Turmeric is famous for adding color and flavor to curries and other Asian dishes. Moreover, this spice is derived from Curcuma longa, a relative of the ginger plant, and its distinctive warm, peppery taste is sure to pep up any dish.
Aside from its colorful culinary history, turmeric also plays a role in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine. Recent studies have shown that there is a scientific basis to turmeric’s use as a folk remedy as it is rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as the natural compound curcumin. However, this last substance is responsible for the spice’s bright yellow color and a lot of the good things it can do for you.
Here are 7 proven turmeric health benefits that are sure to make it a favorite with anyone who’s into clean and healthy living.
Top 7 Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric
#1 Anti-inflammatory Properties
Many of the spice’s benefits can be put down to the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin. And this makes turmeric an effective remedy for inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Along with this, it is an effective remedy for the skin conditions such as rashes and psoriasis. What’s more, turmeric provides relief without incurring the side effects usually associated with over-the-counter medications.
#2 Relief for Scrapes and Bruises
Turmeric has antiseptic properties as well. Moreover, it can be used to clean minor wounds or burns to prevent them from becoming infected. However, some people also apply turmeric to their skin to treat bruises, insect bites, ringworm, and soreness.
#3 Improved Cardiovascular Function
Curcumin is a potent antioxidant. As such, it can prevent the buildup of plaques of oxidized cholesterol in the bloodstream. This in turn leads to improved cardiovascular function. Although it shouldn’t be considered a substitute for prescription medication, medical studies have shown that the regular intake of turmeric can also decrease the chances of a heart attack.
Scroll down to discover more proven health benefits of turmeric.
#4 Alleviation of Depression
In Chinese medicine, turmeric is often recommended as a treatment for depression. And it is likely that this is more than just an old wives’ tale. Furthermore, a 2014 study confirms that regular curcumin supplements help alleviate the mood-related symptoms that accompany major depressive disorders.
#5 Detoxification of Your Liver
Your liver acts as a sieve that catches a lot of the toxins that enter your body. It’s supposed to break the harmful chemicals down to keep them from doing damage, but it can’t always handle the job. However, turmeric can boost the production of liver enzymes that break down these chemicals. And this eventually help to detoxify your liver and your body.
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#6 Prevention of Many Types of Cancer
Plenty of research has been devoted to seeing how turmeric can combat different types of cancer, and the results are promising. The spice has been shown to prevent the growth and spread of existing tumors. Frequent use can also prevent colon, prostate, and lung cancer in adults, and lower the likelihood of childhood leukemia.
# 7 Protection for Your Brain
Another unusual property of the curcumin found in turmeric is that it can cross the blood-brain barrier – something that not many other compounds can do. Once it literally goes to your head, it protects your brain against the buildup of protein fragments that causes Alzheimer’s disease, as well as the clotting in blood vessels that lead to strokes. In addition to this, turmeric also contains aromatic turmerone, which promotes the repair of brain cells damaged by neurodegenerative diseases.
FYI: your body has a hard time to get curcumin from the turmeric root into your body. Luckily there are a few tricks to improve the availability and absorption and get turmeric’s full powers. Every time you use turmeric make sure to add black pepper, a healthy fat, or foods that contain quercetin (green tea and fruit or vegetable which are dark red, blue, or purple)
Amazing as all these benefits are, turmeric has much more to offer. You have every reason to start using this wonderful spice in many of your dishes. It works well in smoothies,
We often make homemade turmeric ginger soda, which is just amazing! Click here to get the recipe!
Thanks for reading. I hope this information was helpful. Until next time!
Crazy cat lady, life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach.