10 Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin
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I know there are a lot of people who can’t handle much spice, like me for instance. I used to only munch on the flatbread and rice when my family visited the Indian restaurant down the street. Or worse, I was guilty of eating beforehand or –gulp– eating another establishment’s food IN the restaurant.. I was young, cut me a break.
With the gentle nudges of an amazing Sri Lankan cook and one of my closest friends, I can now handle more spice on my pallet, but not by much.
I’m learning to venture out and face my fears when approaching curries. In some of these dishes, like when consuming foods infused and seasoned with Turmeric, there are plenty of benefits that will make you want to just grit your teeth and push through.
Dare I say it: Spice up your life!
First, let’s cover the basics before we dive in to why you should be adding turmeric and curcumin to your diet:
Turmeric: What is it?
This spice is related to ginger and is from the exotic parts of southern Asia. The natural form is boiled, dried and ground into a dark orange-ish, yellow-ish powder. It is used generously in ethnic foods from India, Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan and most curries. It can also be used like ginger, fresh and infused into curry.
Curcumin: What Turmeric is composed from. But what is it, really?
A bright yellow substance that is found in Turmeric. This is what gives Turmeric its kick. It is responsible for reducing inflammation in the system and is a medicine found in nature that can help with arthritis and pain.
Both of them, (in its main form of Turmeric), blocks growth of specific tumors. It can protect against Alzheimer’s, stomach ulcers, high cholesterol and skin diseases.
Not to mention, there has also been research that it may provide positive effects for scabies, diabetes, an upset stomach, HIV and viral infections.
Basically, it’s amazing.
Here are the ten main health benefits summed up for you today, I’ll start with number ten so you have something to look forward to!
10. It’s basically a time capsule that stops aging in its tracks!
Okay, not exactly. But curcumin is amazing and used in many anti-aging supplements. Since the compound does wonders for the body and its longevity, it is obvious that it would help the symptoms that come with aging. For example, it is a natural anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory.
9. It helps pull you out of depression.
This powder can serve as an antidepressant, hence all the amazing parties and dancing that comes to mind when thinking of Indian culture. The substance increases your serotonin and dopamine, which are your happy chemicals.
8. Pain relief for arthritis.
Since it helps with the reduction of inflammation, it’s only natural that these powerful ingredients would be super beneficial for the joints. Some may go so far to say that it was MORE effective than an anti-inflammatory drug.
7. It helps prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Though we still haven’t found a cure for Alzheimer’s, curcumin can be something you can consume regularly that will help prevent it! In simple terms, curcumin clears the buildup of Amyloid plaques that is one of the main problems found in patients with Alzheimer’s.
6. The C word.
Cancer. Turmeric can help fight the molecular growth and spread of cancer throughout the body. It kills cancerous cells and stops new blood vessels from growing in cancerous tumors.
5. It lowers your risk of heart disease.
Curcumin makes the blood vessels work better, by strengthening the lining of them — the endothelium. This part of the vessel helps regulate blood pressure and is in charge of blood clotting. It might even be as beneficial to blood flow as exercise. (But please don’t use that as an excuse to stay on your couch).
4. It’s AMAZING for the brain.
It does a LOT for the brain. And all of it is beneficial.
It helps your brain function better. It lowers your risk of brain disease.
It does the opposite of what Alzheimer’s does: instead of decreasing the amount of BDNF hormone in your brain (the hormone that makes new connections), it actually INCREASES them.
It’s a bit of a stretch and hasn’t been fully tested, but it’s possible that it could make your memory better and you overall SMARTER.
3. Antioxidant power!
Curcumin is also an antioxidant. They help to slow the aging process down, among many other things!
2. It is an anti-inflammatory.
If you are thinking: wait a second, inflammation is very important to the body! I can assure you: it is, you’re right!
But again, unfortunately, too much of a good thing can turn badly. Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory that can be as strong as some over the counter drugs.
1. To sum it all up at number one, Turmeric is a powerful spice that contains so MANY medicinal benefits!
If you are looking for an all-natural way to achieve results that most medically enhanced supplements, etc., provide, then just start consuming this spice!
In basic terms, curcumin is a very strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Most people these days spend lots of money on supplements that have the same effect on something so simple, cheap, plentiful, and most importantly, NATURAL to add into your diet.
What a lot of people don’t realize however, is even though it is extremely beneficial to consume this spice naturally, much of it passes right through your system if there is nothing extra added. One substance that you can add to your diet to help with the absorption of curcumin is bioperine. This will help kick start the process that curcumin and turmeric undertakes in your body.
Unfortunately, this spice isn’t found so often or so commonly in the diet of most cultures. But, since it is a season topping to most foods that have a pleasant taste, it won’t be too difficult to add to your intake!
Whoever thought that a trip every now and then to the Indian restaurant in your local neighborhood could be so beneficial to your diet?!