Do you know that you have a magical golden spice in your kitchen? You heard it right! We are talking about none other than turmeric. It is a golden spice that is also known and used as a food dye. Its rich yellow color gives color to your food but this is not all.
It is known for a number of health benefits. Luckily, you can benefit from them in numerous ways.
Turmeric is a root much like ginger. It’s used to make foods such as curries and other spicy dishes yellow in color. Curcumin has been traditionally used for its medicinal properties in the treatment of digestive problems, arthritis, sprains, wounds, psoriasis, and other inflammatory conditions.
Excess turmeric may have a mild laxative effect. Usually, this isn’t anything to worry about as long as your digestive system tolerates it. In fact, if you are feeling constipated I would give turmeric a try before using a laxative supplement.
The benefits of turmeric will vary depending on the person and if you are taking any medications. Always check with your doctor before using this or any herb to treat yourself.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Turmeric:
Turmeric’s antioxidant properties are comparable to that of blueberries, according to comparative research results. Antioxidants are best known for their ability to fight cell-damaging free radicals in your body.
This is important because free radical damage contributes to cancer, heart disease, and other conditions that can be prevented or delayed by using antioxidants.
2. Anti-inflammatory Properties
Turmeric’s active compound, curcumin, provides a wealth of anti-inflammatory benefits. A 2006 study published in the “Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine” found that curcumin was comparable with steroid treatment for relieving symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Turmeric may also help relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, according to a study published in the April 2008 issue of “Pharmacological Research.”
3. Antimicrobial Properties
Turmeric has been used for centuries as an antiseptic and antimicrobial agent in Ayurvedic medicine. Extracts from turmeric can inhibit bacterial growth, such as Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis.
Turmeric may also fight the influenza virus, according to a study in “Phytotherapy Research” in 2009. Make turmeric a part of your healthy diet and it may one day save your life!
4. Arthritis Relief
Turmeric helps in relieving pain associated with arthritis by reducing inflammation. In a study scientists found that curcumin from turmeric was comparable with ibuprofen for treating pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
5. Beneficial for Cancer Patients
In a laboratory study performed on human breast cancer cells, curcumin from turmeric was found to inhibit the growth of these types of cells.
Researchers believe that curcumin interferes with enzymes needed for tumor growth and blocks some enzymes involved in making new blood vessels that tumors need in order to grow.
Turmeric is best used in its natural form and not as a dietary supplement. That is because turmeric supplements have poor bioavailability, meaning that the human body doesn’t absorb much of it.
You can improve curcumin absorption by combining it with black pepper or fresh ginger juice. Black pepper contains piperine, which inhibits an enzyme responsible for eliminating curcumin from your body.
Also read: Top 10 Anti-Cancer Foods to include in your diet.
6. May Fight Alzheimer’s Disease
Turmeric has been used for centuries as a natural treatment for various ailments and conditions. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, scientific studies indicate that it may help prevent and treat many health problems such as cancer, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
7. May Prevent Colds
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, laboratory studies indicate that curcumin from turmeric may block several chemical reactions involved in inflammation and cell damage associated with heart disease.
Since inflammation is also thought to be an important part of some respiratory infections, eating turmeric regularly may help prevent colds.
8. Skin Protection
Beside many other health benefits of turmeric, it also has antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. According to research, curcumin may prevent or treat skin conditions such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and allergic reactions.
9. Sleep Aid
Curcumin from turmeric can help you sleep by blocking a chemical that stimulates nerve cells in the brain involved in waking and suppressing sleep-inducing chemicals. According to a study published in “Neuropsychopharmacology” in 2009, curcumin is the only known substance that acts on both inflammation and neurotransmitters.
10. May Help with Weight Loss
Turmeric helps increase your body’s metabolic rate by stimulating the production of several enzymes, including cytochrome p450. This enzyme helps your body break down fats in the liver so they can be used for energy. Increasing this enzyme also means your body burns more fat for energy.
Also read: Top 10 Budget-Friendly Foods for Weight Loss.
There are numerous benefits of consuming turmeric. Since winters are approaching, you can incorporate this magic spice into soups and gravies and enjoy a warm evening. Besides having microbial properties, turmeric provides warmth to your body and helps in claiming the winter chills.
Aside many other health benefits of turmeric, here are 10 reasons to add turmeric to your diet.
- It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
- Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.
- May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloid plaque buildup in the brain. It stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.
- Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
- May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.
- A Potent, Yet Safe Anti-Inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
- Is a natural liver detoxifier and a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.
- Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.
- May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.