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India: Their curries have special powers.
The spice turmeric is well known for giving Indian curries their yellow color and their slightly peppery taste. Turmeric has also been in the news lately because of research highlighting its fat-burning potential. A Tufts University study suggested that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, could inhibit the spread of fat tissue by inhibiting new blood vessel growth (called angiogenesis) necessary to build this type of tissue. Another research review by the University at Buffalo discussed evidence that curcumin may regulate lipid metabolism. Up to this point, these effects have been observed only in animals, and scientists have yet to track the effect on humans. In the meantime, turmeric has another benefit: This flavorful, complex-tasting spice can be a calorie-free alternative to oil, butter or salt.