What does a young, active millennial need with a bottle of curcumin? I would ask myself the same question but since injuring my knee after a particularly vigorous dance session in my living room (I'm still not sure what move did it), I'm a curcumin believer. Regular doses have helped me regain my footing on the dance floor and I'm forever grateful. I'm not alone though.
Of more than 1,000 studies published in 2012 on curcumin, a healing compound found in turmeric, many showed that regular consumption could improve chronic degenerative disease states brought on by inflammation. Of course, the fact that turmeric has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat everything from joint aches to sprains and liver disorders, only bolsters its credibility.
While curcumin can be taken in supplement form, the good news for food manufactures is this functional ingredient actually also tastes delicious. American consumers have already grown accustomed to eating turmeric in Indian curries so there's no need to mask its smoky flavor. Naturally, as the American population ages (by 2030, 20 percent of us will be 65 or older) more consumers are looking for preventative solutions to manage health and avoid doctors bills.
But the aging population aren't the only folks turning to turmeric. Many of my active friends have fallen in love with turmeric-infused foods for their exotic flavor, immunity support and potential to ease the aches and pains of "getting extreme." We're even trying to duplicate store-bought turmeric beverages at home.
Turmeric/curcumin has the potential to capture the attention of two important demographics—at least, that's what innovative food manufacturers are counting on.
At Natural Products Expo West, turmeric was the star ingredient in a handful of new beverages including a line of herbal infusions from Zingiwell which utilize Java Turmeric to support wellness. The San Marino, Calif.-based brand also offers a potent turmeric, curcumin shot to boost immunity and add "zing to your life." Turmeric-fortified foods may not be the fountain of youth, but at this point they may just be the next best thing.