Turmeric is a spice used as a flavoring and coloring agent in many cultures. Botanically, it originates from another spice family, the ginger family that also seems to have many of the same health benefits as turmeric.
It is derived from the rhizome part of the herbal plant and has a characteristic yellow color.
The lifestyles many of us lead in this day and age, chock-full of salt, sugar, fat, and processed ingredients place us all at heightened risk of certain lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, obesity and more.
We often forget that nature has her own natural products that can help us alleviate or completely erase the negative impacts of these unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits.
One of the superstar spices in this broad category of veggies, herbs, and fruits is the amazing turmeric.
Turmeric health benefits are as varied as they are well-proven. This isn’t an exercise in conjecture we’re about to get into here, but a dive into some well-researched and proven turmeric benefits.
They should give you more than enough reason to make turmeric a part of you and your family’s diet. It is important for you to know some of these turmeric health benefits. Let’s get right to it.
1. Turmeric Plant Helps Reduce Inflammation
The most potent ingredient of turmeric is known as curcumin, and it is a well-known anti-inflammatory agent.
While short-term inflammation in the body is important in repairing damage and fighting foreign bodies, chronic inflammation is almost always a problem.
Inflammation usually causes all kinds of difficulties for people who mainly suffer from arthritis. Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory property generally aids to reduce the pain of the people enduring arthritis.
You’ll know more about how turmeric can help with arthritis issues below.
Some studies indicate that it might even be more effective in this regard than some popular over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin.
Curcumin in turmeric may be the better choice really, as it has no side effects those pharmaceutical drugs might have.
2. Improves Joint Health And Fights Arthritis Attacks
Mobility and overall joint health might be easily overlooked aspects of our general health, especially while we still enjoy the vitality of our youth, but they become increasingly more important as we age.
Studies conducted on patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic condition caused by the inflammation of the joints, showed that turmeric was as effective in the management of the condition as some of the prescription drugs given for the same such as Diclofenac.
With sufficient concentrations, curcumin which is present in turmeric is just as good as aspirin and ibuprofen in pain and inflammation relief. If anything, it could be even better.
Curcumin reduces the production of histamine, prostaglandins and inflammatory cytokines.
Turmeric is also a Cox-2 Inhibitor. Osteoarthritis patients have used it successfully to treat knee pain. In fact, it may be as useful as a cortisone shot.
One study showed patients who received the “best possible care” plus 200mg of curcumin showed significantly lowered inflammation. Curcumin is an active ingredient found in turmeric.
In fact, some doctors are hoping it can phase out the use of NSAIDs for mild to moderate cases of osteoarthritis.
3. Can Help Relieve Pain
Turmeric contains curcuminoid which is the actual ingredient that has pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, the yellow hue of the rhizome is due to the curcuminoid present in the plant.
These curcuminoids have beneficial properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and even anti-carcinogenic properties.
As an anti-inflammatory and also anti-bacterial agent, turmeric essentially works to cure or heal cuts, wounds, and also other critical skin injuries.
You can mix turmeric with coconut oil in a saucepan. You then apply the mixture on the wound using a cotton pad.
The anti-inflammatory agent and also anti-bacterial agent of turmeric usually help in curing the injury or the wound completely.
4. Heart Health And Cholesterol Control
Heart diseases such as heart attacks and stroke can be reduced by adding turmeric in your diet. The herb also helps to reduce arterial plaque from building up. This is because it helps in the better circulation of the blood.
High blood sugar and chronic bodily inflammation are precursors of oxidative stress in a person’s body, and oxidative stress, in turn, leads up to heightened cholesterol levels.
Turmeric comes in handy here, as we’ve seen that it reduces inflammation in the body, thus helping us keep our bad cholesterol levels in check. In fact, research indicates that you could reduce your cholesterol levels by up to 11.63% within just 7 days of taking a daily 500mg dose of turmeric.
Turmeric can also enhance endothelial function.
The endothelium is the lining of blood vessels. Dysfunction of the endothelium often leads to heart failure or heart disease due to factors like blood clots and an inability to regulate blood pressure.
Curcumin improves endothelial function, lowering your risk of heart disease and may even reverse would-be heart disease.
5. Stress Tolerance
Turmeric is placed in a category of substances known as adaptogens, whose function in the human body is to help combat the negative effects of everyday stress.
Adaptogens are more commonly referred to in herbal medicine circles, but their beneficial effects are undeniable.
What they do is help the adrenal glands regulate their rate of stress hormone release, meaning your body won’t react too strongly to stress factors, whether internal or external.
6. Reduced Cancer Risk
Cancer is a horrible disease. However, there are studies that show turmeric can be an effective component in the treatment of cancer. This means it can be used in the prevention and possible treatment of cancer.
The curcumin component of turmeric is credited with decreased instances of cancer in those who take it regularly. To be specific, curcumin helps slow the growth and development of cancer in the bodily system.
Animal research trials have shown that curcumin might actually kill tumor cells outright in addition to inhibiting their proliferation.
Prevention is better than cure. Another impressive turmeric health benefit is its ability to prevent cancer’s occurrence before it even begins to take a hold of a patient’s body, especially in certain vulnerable organs such as the stomach, breasts, intestines, prostate, and skin.
7. Mood Improvement And Regulation
In addition to the brain-building protein BDNF, the curcumin content of turmeric also goes a long way in preventing the onset of depression by instigating the production of the brain’s “feel-good” hormones – serotonin and dopamine.
Turmeric may provide an entirely healthy, all-natural alternative to some of the most popular anti-depressants on the market today such as Prozac.
8. More Radiant Skin
By making turmeric a regular part of your diet, you could greatly improve the health of your skin, as turmeric is a powerful anti-aging element.
It works in our bodies as an anti-oxidant, which is any substance that works to reverse the aging effects of oxidation on body cells and tissues, such as the skin.
To make things even better, the anti-oxidant turmeric uses can be enjoyed whether turmeric is taken with our food or applied directly onto the skin as a lotion or ointment.
Turmeric is used by Indian women for centuries for beautiful skin. Some say that it rids your skin of troublesome acne and keeps skin looking great. You can make a paste from turmeric and yogurt and apply it topically.
9. Weight Loss Assistance
Overweight people are at increased risk of multiple life-threatening conditions, and one of its numerous causative factors is elevated stress levels.
Cortisol, which is the hormone our body releases in times of stress, encourages the accumulation of fatty cells in a person’s stomach region as the region is more sensitive to the action of cortisol as well as due to the fact that fat is a very efficient energy-storage medium.
Turmeric can forestall the entire process by helping you keep your cortisol production levels at a healthy level.
A good amount of turmeric consumption may help reduce your chances of being obese. Needless to say, you still need to have a good diet and regular exercise.
10. Improve Brain Health
Turmeric can elevate the enzymes responsible for the secretion of Omega 3 fatty acids. And as you may also know, Omega three is a fatty constituent of our brains.
Turmeric has also been shown to play a role in the production of a protein known as brain-derived-neurotrophic-factor (BDNF) that helps in the development of neural connections within the brain.
This serves to delay and/or reverse cognitive decline usually brought about by age. It also promotes the growth of new cells in areas of the brain.
Low BDNF levels are a precursor for the development of depression and Alzheimer’s, especially in older generations.
11. Assist With Diabetes Conditions
Another turmeric health benefit is helping in restraining insulin levels. Generally, having blood sugar fluctuations usually causes a number of strains on the body.
One of this abnormal body issue is diabetes which turmeric may be able to treat. Turmeric can stimulate the release of insulin. This will assist in the storage of glucose and help ease diabetic symptoms.
By stabilizing the levels of glucose in a person’s body (as a healthy metabolism should), research has shown that turmeric has the ability to mitigate one of the most hard-hitting complications that come with diabetes.
Aside from helping those with diabetic symptoms already, turmeric also shows promising indications of being able to ward off the onset of the condition entirely.
12. May Help Treat Cystic Fibrosis
Turmeric also helps in treating cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder associated with proteins, and curcumin found in turmeric usually correct such a problem.
On the whole, curcumin helps in enhancing the function of the liver by aiding the body in filtering out waste materials much more efficiently.
13. Turmeric Is Very Good For Your Liver
Turmeric is a blood purifier and helps the liver to release toxins quicker. It’s so effective, some doctors say it may be able to reverse the effects of cirrhosis of the liver.
14. Gastro-Intestinal Benefits
Turmeric can assist you to restore gastrointestinal digestion. Curcumin stimulates the gallbladder to release the bile. This will assist in effective fat and lipid digestion.
It also has benefits against ulcers. It inhibits the secretion of stomach acids significantly. It also inhibits the secretion of pepsin enzyme which aggravates symptoms of ulcers.
So next time you have ulcers, consider asking your doctor about taking turmeric.
15. Increases Longevity
With all the other specific health benefits we’ve listed above, this will lead you to have a longer and healthier life. Now, depending on your circumstance, I think that most people would like to live longer.
Living longer should also mean that you’re living with a sound mind and body.
Turmeric has shown itself to be one of the world’s true superfoods, and the great thing about it is that we can get it in more than one form.
Add turmeric to your diet to start taking advantage of the many health benefits it can bring.
Whether it’s as fresh turmeric root, ground turmeric powder, or as a supplement, we can all get our daily share of turmeric health benefits. I have a bottle of turmeric supplements just in case I do not have time to prepare meals or turmeric tea.
Unless grossly over-indulged in, there are practically zero negative turmeric side effects, so you may consider it safe for all the family to enjoy.
With all these health benefits that turmeric can offer, which one are you most interested in?