Have you heard that turmeric may be the most effective, natural-based nutritional supplement? It may just be true! You may only know this spice as the main ingredient in curry powder, but it is so much more than that. Many people today are taking advantage of the health benefits of turmeric - are you?
Don't just take our word for it - try it for yourself and see if you get the results you're looking for. At the very least, you'll be eating some perfectly spiced food in the meantime. Read on to find out the 10 health benefits of turmeric.
What is turmeric?
Turmeric is the dried root of the Curcuma longa plant. This plant originated in Southeast Asia, most notably India. Today, you can grow the plant in many climates. You can even grow a turmeric plant indoors in your home! When the dried root is ground, it becomes a bright, yellow color. Grinding it is the best way to release the chemical compounds which are known as curcuminoids.
The most active compound in turmeric is called curcumin. It is actually this compound that has the healing properties and health benefits of turmeric. In order for your body to activate the compound, you'll also need to consume piperine. Luckily for your, that compound is found in black pepper - a spice that goes surprisingly well with turmeric.
1. Prevents inflammation.
Turmeric plays a powerful role in preventing inflammation. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help with conditions like arthritis, injuries, and it may even slow the growth of cancer. Fighting chronic inflammation also means keeping foreign invaders at bay, which lowers your risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and other degenerative health conditions.
2. Eases joint pain.
Because turmeric has great anti-inflammatory properties, many people use it for easing their joint pains. Whether you're an athlete suffering from overuse or have aches and pains related to arthritis, adding a little turmeric into your diet can help ease your pain.
3. Heals your gut.
Here we are, talking about anti-inflammatory properties again! They're really quite amazing. In this case, those properties can help heal inflammation in the gut and treat conditions like colitis. A little turmeric a day can go a long way to healing a leaky gut.
4. Fights free-radicals.
Move over blueberries, because there's a new antioxidant powerhouse around! Turmeric has antioxidant properties that can help increase your bodies overall antioxidant capacity. This makes turmeric a potent antioxidant and a go-to choice in the fight against free-radical damage, which helps prevent cancer.
5. Boosts your immune system.
Combine those antioxidant properties with anti-inflammatory properties and you have the recipe for a boosted immune system! It's especially important that you consume turmeric with black pepper for this one. The piperine will help your body absorb the maximum amount of curcumin to help fight off bad bacteria.
6. Increases your brain health.
Curcumin helps your body increase support for the hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This hormone helps your brain increase long-term cognitive function, which will in-turn increase overall brain health. In addition, lab studies have shown promising results that consuming curcumin can lead to a decreased chance of developing Alzheimer's disease.
7. Lowers your risk of heart disease.
Turmeric has been known to improve the function of the lining of your blood vessels. This can help better regulate your blood pressure while reducing oxidation and inflammation around your heart. Put it all together and you find yourself at a lowered risk of heart disease and heart attack.
8. Fights against depression.
If you're looking for a mood boost, you might turn to turmeric or a curcumin supplement. In some studies, curcumin was just as effective as Prozac in treating depressed patients. Some evidence also exists that turmeric can boost neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which are responsible for regulating positive moods.