Turmeric has been an integral part of Indian cuisine for centuries, but its health benefits are much older. This versatile spice is used in Indian herbal medicine to maintain healthy skin and blood circulation. But what is turmeric and how does it benefit health? Here's why you should be adding some turmeric to your diet.
What is Special about Turmeric?
Turmeric is famous for its strong yellow color featured in the root of this plant. These pigments are known as curcuminoids. Turmeric root also contains essential oils called turmerones. Both turmerone and curcuminoids combine to form antioxidants which attack free radicals, which can cause damage to the body. They also have an anti-inflammatory effect which targets pain and improves circulation.
Turmeric has Anti-Cancer Effects
Curcumin is the principal active ingredient in turmeric, with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. A few research studies has suggested that the use of turmeric in high doses has the potential to inhibit the growth of some cancer cells and to prevent more from growing.
Turmeric is Anti-Inflammatory
Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and is particularly effective in treating disorders such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Studies into the use of turmeric in osteoarthritis found that patients experienced less pain with either an analgesic or turmeric. However, with turmeric they had fewer side effects and also lost weight.
Turmeric is Good for the Brain
The compounds in turmeric may be able to cross the blood-brain barrier and reduce the effects of disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. It is believed the anti-inflammatory properties in turmeric work to reduce blood plaques in the brain. But there's more. Turmeric has been shown to also help with managing depression. It is thought that turmeric reduces the inflammation in blood cells associated with depression and improves mood. It also boosts production of neurotropic factor in the brain, which reduces depression.
Turmeric Improves Skin Disorders
Curcumin in turmeric has healing and anti-oxidant properties. Acne, darkening under the eyes and eczema are just some of several skin disorders known to benefit from using turmeric in the diet. It has also been suggested that curcumin protects the skin from environmental chemicals and other toxins causing skin damage.
Turmeric Improves Circulation in the Body
One of the most important functions in the body is to break down sugars and fats so they do not become toxic and lead to disease. Curcumin has been found to lower blood sugar and also triglycerides in the body, reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes. It also lowers blood pressure. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric reduce plaque build- up in blood vessels. Curcumin also plays a role in detoxifying products in the body so they can be readily excreted and avoid accumulation of toxins.
Turmeric is an Anti-Oxidant
Turmeric is highly effective as an anti-oxidant, which works to get rid of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are found in the environment and come from pollution and cigarette smoke. If there are too many free radicals circulating in the body, they can lead to degenerative diseases such as arthritis and Alzheimer's disease. Turmeric works as an anti-oxidant to remove free radicals from the body and promotes healing.
Turmeric is beneficial to health in many ways. From anti-inflammatory properties to being able to improve skin disorders, turmeric is so much more than a jar on a spice rack. Add a little spice to your meals today!