Turmeric might be better known for its use in cooking, it is one of the main ingredients in curry; however, turmeric (curcumin is the main compound in turmeric and is responsible for many of the health benefits) is arguably the best natural herb available. There have been thousands of studies on turmeric noting its vast amount of health benefits. There are numerous uses and benefits of using turmeric, but for this article I have concentrated on ten of the best health benefits of turmeric.
The best part about turmeric is that it is extremely easy to incorporate into your daily diet. You can add it to your tea, sprinkle it into your meals, take it as a supplement or simply mix it with water for a quick intake! Below are the top 10 benefits of turmeric that I have identified.
1. Tames Inflammation
This is the most common, and powerful, aspect of turmeric. Turmeric contains more than two dozen anti-inflammatory compounds. Many diseases that people develop can be linked back to chronic inflammation. Some inflammation is good, it helps fight bacteria from our body, but prolonged, chronic inflammation is not good for your health. Turmeric works to stop inflammation at the cellular level and prevent it from radiating throughout the body.
Antioxidants help protect our bodies from free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for several different disease that the body may encounter. The high level of antioxidants in turmeric helps protect your body from these free radicals. In addition from stopping free radicals, turmeric increases the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.
3. Fights Cancer
Cancer is the most common use/researched aspect of turmeric. It has been shown to not only destroy cancer cells, but prevent cancerous cells from growing or regrowing in the body. In addition, turmeric has been shown to inhibit the growth and even shrink tumors. Its most commonly linked to colon cancer, skin cancer and breast cancer, but it can work on other cancers too.
Depression has been linked to low levels of Brain-Deprived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). Turmeric has been proven to boost BDNF levels, serotonin and dopamine levels, all of which contribute to depression.
Arthritis is mainly caused by inflammation in your joints. As shown above, turmeric is effective in reducing inflammation, thus it helps with treating arthritis. In addition, read more about this below, turmeric helps stop pain, which can help people control their arthritis.
6. Pain Fighter
Much like its anti-inflammation properties mentioned above, turmeric has become commonly known with fighting pain. Turmeric contains six different compounds that help inhibit the promotion of pain in the body.
Turmeric helps diabetes in two major ways. First, it helps lower blood sugar levels and second, it helps reverse insulin resistance, which helps prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of turmeric are responsible for helping manage these two aspects of diabetes.
8. Improved Brain Function
As mentioned above, turmeric helps reduce inflammation, which is no different when it comes to your brain. Inflammation in your brain has been linked to several different cognitive functions and disease. However, turmeric can help reduce this inflammation. In addition, it helps increase the flow of oxygen to your brain, promotes the regrowth of stem cells in your brain, and helps boost the level of Brain-Deprived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which increases the growth of new neurons to help fight various degenerative processes in the brain.
9. Hearth Health
Heart disease is the most common health related cause of death. There is no one thing that causes heart disease; rather, it is a sum of several different parts. However, turmeric can help several different aspects of hearth health and help promote a healthy heart. Turmeric can help regulate blood pressure and blood clotting by improving endothelia function. Also, as mentioned above, turmeric helps promote a healthy heart by reducing inflammation and oxidation. Additionally, turmeric can help prevent the buildup of cholesterol in your arteries.
Alzheimer’s is a debilitating disease that currently is incurable. However, there are ways to help minimize its affect and help prevent it. Turmeric helps prevent and remove the buildup of Amyloid plaques. These plaques are linked to the development of Alzheimer’s. In addition, as mentioned above, turmeric helps fight inflammation another factor in Alzheimer’s.
These 10 really only scratch the surface of the health benefits of turmeric. It has and will continue to be one of the most heavily researched herbs because of the vast amount of health benefits. The best part is that it is so simple to indulge in turmeric. One quick piece of advice, turmeric has been proven to be absorbed by the body better with a presence of piperine (found in black pepper). Hopefully at least one of these benefits caught your eye and gets you to eat more turmeric!