You have probably heard of turmeric at some point in your life. It is most famous as the yellow spice that gives curry its flavor. However, it has recently become famous for being more than just a great curry ingredient. And for good reason. Turmeric has incredible health benefits. You can take turmeric as a supplement or use it as an ingredient in other foods to help you become healthier. Let’s find out why you should be eating turmeric on a regular basis.
Turmeric and Curcumin
Turmeric is made from the turmeric plant, which is closely related to ginger. Turmeric is grown in India and Indonesia and has been used for thousands of years as both a spice and medicine. More recently, western research has shown that turmeric is incredibly beneficial because of a chemical called curcumin. Curcumin has the ability to make huge changes in your body and protect you from many diseases.
Benefits of Turmeric
Curcumin is an effective agent against arthritis. Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory chemical that can specifically block cytokines and enzymes that cause arthritic pain. It has been shown to both prevent arthritis and help reduce symptoms in those who already have the disease.
Curcumin can also block another molecule called NF-kB that is responsible for inflammation on a cellular level. NF-kB causes many different types of chronic diseases, so blocking this inflammatory molecule is incredibly important.
Turmeric is not just anti-inflammatory, but also an antioxidant. It is such a strong antioxidant that it has been shown to stop toxins from harming the liver. This is especially helpful for those whose medications can affect liver function.
Since curcumin is anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant, it has the potential to fight cancer. Curcumin can help prevent cancer at a molecular level. This means it can help stop the growth and spread of cancer cells. More research must be done to determine how it helps but early studies show that curcumin can be effective against certain types of cancer.
Turmeric is also important in aiding digestive health. If you suffer from leaky gut syndrome or other digestive diseases, then turmeric can help heal these conditions.
Curcumin can also help fight against depression. Depression is often linked with low brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels. Turmeric boosts BDNF levels and can help increase serotonin and dopamine.
How to add Turmeric to your Diet
Turmeric powder is a great way to get this powerful nutrient in your body. You can add it to spice mixtures or make dressings and marinades with it. It has also become popular to make golden milk out of turmeric as a delicious, warm drink to enjoy before bed.
A Word of Caution
Turmeric is incredibly powerful and should not be eaten regularly if you are on blood thinning medications or are pregnant. It also has the potential to upset your stomach, so do not start eating large doses of turmeric right away.
Turmeric is more than just a delicious spice. More and more research has shown that it can improve your health in many different ways. So, the next time you have a craving for curry or golden milk, go ahead and enjoy it. Your body will thank you.