, dandelion and willow bark to clean pores, remove toxins and give you skin that really glows.

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DDF Advanced Moisture Defense UV Cream SPF 15
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DDF Advanced Moisture Defense UV Cream SPF 15

Leave this stuff on all day, and its turmeric complex will work to hydrate, firm, tighten and ward off up to 80 percent of the free radicals that reach your skin.

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Supreme Soother at My Glo Bio
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Supreme Soother at My Glo Bio

Celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder’s diet program is backed by the likes of Fergie and Drew Barrymore. Now her new Hollywood juice bar offers this booster that matches turmeric with lime and raw aloe to calm the digestive system, fight bugs and increase your energy levels.

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Roasted Cauliflower at Creative Juice
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Roasted Cauliflower at Creative Juice

This superfood side dish combines roasted cauliflower with capers and sliced almonds, and it’s easy on the eyes, too—the cauliflower is tinged with the spice’s deep yellow hue. Wash it down with the Lean and Green smoothie, a blend of spinach, tofu, Asian pear, and turmeric, for an even bigger antioxidant boon.

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Photography by Shutterstock

Filed Under: anti-aging | Health | Nutrition