Based on the popularity of our previous article, The Truth About the Benefits of Turmeric, we have compiled an update on the natural ways turmeric can benefit your health.
Unfortunately, living with chronic pain and inflammation is a reality for many people. Getting to the root cause can seem impossible, and relieving the pain can seem entirely out of reach. Giving your body the proper supplements and nutrition it needs to heal naturally can be accomplished faster and easier than you think.
Nutrition is the key to feeling good, regardless of your level of physical activity or other forms of exercise. Great nutrition is a powerful way to heal your body and maintain your health. Interestingly, there is a surprising amount of research that supports this. For obvious reasons, pharmaceutical companies do little to share this knowledge.
One of the best examples of foods that heal is turmeric, a yellow powder made by drying and grinding the spice derived from the rhizomes of the turmeric plant Curcuma longa Linn. Turmeric has been used in India for millennia as both a seasoning and a medicine. The active ingredients in turmeric that are responsible for its medicinal properties are known as curcuminoids or curcumin.
What is Turmeric and How Does it Help?
Turmeric is naturally anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial, and antioxidant. An entire series of studies in animals, as well as humans, have shown that its compounds are useful in many medical conditions. Turmeric supplementation is often as effective as taking prescription drugs such as steroids, statins, antidepressants, NSAIDs, cancer treatments, or diabetes drugs. And turmeric comes without the nasty side effects of these pharmaceuticals. Research also suggests that turmeric may be useful as anti-aging brain food.
What Are the Health Benefits of Turmeric?
There are many potential health benefits of incorporating turmeric into your lifestyle. Studies have shown that it helps:
- fight pain
- and more!
Also, it has antioxidant properties plus vitamins and minerals such as iron and manganese.
Most current medical conditions are based on chronic inflammation rather than infection. These would include heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. As a potent anti-inflammatory, turmeric reduces the symptoms of all three.
- It improves heart disease by healing the endothelial lining of the blood vessels, acting to moderate blood pressure, enhance blood-clotting function, and lower cholesterol levels. It also serves as an anticoagulant.
- Turmeric improves diabetes symptoms by lowering blood sugar levels and adjusting hormones, allowing the body to better handle insulin levels. It has even been known to treat diabetes-related eye problems such as uveitis.
- Turmeric soothes the aches and pains of arthritis by reducing swelling and joint pain. Some of these benefits are based on turmeric’s properties as an antioxidant, as it can fight free-radical destruction throughout the body and halting the negative effects of aging.
Emerging research supports turmeric’s use in cancer prevention and treatment, especially with breast, colon, prostate, and skin cancers.
Alternative Uses for Turmeric – Brain Food
As an antiseptic and antibacterial, turmeric helps the healing of external wounds and burns. Internally, it supports the immune system.
Turmeric has been shown to have a positive effect on chronic gastrointestinal diseases such as ulcerative colitis, moderating the intensity of episodes of illness, and delaying or eliminating their return.
Among the most exciting research around turmeric is its positive influence on the brain. Turmeric can cross the blood-brain barrier to boost mood and is an active agent against depression. It may help slow or prevent brain decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric has been shown to repair damaged brain connections in animals, probably because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has also demonstrated the ability to reduce the amyloid brain plaques considered characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.
How to Get and Use Turmeric
Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, turmeric is also affordable and easy to obtain, and there are many ways to include this Indian spice in your daily meals. However, since turmeric is difficult to absorb, you are unlikely to reach therapeutic levels without a supplement.
Supplements also usually contain a higher percentage of curcumin, the medicinally active component of turmeric. If you’re buying supplements, make sure they also have high absorbability. Some add piperine (a component of black pepper) or black pepper which has been shown to increase the absorption of curcuminoids in digestion. There are no real caveats except the usual allergy warnings and a suggestion against its use for those with gallbladder problems. If these don’t apply to you, turmeric might be a suitable fit for you.
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In the words of Hippocrates, the Father of Modern Medicine, “Let food be your medicine.”