There’s a reason it’s called a super spice — how many of these health benefits of turmeric do you know?
Turmeric has been used in South Asia as a cure-all for thousands of years. Today, people from around the world are adding turmeric to their diets to treat stomach, skin, liver, gallbladder and kidney problems. Turmeric is also used to treat depression, headaches, bronchitis, colds, serious pain, fatigue, lung infections, itchy skin and recovery after surgery.
So, what are the Top 5 health benefits of turmeric? This powerful spice is used to fight such chronic health conditions. This includes inflammation, lowering your risk of heart disease, brain disease and improving digestive health.
1. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
If you want to control inflammation, turmeric can do the trick. Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. In fact, studies have shown the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin match some of the strongest prescription medication. However, curcumin comes without the side effects.
Inflammation is a common denominator for chronic health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. And where there’s inflammation, there’s pain. Curcumin has been shown to control knee pain from osteoarthritis as effectively as ibuprofen. Meanwhile, another study showed that rheumatoid arthritis patients who took curcumin for two months reported less joint swelling and tenderness than those who took a common anti-inflammatory drug.
Oxidative damage is thought to be a trigger for aging and a variety of diseases. Likewise, antioxidants are the key to preventing long-term cellular damage within your body. Much of this potential damage is caused by elements in your body called free radicals.
Free radicals react negatively with important organic substances like fatty acids, proteins and even DNA. The curcumin found in turmeric is a potent antioxidant that helps neutralize these free radicals, preventing cellular damage and degeneration. As a result, it can boost your body’s own production of antioxidant enzymes. Turmeric is also linked to reducing oxidative stress on vascular tissues that can increase risk of chronic disease.
3. Lowered Risk of Heart Disease
Turmeric may reverse steps in the heart disease process by improving the function of the lining of your blood vessels. Hence, this helps regulate your blood pressure, blood clotting and other factors vital to heart health.
Research has also found that seasoning foods with turmeric can help reduce your body’s bad cholesterol (LD). Also, preliminary studies show that curcumin may reduce the number of heart attacks bypass patients had after surgery.
4. Prevention of Brain Disease
Turmeric has been proven to help lower brain disease risk. Curcumin has also been studied for use in preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease. Evidence shows that curcumin may affect brain function and the development of dementia.
Furthermore, curcumin may be effective in delaying or reversing brain diseases and age-related decreases in brain function. This happens by triggering a growth hormone in the brain that helps spur new brain cell growth. And, there are early signs that turmeric can even improve your memory.
5. Increased Digestive Health
Turmeric has long been used to help soothe stomach pain, relieve constipation and control irritable bowel syndrome. More so, its anti-inflammatory properties can lower your chance of developing ulcers and remove digestive system irritation. Because of this, turmeric can help with managing a wide range of gastrointestinal disorder such as IBS, Crohn’s disease, and diarrhea.
Where can you find turmeric?
You can generally find turmeric in the spice aisle of your local grocery store. Additionally, it’s available as a supplement powder and in capsules, tablets, teas and extracts. Turmeric, when taken orally or applied to the skin, is considered safe for health purposes.
Taking turmeric with black pepper enhances absorption. Before taking turmeric or changing your diet, we recommend reaching out to a doctor. Visit mercy.com to find a physician near you today.
For other ways to fuel your health, check out foods full of heart-healthy fats. As always, you should consult your doctor before making any major changes to your diet. Visit mercy.com or call 513-952-5000 to find a doctor near you today.