Turmeric is one of life’s great culinary pleasures, and it is one of the key ingredients in most curries. It brings rich flavour, vibrant yellow colour and an aromatic punch to many dishes, but did you know that turmeric is really good for you, too?Turmeric is not just about cooking anymore – it is proving to have many health benefits that reach far outside the kitchen. One day, taking a turmeric supplement may be as commonplace as taking a vitamin complex each morning.It’s one of those spices everyone raves about because it tastes so good. But consuming turmeric has many advantages that go far beyond the palate.In this article, we offer some of turmeric’s most significant benefits to your body and brain and explain just how it might be an essential spice in the fight against everything from arthritis to Alzheimer’s. Read on, then eat up!
What Are The Benefits Of Turmeric?
1- Turmeric Fights Inflammation
Studies show that turmeric contains anti-inflammatory properties and can fight the swelling and soreness that are such a big part of arthritis and other joint diseases. Turmeric contains an active ingredient called curcumin, and it’s a big part of what makes turmeric so effective in the fight against inflammation.Even if you don’t have joint disease now, eating turmeric may help prevent it from developing later on in life. That’s according to nutritionists of all stripes, whether they lean holistic and organic or are more traditional in their approach to food’s impact on disease.
2- It May Help In The Fight Against Heart Disease
Turmeric has many splendid benefits, but lowering cholesterol levels and fighting heart disease may be one of its best. Of course, staving off heart disease requires many things, including a commitment to getting regular exercise, not drinking too much alcohol, and keeping your weight within a healthy range. Eating turmeric can be part of that multi-pronged approach.
3- Turmeric Is Proving To Be Helpful In Fighting Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease
We all worry that our memory will begin to slip one day, and some of that is inevitable as we age. But eating properly can have a significant impact on lessening your chances of developing age-related dementia.A key element of preventing dementia is boosting what’s called BDNF, which stands for the brain-derived neurotrophic factor. It is a type of protein found both in the spinal cord and the brain, and essentially, the higher the level, the better.Turmeric shows it can increase the BDNF, which is essential in staving off Alzheimer’s and age-related dementia. Studies done on rats have shown that curcumin helps keep the neurons in the brain healthy and responsive.That means that memory loss and dementia do not have to automatically be a consequence of aging. Still, a lot of research needs to be done that includes human studies, not only animals. But the outlook is optimistic, so eating turmeric may help you stay sharp no matter what your age.
3- Turmeric Is Proving To Be Helpful In Fighting Certain Cancers
Research is ongoing into just how turmeric helps in the battle against some cancers, including breast, colorectal and pancreatic cancer, but scientists are hopeful. In animal studies, turmeric and curcumin effectively slow down and even prevent the development of cancerous cells.They interfere with various stages of cancer cell development, thereby hindering the cells’ ability to take root in the body. More research needs to be done in this field, but nonetheless, the conclusion is clear: eating turmeric, or taking it in a supplement that also includes black pepper, may help your body stave off certain cancers.
4- Turmeric Can Help Prevent Diabetes
Scientists are learning more every day about the link between Diabetes prevention and certain foods. Turmeric, and specifically the curcumin contained in it, is proving to help control blood sugar levels, a key part of Diabetes treatment.Turmeric also lessens fatty substances in the blood, called blood lipids. So whether you have Diabetes now or have been told by your physician that you’re at risk of developing it soon, eating turmeric should be part of a nutrition-based approach to controlling that risk. Like other diseases and the impact of turmeric, more work is needed, and research is ongoing, but thus far, scientists agree – eating turmeric may be one holistic way of ensuring you don’t develop high blood sugar and Diabetes.
5- Turmeric May Help Treat Depression
As in treating dementia, treating depression depends, in part, on boosting a patient’s BDNF level; the link between turmeric and its impact on depression is under review. Still, scientists are optimistic that this spice can naturally alleviate mild to severe depression symptoms by increasing the BDNF, just as is necessary with dementia patients. So far, the research is compelling.In one study of 60 people with depressive disorder, turmeric was shown to relieve symptoms as effectively as a prescription medication did. However, even researchers acknowledge that how turmeric works on depression isn’t fully clear. And so, a caveat here: it’s vital that no one stops taking prescribed medication and turns instead to a turmeric supplement to treat depression without consulting their physician or mental health professional.This use for turmeric still has a way to go before scientists give it a stamp of approval to treat any depression. Always talk to your doctor before stopping or starting any medication for something as serious as depression or any other physical or psychological condition, for that matter.
6- Turmeric Can Help Skin Conditions
Anyone who copes with skin problems like psoriasis, acne or dermatitis knows they can be dispiriting to live with. But because turmeric and curcumin have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties, they may prove helpful in the treatment of these skin disorders. Not enough work has been done studying this treatment, doctors agree, but research is ongoing.Studies show that turmeric supplements are fine even if you take high doses, but they are not meant to replace the medical treatment you may be undergoing. As we noted earlier, no one should stop one treatment in favour of another without consulting their physician or, in this case, their dermatologist.
7- Curcumin May Help Prevent Eye Deterioration
Age-related vision loss is something that many people cope with as they move into their sixties and beyond. Studies show that curcumin can slow the development of glaucoma, in particular, and may even help treat dry macular degeneration (DMD) and other eye problems. If your eyesight goes, it cannot be retrieved, so taking a turmeric supplement with a high concentration of curcumin may help prevent that from happening. However, as with other physical conditions, scientists agree more work must be done to truly confirm the link between turmeric and its ability to impede eyesight deterioration.
8- Spices Like Turmeric May Protect From The Damage Of Free Radicals
We hear about these destructive atoms all the time, which come from environmental problems like air pollution. Turmeric is one of the best spices we have for fighting the damage free radicals do to your body, as they can neutralize bad enzymes and help prevent them from harming you.Free radicals contribute to many diseases, including the cancers mentioned above. Making turmeric and curcumin a regular part of your diet is one way to fight the damage from free radicals all around you, like industrial chemicals, cigarette smoke and many others.
Research into the many benefits of eating turmeric, making it a regular part of your diet or taking a supplement packed with curcumin is underway all over the globe. However, we do know this: turmeric is delicious, and it’s very, very good for you!Whether you create a curry dish at home or order takeout from your favourite Indian restaurant, be sure you have turmeric several times a week. It turns out that turmeric is not just delicious; it’s a vital part of a holistic dietary approach to preventing diseases of all types. And that just maybe the best thing about turmeric, in addition to its fabulous flavour!