Turmeric is a popular spice known across the globe. It’s called Curcuma aromatic and Curcuma.
Turmeric tastes warm and bitter. So it’s not the most pleasant taste-wise. Furthermore, the polyphenol, curcumin (diferuloylmethane), is responsible for its bright yellow color.
Turmeric’s use in Indian’s traditional herbal system is well-documented. It’s a medicinal herb, whose effects have also been backed up by clinical studies.
This medicinal herb has incredible anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic, antioxidant, and cardiovascular protective properties.
Continue reading to know the 14 incredible health benefits of turmeric!
1. Fights Inflammation
Inflammation is our body’s natural way of healing or fighting foreign invaders. Without it, pathogens such as bacteria can spread quickly throughout the body, leading to death.
So inflammation isn’t all that bad. However, it should only occur for a short period. When it becomes prolonged and chronic, severe health challenges can result. In this case, the inflammation may attack the body’s tissues and destroy them.
Chronic inflammation can cause health challenges such as heart disease, arthritis, obesity, allergies, and skin problems. Furthermore, scientists have linked low-level, chronic inflammation to a range of life-threatening Western diseases. These include cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s, and diverse degeneration conditions.
So whatever one can do to prevent these chronic diseases should be done.
Turmeric is a readily available and natural remedy for chronic inflammation. It contains curcumin, which has excellent anti-inflammatory properties.
The curcumin even makes turmeric more effective than most anti-inflammatory drugs. And besides, it is natural, accessible, pocket friendly, and has no known side effects.
What curcumin does is to suppress the molecules responsible for the inflammation. By so doing, it will protect you from chronic diseases.
2. Boost the body’s antioxidant capacity
Antioxidants play a vital role in helping us to maintain good health. They help prevent or slow down cell damage caused by free radicals.
The body also makes its antioxidants. But what it produces isn’t enough to prevent free radicals from operating. These free radicals or unstable molecules destroy cells. Furthermore, they result from environmental and other daily pressures.
The word “oxidative stress” describes the presence of excess free radicals in the body with little antioxidants available to scavenge and keep them in check.
Fortunately, there are drugs you can take to boost antioxidant levels. But if you prefer going natural and avoid unnecessary side effects, turmeric is a wise choice.
The curcumin in turmeric, according to research, can lower oxidative stress. It serves as antioxidants and has the power to stimulate the body’s antioxidant enzymes. Consequently, this strengthens one’s immune system.
3. Low Risks Of Heart Disease
Heart disease claims a life every 36 seconds in the United States of America. Speaking of heart disease, the CDC reports that 655,000 Americans die from this disease annually.
Worldwide, heart disease is the leading cause of death. It’s a silent killer, which makes it all the more complicated.
Researches about this deadly and complicated disease have been on for donkey years. They have identified that several factors contribute to heart disease. But the most popular of them is endothelial dysfunction.
Turmeric comes packed with numerous plant substances. But among them, curcuminoids boasts the highest health effects.
What makes curcumin beneficial for your heart health is improving the endothelium (blood vessels’ lining) function. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant functions also make it useful for maintaining your heart health.
4. Prevents And Treats Cancer
Cancer is a deadly disease. It affects children and adults. However, childhood cancer’s rate of cure is high.
Worldwide, cancer is known as the second biggest cause of death. And according to a report, over 9.6 million people died of cancer in 2018.
There are various forms of cancer, such as bowel, leukemia, lung, breast, liver, and stomach cancers. But turmeric has been proven useful in the prevention and fight against the disease.
Studies have identified curcumin, which is present in turmeric, as a potent herb in cancer treatment. The studies also indicated that curcumin’s effect is the same in all cancer types.
What curcumin does is that it fights cancer at the molecular level. It prevents the growth, spread, and development of the disease in the body.
According to a study conducted by the MD Anderson Cancer Center, researchers discovered that curcumin inhibits melanoma cells’ growth and even cause tumor cells to eliminate themselves.
5. Boost Your Brain Health
Studies have proven that neuron division and multiplication still happens after early childhood. And this counters previous reports.
Besides being able to develop new connections, neurons can increase in number in most parts of our brains.
However, this increase in neurons doesn’t happen by itself. The BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor), a hormone, is responsible for this.
A decrease in BDNF, a growth hormone, can be detrimental to one’s brain function. The decline also results when one has brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and depression.
Therefore, an increased BDNF level is needed in the brain. It will help ensure the proper functioning and health of the brain.
The good news is curcumin can increase BDNF levels in the brain. With this action, it can encourage the reversal or delay of brain-related decline or diseases.
So using turmeric can be beneficial to your brain health. It can also help boost your memory or make you sharper.
6. Beneficial For Arthritis
Arthritis is a common health problem, particularly in the Western world. There are various types, but the majority of them occur as joint inflammation.
However, rheumatoid arthritis, a severe inflammatory disorder, doesn’t only affect one’s joint. In most individuals, this health problem can destroy various bodily systems, such as the eyes, skin, heart, lungs, and blood vessels.
Turmeric’s primary active ingredient, curcumin, has well-documented anti-inflammatory properties. So using it for the treatment of arthritis might prove helpful.
Studies have been conducted to confirm curcumin’s potency in arthritis treatment, and the outcome showed great promise.
In one of the studies, curcumin proved to be more potent than most anti-inflammatory medication used in treating rheumatoid arthritis.
As documented in another study, curcumin’s use led to improvements in various symptoms most arthritis patients had.
7. Ability To Fight Against Dementia
Worldwide, over 50 million people have dementia. It affects mostly older adults but not tied to aging.
Dementia leads to deterioration of one’s memory, behavior, thinking, and the ability to handle daily activities.
Alzheimer’s disease is dementia’s most common cause.
According to a study, a compound present in curcumin, aromatic turmerone, aided the repair of the brain’s damaged stem cells. These stem cells are vital in the recovery or prevention of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Furthermore, a study conducted by Monash University proves that adding a gram of turmeric in one’s breakfast can help boost memory, particularly individuals with dementia.
8. Treatment Of Depression
Depression is best described as a mental disorder. It affects individuals of all groups. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 264 million people worldwide suffer from depression.
Turmeric’s effect on mental health has been well-documented. One of its constituents, curcumin, proves useful in the fight against depression.
In one study involving 60 participants who had depression, the participants were divided into three groups. The first group was given an antidepressant; the second group had a gram of curcumin, while the third had both the antidepressant and curcumin.
After six weeks, curcumin’s effect was similar to the antidepressant. However, the group that took both (antidepressant and curcumin) had the best result.
9. Displays Beneficial Antiviral Properties
Turmeric’s curcumin has shown promising antiviral properties. It can take down specific viruses, as reported by the Microbiology Society. In a study conducted, curcumin prevented TGEV (Transmissible gastroenteritis virus) from infecting cells.
NB – TGEV is an enveloped coronavirus known to infect pigs. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and causes high mortality.
In high dosage, curcumin was able to eliminate the virus particles.
10. Anti-Aging Benefits
Old age is unavoidable. However, studies have proved that it’s possible to reduce the signs associated with aging, such as wrinkles.
Oxidative stress and inflammation contribute to aging. So it’s easy to see why curcumin would have massive anti-aging benefits.
In one University of Colorado’s study, researchers discovered that curcumin enhanced several premature aging-causing functions.
Lab animals experienced reduced endothelial dysfunction, arterial stiffness, enhanced collagen levels, and free radicals induced oxidative stress.
Endothelial function plays a critical role in aging. The reason is that these cells produce substances responsible for blood clotting, vascular health, and the immune system.
11. Good For Your Respiratory Health
Several factors are responsible for mucus in the lungs. Some examples include pollutants and cigarette smoking. They can stimulate the goblet cells to secrete mucus, and in turn, destroy one’s airways.
Impressively, curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties make it helpful in boosting your respiratory health. It can clear out mucus from your lungs and unblock your airways.
Infections can block and prevent air from moving through one’s respiratory system free. Such an experience can make breathing more challenging.
The curcumin in turmeric has well-documented antibacterial and antiseptic properties. So they can help fight infections that tend to put your respiratory health in jeopardy.
Curcumin’s ability to encourage painless blood vessel dilation makes it a beneficial herb for boosting your respiratory health. It enables the substance to alleviate asthmatic inflammation, which leads to swelling in one’s lungs, including causing heavy breathing.
Another positive effect curcumin has on respiratory health is that it can restore your breathing patterns to normal, encourage blood thinning, and eliminate muscle spasms.
12. Helps To Ensure Balanced Bowels
Turmeric’s principal active ingredient, curcumin, makes it useful for bowel health. It can help address bowel issues arising from several inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative colitis, Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and Crohn’s disease.
The World Health Organization, in 1999, recommended curcumin for the treatment of functional dyspepsia, flatulence, and acid flux.
A study also reported that individuals who had turmeric had their needs for corticosteroids lowered. The major contributing factor was the curcumin present in turmeric.
13. Encourages Weight Loss
Thousands of weight loss supplements are out there, with many claiming to offer miracle solutions to weight loss. After using these supplements and spending a considerable amount of money, the outcome is disappointing.
If you’re one of such individuals eager to lose weight, give turmeric a shot. It can reduce fat levels and body weight without any life-threatening side effects.
In a USDA study conducted in 2009, mice that had turmeric supplements reportedly experienced reduced weight gain. The most exciting thing was that the food given to the animal was the same throughout.
Inflammation can also make losing weight difficult. So turmeric consumption can help you achieve your weight loss goal quicker, with or without inflammation. It can eliminate the inflammation, making it easier for your body to shed extra weight and fat.
14. Enhanced Pancreatic Function
The report on the number of diabetes patients around the world is frightening. More adults, teens, and children are developing this deadly disease.
Over 34 million Americans have diabetes, with 90 to 95 percent being type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes, particularly type 2, is a complicated disease, including high blood sugar and insulin resistance.
This diabetes causes the body to build up resistance to insulin. When this happens, a higher amount of insulin would be required to reduce one’s blood glucose levels. Here, the pancreas has to work harder and produce higher insulin than usual.
Over time, the pancreas’ beta cells get attacked by the body’s immune system, making it impossible for the pancreas to produce insulin.
Studies conducted by the Journal of Endocrinology prove that turmeric can positively influence the function of beta cells.
In the study, researchers discovered that turmeric was able to regulate insulin secretion and boosted pancreatic function.
What’s more impressive was the discovery that turmeric was 400 times more potent than metformin, a drug commonly used to regulate diabetes.
On type 1 diabetes, the researchers discovered that turmeric’s antidiabetic and antioxidant properties were relevant in the fight against the disease.
Using Turmeric – What You Need To Do
You can use or prepare turmeric in diverse ways. But knowing how to use it will ensure you receive all the benefits that this powerful verb has to offer.
For healing and medicinal reasons, a capsule of turmeric would suffice. You can take it the same way you take your pills with water.
However, if you want to look younger, apply turmeric directly on your face. You can buy a turmeric scrub or incorporate the herb into your face mask.
You can also add it to any food item, including your marinades, soup, or rub it all over your grill. Either way, you will still get the incredible benefits of the medicinal herb.
So these are the incredible benefits of turmeric. You can see that regular consumption of this potent herb can improve your brain health and general wellbeing.
Besides the various scientific proof of turmeric’s potency, our ancestors have been using the herb for many years. There’s also no life-threatening side effect of turmeric. However, further research is necessary for a more in-depth understanding of this medicinal herb and its diverse health benefits.