Native to Southeast Asia, turmeric powder comes from the curcuma longa plant and has long been associated with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric is one of the well-studied spices today, and has a host of benefits that improve one’s physical and mental health.
The spice turmeric has long been used to flavor dishes and to take for medicinal reasons. Most supplements today contain a mixture of curcumin and black pepper which helps aid absorption of the powder.
Here’s the 10 scientifically proven health benefits of this incredible spice.
1. Benefits brain and mental health. Turmeric is a mood enhancer and research indicates that the spice can stabilize moods. Additionally, evidence indicates that it may help individuals with depression and/or bipolar disorders. Further studies need to be undertaken, but it may even help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.
2. Anti-aging properties. Turmeric helps protect cells from free radicals and as such, it’s a powerful anti-aging agent. For best results, use turmeric directly on your skin. It targets sun damage, wrinkles, and age associated pigmentation. By reducing inflammation, turmeric can improve eczema, chronic acne, and psoriasis.
3. Helps control blood sugar. Adding turmeric or curcumin to dishes can help control blood sugar because it stimulates the enzyme AMPK. The enzyme AMPK helps stabilize blood sugar levels and improves insulin stability. By monitoring blood sugar levels, you can help reduce your risk of heart disease and work on controlling your cholesterol.
4. Strengthens your immune system. Curcumin and turmeric helps keep chronic infections away, especially in those with compromised immune systems. The spice improves white blood cell counts, which boosts the immune system. This is one of the biggest positives to taking turmeric or curcumin. A healthy immune system works to resist many of the chronic health conditions today.
5. Helps improve heart and blood health. Supplementing with curcumin lowers your risk of blood clots, which in turn can defend your body against pulmonary embolisms, hypertension, deep vein thrombosis, and hypertension. In some instances, turmeric or curcumin can be just as helpful as drugs.
6. Helps relieve some aches and pains. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and can be beneficial in fighting aches and pains. It especially aids those who suffer from arthritis, as it works to protect bone materials, minimizes inflammation, and improves antioxidant activity. As the spice reduces oxidative stress, it can help reduce low-grade inflammation throughout the body. Turmeric is commonly prescribed for arthritis and other similar diseases.
7. Improves gut health. Because turmeric and curcumin both work in the digestive tract to minimize pathogenic bacteria, they can radically improve gut health and digestion. Minimizing such bacteria helps reduce bloating, gas, and irregular bowel movements among others. The anti-inflammatory benefits can also benefit those who suffer from ulcers and inflammatory bowel diseases.
8. Antioxidant health benefits. Turmeric and curcumin together stimulate the lymphatic system, which in turn can help remove toxic waste from the body. Another aspect of the antioxidant benefit is turmeric’s valuable protection against cell damage, which in turn boosts the immune system.
9. May aid in preventing cancer. Curcumin may help prevent cancer from growing as the spice prevents new blood vessels from producing, which helps starve the cancer of blood. There are many other ways in which turmeric and curcumin may help fight cancer, including a strengthened immune system and possibly destroying cancer cells. The research about the connection between cancer prevention and turmeric is still being studied, but it is possible that turmeric can be radically helpful in the fight against cancer.
10. Aids weight loss. Curcumin and turmeric can help manage one’s weight by helping to stabilize the metabolism. As mentioned before, by improving insulin stability, a side benefit is a suppression of processes that can be responsible for weight gain.
In conclusion, this humble but powerful spice can do an amazing job of fighting many of the diseases that we face today. Turmeric cannot cure or fix our diseases, but it can benefit our health. As many diseases are related to inflammation, turmeric really is a spice that can benefit a myriad of connecting diseases.
If you’re interested in taking turmeric or curcumin pills, please contact your doctor first to determine if you are a good candidate for these pills and that they do not interfere with any medicine or pre-existing conditions.
About the Author
Holly Clark is a freelance health writer and a career carer. Her writing mainly focuses on elder care and well-being. Right now, she is currently working as a consultant for SureSafe.