Turmeric is an ancient spice that belongs to the same family as ginger. It has a bright golden colour and is a major ingredient in most Indian cuisines for making delicious curries and in the American mustard. Turmeric is a delicious and powerful herb used in traditional cultural remedies to treat certain ailments.
It contains iron, vitamin B6 and C, protein, sodium, calcium, dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. It’s used in adding flavour to your food, as a dye, and in making turmeric tea.
Curcumin is the bioactive component that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties making turmeric very beneficial to your health. Turmeric has the ability to heal wounds, slow down aging, reduce inflammation, protect your cognitive ability, improve your skin health, alleviate pain, improve digestion, and prevent cancer.
Now, let’s look at the many health benefits turmeric has to offer.
1. Helps in weight loss
Obesity has become a serious problem in recent years with many people preferring to eat fast foods and sugary foods. Curcumin prevents the storage of fat in your body and accelerates your metabolic rate helping your body to burn calories leading to weight loss. It’s also good in detoxifying your liver and lowering your bad cholesterol levels.
Stress can also cause weight gain and when your stress hormone cortisol is stressed fat accumulates near your stomach because your stomach cells are sensitive to the stress hormone and very good at storing energy. Turmeric can help balance you’re your stress hormones which will prevent you from having accumulated fat around your waist.
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2. Promotes healthy skin
Turmeric is a very good antioxidant that helps fight oxidative damage and free radicals that cause early aging, clear acne and acne scars leaving your skin flawless and glowing prevents the growth of pimples, and its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties help to soothe skin irritation and accelerate healing of wounds.
Whether you ingest turmeric or apply it on your skin, it has the ability to improve many skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and topical tissue damage.
3. Helps fight cancer
Curcumin prevents the growth of cancer cells and even kill cancerous cells, reduce the growth of new blood vessels in tumors, and the spread of cancer. By stopping the supply of blood to a growing tumor, turmeric helps top prevent cancer. Stomach, breast, skin, and bowel cancers are very responsive to curcumin which makes turmeric a good preventive measure that you can include in your diet.
4. Improves your brain function
Turmeric is a great herb in boosting your brain function, memory retention, cognitive abilities, and increase your concentration. It protects your neural pathways prolonged oxidative stress and plaque buildup. It’s also been shown to increase the growth of your brain stem cells that help to repair the damage caused by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
According to research, turmeric may one day considered to be a natural healing remedy to serious brain diseases that affect your memory and brain. So continue to include turmeric in your diet to improve your brain functions.
5. Boosts your immune system
Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties that boost your body’s natural defenses and boost your immunity. It’s good at preventing chronic inflammation, autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, and treating immune deficiencies. Turmeric has also been found to improve your white blood cell count which boosts your immunes system.
6. Improve digestion and gut health
Turmeric has been used for centuries to heal gut inflammation and improve digestion. Turmeric can eliminate pathogenic bacteria like H pylori promoting the growth of health-supportive microbes. By maintaining a healthy digestive process and good levels of gut bacteria, turmeric prevents you from getting irregular bowel movements, bloated, gas, acid reflux, IBS, etc.
Its anti-inflammatory properties are good in reducing chronic inflammation and soothe ulcers. Curcumin helps your gallbladder produce bile that breaks down the food improving your digestion.
7. Regulate your blood sugar
For diabetic patients, turmeric is a great herb you can use to regulate your blood sugar levels and improve your insulin sensitivity. By adding turmeric to your daily diet you allow curcumin to stabilize your glucose levels and help in dealing with other diabetes complications.
Curcumin also helps to stimulate the AMPK enzyme allowing the uptake of glucose from your blood to your cells. This regulates your blood sugar and insulin sensitivity helping to stabilize your appetite and weight and also protects you from heart diseases. So, if you have diabetes turmeric can be an added benefit but make sure you first consult your doctor to get the proper way to use turmeric.
8. Lower your risk of heart disease
Turmeric contains curcumin and vitamin B6 that is good for your cardiovascular health. Curcumin balances your cholesterol levels removing the buildup of excess bad cholesterol from your blood vessels and arteries preventing atherosclerosis. Vitamin B6 prevents the production of homocysteine which causes damage to your cell walls making it weak which can cause complications to your heart and especially if you have high blood pressure.
Taking turmeric is a natural way of preventing blood clots and reduce blood pressure on your blood vessels. It strengthens your vascular function and protects you from hypertension, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism.
9. Prevents arthritis and reduces joint pains
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that keep your joints from getting inflamed and swollen. By including turmeric in your diet you significantly reduce painful joint pains if you’re suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Turmeric is a great preventative measure and a very effective way of keeping your bones healthy and pain-free and good in treating osteoarthritis. Turmeric is also good in relieving muscle pain from an extreme workout or from an injury.
Are you now ready to join the turmeric bandwagon?
Apart from being a delicious spice, turmeric has many health benefits that go back hundreds of years ago. You can either take turmeric as a powder, a supplement, or as a fresh organic root. Taking turmeric can have side effects and if taken in excess it can cause diarrhea, upset stomach, and dizziness. And if you’re pregnant or taking any medication to consult your doctor for directions.
Jack Seal is a fanatic reader and ‘experimenter’ of the latest diet fads and tips to see what works and what doesn’t. As someone who had weight issues since young, he has come a long way to get into his current fit form.