null Turmeric May Help Reduce Future Heart Attacks After Bypass Surgery
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Turmeric May Help Reduce Future Heart Attacks After Bypass Surgery

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Turmeric is a spice that has long been renowned for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but now a study has found that turmeric can help reduce the future of a heart attack after recent bypass surgery.

Dr. Wanwarang Wongcharoen of Chiang Mai University lead a research team that studied 121 consecutive patients who had non-emergency bypass surgery at the hospital between 2009 and 2011.

Turmeric Significantly Lowered Chances of a Future Heart Attack
With bypass surgery, the heart muscle has the potential of being damaged from prolonged lack of blood flow, which can increase the patient's risk of a heart attack in the future. The new study shows that taking a form of turmeric's active ingredient, curcumin, may ease those risks when added to traditional drug treatment. In the study, half of the patients were given one-gram curcumin capsules to take four times a day, starting three days before their surgery and continuing for five days afterwards. The other half took the same number of drug-free placebo capsules. The group taking curcumin had a 65% lowered risk from post bypass operation heart attacks and showed significantly lower levels of inflammation and oxidative stress markers in their blood.

With research suggesting that inflammation plays an important role in the development of a range of diseases, including heart disease, and curcumins could have an effect on those pathways, turmeric has become a hot commodity to help in the prevention of heart disease.

This isn't the first time turmeric has been used in medicine. Turmeric extracts have long been used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine. It can be taken in capsule form or consumed through foods. Turmeric is primarily used in curries, which is what gives curry its yellow color.

Try a Turmeric inspired recipe today!

Broccoli, Beef & Potato Hotdish
Get the full directions and nutritional information for Broccoli, Beef, & Potato Hotdish at EatingWell.

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INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into 1-inch florets (about 6 cups)2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds 95%-lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
4 cups low-fat milk
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, preferably orange
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 cups frozen hash-brown or precooked shredded potatoes (see Note)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Canola or olive oil cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon Hungarian paprika, preferably hot

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 450°F.
Toss broccoli with 1 tablespoon oil in a large bowl. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast, stirring once halfway though, until just soft and browned in spots, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add beef and onion and cook, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until the beef is browned and the onion is softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire, garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
Whisk milk and cornstarch in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking often, until bubbling and thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, 6 to 8 minutes total. Remove from the heat and stir in Cheddar, 3/4 teaspoon salt and turmeric until the cheese is melted.
Spread the beef mixture in a 9-by-13-inch (or similar 3-quart) baking dish. Top with the broccoli and pour the cheese sauce evenly over the top.
Combine potatoes, egg, pepper and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the casserole. Coat the top with cooking spray.
Bake the casserole until it is bubbling and the potatoes are beginning to brown, about 40 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.