Turmeric is one of those spices that you may have heard of but never really paid attention to. I’ve even heard people confuse it with curry but trust me – turmeric is more than a food flavoring. For thousands of years, Asian cultures have been using turmeric (or more specifically, a compound it contains called curcumin), as an all-purpose antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-allergy, and anti-cancer supplement.
Turmeric has an impressive repertoire of benefits that I’m going to narrow down to these 8 reasons you should be taking it every day. I know that being busy and always on the run is a big deal, but turmeric can be taken as a vitamin supplement or a powder. You can find time to squeeze it in.
All-natural turmeric has a ton of vitamins in it, including Vitamin C, B-1, B-2, B-3, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, manganese, and zinc. The health benefits of these minerals are indispensable to a balanced diet and turmeric covers them all.
I doubt anyone takes turmeric solely for the vitamins. It’s most famous as an antioxidant and its fame is well-deserved. Oxidative damage refers to how free radicals in our bodies damage our systems by creating patterns of inflammation that lead to chronic illnesses, including cancer.
Curcumin is the powerful antioxidant in turmeric that prevents free radicals from forming and jumpstarts your body’s natural inflammation-fighting systems. This means that turmeric can not only provide antioxidants, but it can stimulate your body’s natural antioxidation processes too.
3. Improve Brain Health
Brain health used to be considered a one-way journey where you peak young and then lose cells as you age. We now know that creating new neural connections and new brain cells is possible, which has huge implications for people with depression, Alzheimer’s, and other brain disorders.
The curcumin in turmeric can actively decrease depressive symptoms and delay the onset of brain disorders by accelerating the formation of new brain cells.
4. Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
I already talked about antioxidants in turmeric and their effect on long-term oxidative stress and chronic illness. The anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric go beyond that, however. The curcumin in turmeric is like nature’s aspirin: it can have a direct inflammation-reducing effect on your joints.
By reducing inflammation and swelling, those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune conditions should consider turmeric as a possible alternative to NSAIDs, which are fine in the short-term but shouldn’t be taken forever.
5. Weight Loss
The ability to reduce obesity-related inflammation, as well as control cholesterol and blood sugar, makes turmeric a natural fat-fighting supplement. It’s not an automatic weight loss solution, but it can make obesity less harmful to your body and improve the rate at which your healthy diet helps you lose weight.
6. Improved Digestion
Turmeric becomes a potent blood purifier once you digest it, which means that it fights toxicity in your body. This is part of how it can fight fat, but it works on ulcers too. Turmeric can be a great post-meal supplement to aid in healthy digestion.
7. Dry Up a Cold
Another little-known benefit of taking turmeric is that it can dry up a runny nose and watery eyes when you have a cold. With cold and flu season coming up, it may come in handy.
8. Improved Skin Health
Turmeric is an ingredient in a lot of all-natural topicals. When applied to the skin, it can improve texture, complexion, and tone, as well as reduce acne and wrinkles. This is part of its general anti-inflammatory nature, as well as its light antiseptic effect when applied externally.
You may be a little confused about the difference between turmeric and curcumin, so I want to clarify. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, but not all turmeric supplements contain enough of it to benefit you. This is why doing your own research and paying attention to labels is important – these 8 amazing health benefits of turmeric are only as good as its curcumin content.
Turmeric has a track record thousands of years long of helping people fight inflammation and improve digestion. With enough curcumin content (and some black pepper for absorption), turmeric could be your new best friend, not only to fight chronic inflammation but to improve healthy digestion and nutrient absorption on a daily basis.