Have you heard about the benefits of turmeric? This spice has been used to flavor Indian food for thousands of years and has long been used for medicinal purposes in India. However, Americans and other Western cultures are just now beginning to discover the benefits that this yellow spice has to offer. Here are just a few of the documented health benefits of turmeric:
- Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory – Often the food we eat, and even some of the medication we take, causes chronic inflammation in the body. This inflammation contributes to, and sometimes causes, conditions like arthritis and joint pain, asthma, celiacs, crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, and allergies. Taking turmeric can help manage and prevent the symptoms caused by inflammation.
- Turmeric is an antioxidant – Oxidation in the body causes damage at a cellular level by releasing free radicals. The bad news is that we are exposed to free radicals through many food products, medications, and pollution every single day. The good news, though, is that antioxidants attack and neutralize free radicals. Many medical professionals believe that increasing antioxidants in your diet may even help prevent cancer.
- Turmeric boost brain function – Many brain disorders, like alzheimer’s, have been linked to a limited amount of the hormone called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). When you ingest turmeric, the brain releases more BDNF, which encourages neurons to function properly.
- Turmeric improves heart health – Unfortunately, heart disease is the cause of 1 out of every 4 deaths in the United States according to the CDC. By exercising and eating a healthy diet you can reduce your chances of having heart disease, but researchers have found that taking turmeric also will improve your heart health even more because it improves the function of the lining in your blood vessels.
- Turmeric can help fight depression – In a recent study, researchers found that people who were diagnosed with depression and took turmeric for six weeks had improved symptoms that were similar to those who had been taking prescribed anti-depression medication for the same amount of time.
- Turmeric helps delay aging – The oxidation process mentioned above is also a side effect of aging. By fighting that process with the antioxidants found in turmeric, the aging process actually slows down! Who wouldn’t like that?
If those reasons have piqued your interest in trying turmeric, you can take it in the form of a pill or by adding it to your food like you would any other spice. The active ingredient in turmeric that provides all of these amazing benefits is called curcumin and experts agree that for best results you’ll need to take a supplement or eat it every day.