Health benefits of turmeric: There’s been a lot of talk lately about the unexpected health benefits that come with taking turmeric. Want to know just what all the hype surrounding this ginger-like root and spice is all about?
Keep reading to learn about eight ways turmeric can improve your health.
1. Turmeric (Curcumin) Is An Anti-Inflammatory
New studies have found that chronic inflammation plays a role in many – possibly all – noninfectious diseases. The news of inflammation’s role in so many diseases, including cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and metabolic disease, opens new possibilities for the treatment and even prevention of these diseases. Welcome, turmeric.
Curcumin, one of the numerous active ingredients in turmeric, has potent anti-inflammatory abilities. Curcumin has received substantial attention within the medical community for its beneficial properties. It has been compared to some of the most effective pharmaceutical medicines for inflammation.
Turmeric, which can be taken orally or applied as a salve, has shown success in treating arthritis, gout and muscle injuries.
If you happen to be one of the 20% of women who suffer from menstrual pain severe enough to interfere with your daily life, turmeric may bring you relief. Thanks to turmeric’s anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, taking turmeric has proven effective in treating menstrual symptoms.
2. Turmeric Can Boost Your Brain & Fight Depression
In ancient medicine, turmeric was used for increasing concentration and bettering memory retention, and its brain boosting benefits are continually recognized in modern science.
Many brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s, are linked to a decreased level of a brain hormone called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, or BDNF. Put simply, the curcumin in turmeric increases the levels of BDNF in the brain, delaying and sometimes even reversing symptoms of these brain disorders.
Recent research revealed that taking turmeric increases the bioavailability of DHA (that’s that supplement you see on the shelves in Whole Food’s). DHA is a major structural fat found in the brain that is crucial to its function. That’s right: turmeric makes your brain work better.
Imagine what these geniuses could have done if they had included turmeric in their diet!
Turmeric relieves inflammation of the brain – inflammation that causes the brain to shut down energy production. The shut down causes mental fatigue and slows down the signals between our brains and our bodies.
As a result, taking turmeric has proven extremely effective in the treatment of depression, mood swings, brain fog, ADHD, and anxiety. It has even been compared to the anti-depressant Prozac.
3. Turmeric Keeps Your Skin Healthy
Turmeric can help you take better care of your skin.
If you are concerned about acne, try this DIY turmeric mask which stops the growth of acne-causing bacteria and reduces oil secretion. It also helps reduce pigmentation and even out skin tone.
Turmeric fights wrinkles and other signs of aging by slowing down cell damage. It can also be used as an exfoliant to improve skin texture.
Turmeric’s aforementioned anti-inflammatory properties can benefit the skin, too, by reducing acne scaring and treating dry skin and eczema.
4. Turmeric Promotes Weight Loss
Like CoQ10 and colostrum, taking turmeric helps speed up your metabolism, increasing your calorie burn and promoting weight loss. It also helps detoxify your liver and reduce fat mass, both essential to successful weight loss efforts.
Turmeric helps turn white fat cells (bad fat cells) into brown fat cells (the good ones), preventing the accumulation of bad fat in our bodies’ tissues.
Turmeric improves digestion (which we will talk about more below). Making sure our digestive systems are working smoothly is particularly important if we are looking to slim down.
Turmeric can be a great supplement to your tea drinking regimen for weight loss.
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5. It’s A Powerful Antioxidant
Antioxidants are crucial in fighting those terrible free radicals we hear about that can cause DNA and cell damage in our bodies.
Vitamin E, a well-known antioxidant, has nothing on turmeric. Taking turmeric has proven to be five to eight times more effective than taking vitamin E!
Turmeric goes a step further: not only does it help us fight the nasty free radicals, it can also actually prevent their development, thus significantly reducing the risk of free radical damage.
6. Taking Turmeric Lowers Risk Of Heart Disease
Turmeric attacks heart disease from a few different angles.
First, turmeric is a good source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 inhibits our bodies from creating too much bad amino acids that can cause severe damage to our cell walls. This damage in turn causes heart complications.
Second, taking turmeric helps balance our cholesterol levels buy eliminating the bad cholesterol from our arteries.
Lastly, turmeric helps improve the function of our blood vessels. In fact, in one study of patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery, taking turmeric decreased the risk of heart attack in the hospital by 65%.
7. Taking Turmeric Helps Prevent and Treat Cancer
Studies have shown that taking turmeric can reduce the growth of tumors as well as stop the cancer from spreading.
Curcumin, the antioxidant in turmeric, slows down the growth of a protein essential to tumor growth. It has also been directly linked with the reduction of colon cancer cells.
A recent study has found evidence that taking turmeric not only treats cancer, but can also prevent it from growing in the first place. Turmeric proved to be particularly effective in preventing colorectal cancer, but research on its effect in the treatment of other cancers is currently underway.
8. Improves Gut Health
When you think of “gut health,” you might first think of probiotics, but turmeric benefits your gut too. Because of turmeric’s soothing properties, it has long been used to treat patients suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (otherwise known as IBS), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and other diseases of the digestive system.
These diseases are all linked to inflammation of the gut. Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties strike again!
Taking turmeric can relieve constipation and cramping as well as bleeding in the bowel by eliminating irritation throughout the gut. It calms the digestive system, relieving symptoms of gas and bloating.
Another gut health benefit of taking turmeric? Turmeric stimulates the gall balder to help the body break down and digest food.
Turmeric, My Hero
Turmeric isn’t the only thing you should be adding to your routine to make you the best you possible.