There is actually more to turmeric benefits than what we see and eat. Yes, it makes our dishes more tasteful and delightful, makes our skins feel good and golden, but the “behind the scene” benefits of this golden Asian spice are amazing.
Scientists and researchers have uncovered a ton of health secrets that Turmeric herb generously bestows to our bodies, and at the end of this article, you may never want to go without turmeric in your pantry or kitchen shelf!
WHY TURMERIC IS GOOD FOR YOU
This exotic golden spice is surprisingly loaded with an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin that is beneficial to the human body.
Curcumin can greatly reduce oxidative damage that occurs due to the presence of free radicals by neutralizing them. It also supports the body’s antioxidant enzymes.
The anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin functions to fight off diseases that are caused by chronic inflammation such as cancer, metabolic syndrome, degenerative conditions, Alzheimer’s disease, and a host of other diseases.
The compound hinders the action of a molecule called NF-kB that activates inflammation-associated genes in the body.
As beneficial and as important curcumin is to the body, it only takes up about 3% in weight of the total turmeric chemical composition. This means that to fully capitalize on the benefits of turmeric you have to consume it in large doses (more than 1 gram per day).
This can mostly be achieved by taking curcumin supplements usually marketed as turmeric capsules or tablets.
On the downside, the human body finds it extremely difficult to completely absorb curcumin into the bloodstream, but the good news is that the absorption process can be enhanced by combining curcumin with piperine or Bioperine(the patented extract) which is the core ingredient of black pepper.
Research has found that the combination of 2g of curcumin and 20mg of piperine can increase the bioavailability of the latter or the amount it can be absorbed into the body by 2000%. Piperine acts by restricting enzymes from breaking down foods and other substances.
In essence, combining turmeric with Bioperine or with black pepper will provide one with its maximum benefits. But for better understanding here is a breakdown of how turmeric can keep you strong and healthy!
TURMERIC BENEFITS FOR JOINTS
The arthritis foundation wasn’t wrong to suggest a curcumin capsule dose of 500mg daily for people suffering from the painful condition.
Mounting scientific evidence points to the fact that the anti-inflammatory action of curcumin in turmeric can alleviate pain associated with joint swelling and stiffness in people suffering from arthritis. In fact, people with arthritis seem to respond well to curcumin supplements.
A particular study found that curcumin supplements worked better for rheumatoid arthritis than an anti-inflammatory drug. The bottom line is, using turmeric for arthritis treatment isn’t such a bad idea.
TURMERIC CAN HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT
If you have been striving to lose weight, then you should probably consider adding turmeric to your diet sheet. How turmeric helps in weight loss is still not fully known, but experts believe it is because it can counteract the effect of inflammation caused by obesity and help the body burn a little more fat.
However, consuming turmeric spice alone or adopting a complete Turmeric weight loss regime won’t speed up your journey in reaching your desired BMI.
IT CAN HELP YOU COPE WITH DEPRESSION AND BOOST YOUR MOOD
Curcumin has been shown to help increase the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which is often low in people with depression.
A study found that severely depressed who took curcumin supplements of 1000mg daily for six weeks recorded considerable improvement like those who took antidepressants. A meta-analysis of several other studies on curcumin and depression also indicated that curcumin can alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.
By increasing levels of BNDF in the brain, curcumin can also prevent many brain diseases and brain function decline caused by aging. It may also improve memory function. Research also suggests that it can help boost the body’s “feel-good hormones”; serotonin and dopamine. So can turmeric help with depression? The answer should be yes.
MAY HELP PREVENT ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative condition that has defied the means for a cure. The best treatment for this condition will be to prevent it from developing in the first place.
There is promising evidence that curcumin can help curtail its development. Also, the antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin may also hinder the disease, since both factors play a role in its development.
MAY LOWER YOUR RISK OF DEVELOPING CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES
Heart disease and stroke are increasingly contributing to human mortality. Like most diseases, inflammation is one of the culprits that is implicated in cardiovascular diseases. A study conducted this year stated that curcumin may play an active role in preventing and treating cardiovascular diseases.
Also, curcumin is known to support the function of the endothelium, which lines the blood vessels and is responsible for regulating blood pressure, clotting, and other blood processes. Hence turmeric can lower blood pressure and prevent arterial damage caused by high blood pressure. One study even showed that curcumin works just as well as atorvastatin in improving endothelial function.
TURMERIC MAY POSESS ANTI CANCER PROPERTIES
Several studies have found that curcumin contained in turmeric can cause the death of cancer cells and stop them from spreading. Curcumin has been found to impede the growth of cancerous cells in laboratory dishes and in animals.
Although most of the tests carried out are at the molecular level, the results are promising. The exciting part is that there is evidence that this beneficial compound can prevent cancer, especially cancers that affect the digestive system.
In a clinical trial of 44 men with lesions that are precancerous, the participants were given 4g of curcumin daily, and the result showed that the lesions were eliminated by 40% each day. With this promising evidence, we might hopefully witness a cancer treatment breakthrough soon, with the help of curcumin of course.
TURMERIC MAY HELP LOWER BLOOD SUGAR
A group of researchers believes that turmeric can act as a hypoglycemic agent, which means that it can help regulate and lower blood glucose levels in people suffering from type 2 Diabetes. Blood sugar control is essential for preventing chronic complications that result from diabetes such as neuropathy and kidney disease.
Although more clinical trials are needed to confirm the effects of curcumin on blood sugar levels, there is cause to be hopeful.
MAY HELP EASE THE SYMPTOMS OF COLITIS AND IBS
People suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) will tell you it is not a pleasant ordeal. They are constantly dealing with excruciating stomach cramps, diarrhea, bloating, and other digestive issues.
However, there is promising evidence to suggest that curcumin has the potential to ease some of this discomfort. It may also be beneficial for patients of ulcerative colitis as one study found that people with digestive ulcers got more relief from taking curcumin than from using the ulcer drug, mesalamine.
TURMERIC BENEFITS FOR SKIN
The beauty and cosmetic industry have continuously provided some stellar “turmeric reviews” that has piqued the curiosity and interest of beauty and skin enthusiasts all over the world. The words making the rounds are; “turmeric is good for the skin”.
And the reason why turmeric is good for the skin is not far fetched. In fact, what turmeric does to your skin is quite awesome.
With it’s antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties taking the credit, one study found that curcumin can boost the skin’s regenerative processes such as providing protection against free radicals, improving collagen production and reducing psoriasis. And what more, just like honey, it can also help heal wounds quickly.
Using Tumeric for acne treatments and other skin conditions like eczema is also a norm in the skin and beauty industry. Although research suggests that it will work best as a complementary treatment along with other pre-existing treatments to fully treat such skin disorders.
The strong yellow hue of curcumin also serves to brighten the skin. This is obviously why the popular Turmeric face mask is a favorite of most people. Additionally, turmeric can be used as a natural self-tanner to give the skin some nice tan. And for that extra skin glow, a Turmeric drink mixed with other ingredients usually does the work.
TURMERIC SIDE EFFECTS
Turmeric has relatively few side effects. However, consuming it in large doses or for a prolonged period of time can cause stomach problems like diarrhea and colored stools. It may also cause skin rashes and headaches.
Also taking turmeric with certain medications can cause negative side effects. For example, taking turmeric along with diabetes medications can cause your blood sugar levels to drop to a very low level. Also, turmeric may encourage the function of blood thinners, so combining the two together can cause bleeding complications.
A scientific review pointed out that Turmeric can negatively interact with several medications like antibiotics, antihistamines, antidepressants, and chemotherapy treatments. So it is extremely necessary to get your doctor’s approval before using turmeric for medicinal purposes or with other drugs. Also, pregnant women should steer clear of using curcumin or turmeric supplements.
QUICK TURMERIC Q&A: Addressing Frequently asked questions about turmeric
Q: Can turmeric be eaten raw?
A: Yes it can. But not until you have washed it properly
Q: Can turmeric cause constipation
A: Turmeric hardly causes any side effects although it may cause stomach upsets when consumed in high doses.
Q: Can turmeric help IBS
A: Yes it can ease the symptoms of IBS
Q: Will turmeric help me sleep?
A: There is evidence to suggest that a warm cup of turmeric milk can improve sleep quality. Turmeric for better sleep is advised.
Q: will turmeric help with joint pain?
A: Its anti-inflammatory properties can help provide relief for pain associated with joint swelling and stiffness.
Q: Are turmeric tablets good for you?
A: As long as you are getting them from a reputable source, Yes they are!! However, it might be best to get your daily curcumin dose from natural turmeric, especially if you do not have a solid reason to use it for medicinal purposes.
Q: Are turmeric tablets safe?
A: When taken within the recommended dosage, they are considered to be safe. Taking them in exceedingly large doses can be harmful.
Q: Are turmeric tablets good for arthritis?
A: All things considered, yes they are. In fact, the arthritis foundation recommends curcumin supplements for arthritis patients.
Q: Turmeric can cause cancer?
A: There is no credible scientific evidence to prove this
Q: Turmeric can cure acne?
A: It may contribute to the healing process.
Q: Which turmeric is best; Supplement or natural
A: Largely depends on preference and purpose of use, but you should always opt for the one that isn’t hygienically compromised and is rated 100% safe for your health.
Q: Which turmeric supplement is the best?
A: There is no general consensus on this, but always choose the one that has been clinically tested and confirmed to be safe for use
Q: Which turmeric is best for skin?
A: Turmeric powder is generally good for the skin.
Q: The right turmeric quantity per day?
A: Turmeric or curcumin supplements should be consumed within safe dosage limits. A review suggests taking 12g of curcumin supplements daily. You can also take lower doses like 0.1 to 2g per day and reap the same benefits.
Q: Will turmeric stain my teeth?
A: Naturally, it would.
Q: Can turmeric be grown in the UK?
A: Planting requirements for turmeric include ample sunlight (a frost-free climate) and well-drained soil. Turmeric only grows in very hot regions of about 80 to 95 degrees. However, you can grow turmeric indoors in a pot, provided you can find a warm location for it. You can also use a heating mat or germination chamber to provide the light and heat it requires.