Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow colour; it is my favorite anti-cancer spice, and one that I use every morning. To release its maximum health benefit, try to include black pepper whenever you use turmeric; pepper releases curcumin from the spice. (Many varieties of garam masala contain black pepper as well.) Turmeric helps speed digestion with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which come primarily from curcumin. Given that long-term, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic Western disease, it is not surprising to see curcumin linked to a variety of health benefits. Scientists report that turmeric is as effective as ibuprofen in treating osteoarthritis. It can also protect the body from tissue destruction, and preserve good nerve cell function. Studies also suggest that turmeric can improve brain function, fight Alzheimer’s, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, and relieve arthritis, to name a few.