Turmeric has been used as a spice in Indian dishes for centuries. However, recent research suggests that it has numerous health benefits, and can resist biochemical targets of many diseases. Turmeric is most often consumed by adding it to curries or drinks like chai, but other options include using the powdered form as a natural dye in homemade beauty products.
One of turmeric’s main uses is as an antioxidant that lowers inflammation and soothes various parts of the body such as joints, blood vessels and digestive tract. Some of the best health benefits are derived from its anti-inflammatory properties. These effects also work to modify the immune system, which can lead to a reduction in cellular inflammation.
The color yellow makes turmeric easy to recognize. The bright yellow pigment is curcumin, a compound that is used in most supplements and also as a food additive called E330. Curcumin has been found to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and may reduce plaque buildup in arteries. Better still, it can lower blood pressure by regulating inflammatory markers (raised by sugar) like c-reactive protein (CRP). This suggests that it may be useful for those with type 2 diabetes who are at risk of cardiovascular disease because of high blood glucose levels and increased CRP levels caused by oxidative stress from sugar ingestion.
Besides reducing inflammation, people have also found that it has systemic benefits. It may prevent cancer, heart disease and other serious diseases. It has been used for thousands of years in China for an expanding variety of health issues. In recent years, it is gaining popularity in Western countries as a natural remedy to reduce inflammation and alleviate the symptoms of many diseases and conditions.
The health benefits of turmeric are so numerous that it’s no wonder so much research is being done on this special spice. In addition to its ability to improve the body’s ability to fight off disease, not many supplements can boast such a wide-ranging array of health benefits that can be obtained by just taking one pill or a few teaspoons of turmeric powder.
Here are 11 amazing benefits of turmeric from Dissettle that will make you want to give this herb a try in your cooking.
1. Keeps Your Brain Healthy
Turmeric has been found to do wonders for the brain. Studies have shown that curcumin, one of the main ingredients in turmeric, is linked to increased levels of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) . BDNF is an important protein in your brain that helps create neurons and prevent neuron death. Therefore, having higher levels of BDNF can help keep your brain healthy and functioning properly as you age.
2. Relieves Pain And Inflammation
Turmeric’s pain-relieving effects are likely due to its anti-inflammatory properties. This herb contains a potent anti-inflammatory called curcumin, which research has found to be just as powerful as the drug Celebrex . A 2008 study has even suggested that curcumin could be used in place of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs because it works so well . Aside from being great for your brain, turmeric can also help ease your pain and inflammation.
3. Treats Diabetes
Research has found that consuming turmeric can decrease fasting blood glucose and triglycerides in type 2 diabetic patients. This means that turmeric may play an important role in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, other studies have also found that turmeric can help lower cholesterol .
4. Lowers Cholesterol
Aside from regulating blood sugar , turmeric can also lower your cholesterol. A study published in Phytotherapy Research found that a chemical in turmeric called bisdemethoxycurcumin can help increase the amount of good cholesterol (HDL) while decreasing the bad kind (LDL) . This is especially important if you have high cholesterol , as high levels of LDL are linked to cardiovascular disease .
5. Helps Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Studies have shown that turmeric can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease . A 2006 study involving mice found that turmeric was able to modify the activity of beta amyloid protein, which is what causes neurons to become damaged in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients . Another study even found that at a very early stage, curcumin can inhibit the aggregation of amyloid proteins in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients . Other studies have also found that turmeric has antioxidant powers to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress linked to Alzheimer’s disease .
6. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Turmeric can help lower cholesterol levels , which is especially important if you have high cholesterol . Research has found that curcumin, a compound that’s present in turmeric, may be able to play an important role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
7. B-Vitamins Boosted
Turmeric is also rich in B vitamins , especially thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) . This means that turmeric can help boost your energy by helping you convert food into energy.
8. Prevents Depression
Turmeric has also been found to have antidepressant effects. It has been shown to reduce the brain levels of inflammatory cytokines which can also help alleviate depression. A 2009 study found that a supplement containing curcumin could be effective in treating major depressive disorder (MDD).
9. Helps Prevent Cancer
Researchers have found that turmeric is effective in preventing colon cancer and liver cancer, which are both serious cancers that affect millions of people worldwide . Studies have also shown that turmeric may be able to reduce the risk of heart disease in addition to some cancers.
10. Relieves Bad Breath And Gingivitis
Turmeric has been found to be effective in relieving bad breath and gingivitis . A study from 2004 found that its antibacterial properties kept bad breath at bay by reducing the amount of bacteria found in the mouth and saliva . Another study even found that a curcumin-based mouthwash was able to prevent gingivitis.
11. Boosts Mood
Turmeric has mood-lifting effects. It has been shown to boost dopamine levels, which are linked to happiness. Therefore, it’s a great antioxidant to add to your diet if you’re feeling down or stressed.
So now that you know about all of the benefits of turmeric, start including turmeric in your daily diet today! It is especially tasty when used in curries and it’s also very versatile turmeric can be eaten on its own or used as an ingredient in any number of dishes.