Benefits of Turmeric
When it comes to herbs and spices, turmeric, a bright yellow powder that comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant is not very well known (though it is growing in popularity). If you are looking for spices that provide health benefits, turmeric is at or close to the top of the list. This great tasting spice has been used in India as a medicine for thousands of years, with significant effects.
A growing number of studies conducted in recent years have confirmed what many people already knew. Turmeric is an amazing spice that can provide you with many amazing health benefits when enjoyed regularly. Take a look at some of the advantages of adding turmeric to your foods, and we are sure you will then run to the nearest store to pick some up today.
Chronic inflammation is a major factor in heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer and many other severe conditions. Unfortunately, many people suffer from chronic low-level inflammation due to our diets and lifestyles. While some people turn to prescription medications to manage this inflammation, others are learning that turmeric can be much more efficient.
Recent studies have found that a compound found in this spice, curcumin, helps fight inflammation at the molecular level. It blocks NF-kB, which is what is believed actually to turn on inflammation in cells. Blocking this from happening contributes to preventing unwanted inflammation at the source, which will provide you with many great health benefits.
Boosts the Capacity of Antioxidants in the Body
It is well known today that free radicals in the body can lead to a wide range of health problems. A natural way to eliminate free radicals is by having enough antioxidants in the body. Our ancestors got this naturally through their diet, but most people today simply don’t. Turmeric not only has lots of antioxidants in it (Study 1, Study 2) but it also makes it so your body can take advantage of greater total amounts of antioxidants (study 1, study 2, study 3).
The fact that it allows your body to use more antioxidants means that it will help other foods provide you with even more health benefits. For health conscious individuals, this may be the most significant benefit of turmeric.
Improved Brain Function
Improved brain function is essential to keep your mind sharp and to complete everyday tasks more quickly and easily. It is also vital for fighting neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and others. It is believed that when the brain cannot develop new neurons, it becomes more susceptible to these issues. A growth hormone known as Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor has been linked to the ability to develop new neurons.
Curcumin in turmeric has been shown in two studies (1 and 2) to increase the total levels of BDNF, which can create an environment where new neurons can develop. When added to your meals on a regular basis, this can help to keep your brain functions strong and healthy.
Lower Risk of Heart Disease
If you’re looking to increase your life expectancy, one of the best things you can do is take proper care of your heart. Heart disease takes more lives than other diseases. Studies have found that turmeric can not only prevent heart disease but can also reverse some of the damage that has already occurred throughout your life.
One of the most significant studies on this topic used patients who were preparing to have coronary artery bypass surgery. Some patients were given 4 grams of curcumin per day for several days before and after the surgery, while others were given a placebo. The results found that those who got the curcumin had a 65% lower risk of having a heart attack while in the hospital! An incredible improvement that shows just how heart friendly turmeric can be.
Prevent or Treat Cancer
If you want to reduce your risk of cancer, turmeric should be a part of your diet. Research has been conducted that found that turmeric can help to stop the spread of cancer in existing patients. Also, there have been two studies (1 and 2) that found that curcumin can shrink cancer cells, thus inhibiting the growth of tumors. These studies were done on animals in laboratories and further research is needed to see if this will translate over to humans, but it seems likely.
There are many types of cancers, and they can be quite different from one another. Turmeric appears to be able to fight all of them at one level or another. Whether you have already been diagnosed, or you are just looking to avoid this terrible disease, adding turmeric is an excellent idea.
Easing Arthritis Pain
Inflammation typically causes arthritis in the joints, which can cause debilitating pain. Millions of people suffer from this condition, but they may be able to find significant relief from adding turmeric to their diet.
A study of those with rheumatoid arthritis found that curcumin is more effective than prescription anti-inflammatory drugs.
Add this Miracle Spice to Your Diet
It is easy to see why many cultures in the past used turmeric as a medicine. Whether you’re looking to prevent a healthy problem or fight an existing one, you will find that turmeric can be extremely effective. Since turmeric is widely available, affordable and easy to use, there is no excuse for not adding it to your list of favorite spices.