Turmeric in on the top of the list as one of the most powerful herbs on the planet and one of the most frequently mentioned in all of science for its ability to fight and potentially reverse disease. Long recognized for its medicinal properties and for its renowned healing compounds, turmeric was the subject of over 12.500 peer-reviewed articles and has received interest from both medical world and culinary enthusiasts, because it is a major source of the polyphenol, because of its active ingredient: curcumin.
Although ingested alone, curcumin does not lead to associated health benefits due to poor absorption and rapid metabolism, other components that turmeric has can increase its bioavailability, mostly because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. This way, turmeric can help in the management of oxidative and inflammatory conditions from exercise-induced inflammation and muscle soreness to arthritis, metabolism syndrome, hyperlipidemia and even anxiety.
But let’s see together the plethora of health benefits turmeric has:
- May slow or prevent blood clots
Turmeric can fight against vascular thrombosis, because curcumin, its active ingredient reduces the risk of blood clots forming. Keeping the blood flowing and reducing the risk of clogged arteries is essential in preventing strokes and heart attacks. Another important function of curcumin comes from its ability to improve the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels.
- Reduces depression symptoms
Curcumin can be effective in reducing depression impacting the neurotransmitter function through the brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Its potential to boost the serotonin and dopamine levels can support a stable mood. Studies have shown that patients treated with turmeric have the same results as the ones trying to manage this illness with fluoxetine a well-known antidepressant and that curcumin effectively reduced depression symptoms more than placebo. Turmeric can boost your mood, reversing detrimental brain changes that can occur in depression and can also enhance the effectiveness of antidepressants.
- Fights inflammation
Since inflammation is the root of many diseases, curcumin’s ability to control it plays a key role in fighting lots of diseases related to chronic inflammation, from heart disease to cancer. As a matter of fact, curcumin seems to be among the most effective ingredients in the world.
- Turmeric kicks free-radical butt
Turmeric has a great antioxidant capacity as well, protecting the body from the free-radical damage. It fights oxidative stress that is the root of most modern diseases, boosting the immune system and contributing heavily in the same time to the dreaded signs of aging, such as wrinkly skin and painful joints.
- Can fight inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis
Known for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric can help ease arthritis symptoms like morning stiffness, joint swelling, having pain-reducing characteristics and no adverse effects. Other studies showed that curcumin can target specific inflammatory cells and blocks the enzymes that can lead to inflammation. Taking a turmeric product twice daily can reduce rheumatoid arthritis symptoms more than conventional medication.
- Turmeric helps heal your gut
Turmeric can also treat inflammatory bowel conditions, modulating the composition of gut bacteria with health benefits like the prebiotic effect. Basically, curcumin works like a filter that allows just some selected local bacteria and microorganisms pass through while inhibiting the enzymes that compromise the stomach health, helping its defence against gastric acid damage. It also supports digestion, by gently pushing food through the intestines while preventing gas and bloating and it encourages the glands on the surface of the colon to heal when leaky gut or pathogenic bacteria are present.
- Naturally whitens your teeth
Did you ever think that you can use some yellow powder to make your teeth white? Prepare to be surprised. Not only turmeric can relieve gingivitis and toothaches but it can also be useful for something as tricky as teeth whitening.
- Could treat or prevent certain cancers
Several studies have shown that curcumin can have anticancer effects, fighting against pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, bowel cancer, stomach and other forms of cancer by destroying cancer cells or preventing them from growing. It seems that it can also help people during chemo-therapy, boosting the immune system in the same time, reducing the risk of cancer progression or recurrence. Other studies showed that if you apply a turmeric ointment you can reduce itching caused by cancer related wounds and relieve odour.
- Turmeric can fight neurodegenerative diseases
The brain can also benefit from turmeric’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-lipidemic properties, especially in diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, reducing the neurological symptoms and modulating these diseases via epigenetic regulation. What does this mean? They can alter some patterns that play a key role in tumour progression. It also improves long-term cognitive function by increasing and supporting healthy levels of hormones.
- Aids diabetes treatment
Curcumin can also lower blood sugar levels, whilst regulating high fat levels in the blood- a concern associated with diabetes. Basically, it boosts the production of bile, fighting against cholesterol. It also improves the functioning of the cells that make insulin- this hormone that controls the glucose levels in the blood, being able to prevent diabetic neuropathology.
- Supports weight loss
Turmeric can balance the stress hormones (cortisol) that can cause sudden weight, stopping the fat that accumulates around the waist. How does this happen? When the stress levels are high, the cells in the stomach that are more sensitive to cortisol are beginning to store more energy, accumulating fat. Taking curcumin can reduce the growth of fat cells, improving this way the metabolic control and suppressing the formation of new blood vessels and the expansion of fat tissue. This way, turmeric can fight even obesity since it is associated with chronic inflammation.
- Boosts Skin Health
Because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties turmeric can treat multiple skin conditions, speeding up wound healing, fighting against acne, controlling the psoriasis flares, improving skin complexion and rejuvenating it from within. So, if you are looking to increase the glow of your skin, look no further because turmeric has proven effects in:
- Reducing dark circles
Turmeric does not only have anti-inflammatory properties but it is also a good lightening agent that can reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness caused by poor circulation.
- Treating skin conditions
Turmeric can work wonders for skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, can reduce redness from blemishes and calm rosacea, alleviating their painful symptoms.
- Fighting off acne
Turmeric is a natural antiseptic that speeds healing, keeping the bacteria from spreading, taking down the redness and swelling of the blemish.
- Lightening acne scars
If you want to minimize the appearance of acne scars, there is a natural effective way to do it: curcumin. It contains enough antioxidant to even skin tone, so it will reduce the excess production of melanin.
- Reducing appearance of stretch marks
Its antioxidative power can penetrate skin membrane cells, improving their function, preventing and treating stretch marks.
- Soothing dry skin
Turmeric can remove dead cells, protecting the skin from further damage and deeply hydrating it while alleviating the dryness symptoms and revitalizing the skin from inside.
- Promotes Hair Health
Turmeric is well known for its ability to combat hair loss and to promote hair growth. Halting the production of DHT, the hormone that is responsible for hair loss in men and that restricts the hair growth from the follicles in women case, turmeric also creates a healthy environment for hair growth stems. Because when the scalp is healthy, the hair thrives and turmeric can heal the scalp problems just as he does with the skin ones.
As we can see, turmeric is used to treat headaches, colds, fever, menstrual problems, joint paint and arthritis, stomach bloating and intestinal gas, liver problems, cholesterol issues, stomach ulcers, bowel syndrome, skin conditions, depression, diabetes, inflammations and even cancer.
If all these didn't convince you yet, just check out how much nutrients you can find in just one tablespoon of turmeric.
1-tbsp serving provides:
- 26 % of daily manganese needs
- 16 % of daily iron dose
- 5 % of daily potassium
- 3 % of daily vitamin C
So, how much turmeric should we consume?
Studies showed that consuming ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of turmeric per day can provide you most of the benefits we talked about. You can incorporate this golden spice into your meals, you can consume fresh turmeric root or you can take turmeric supplements, which contain turmeric extract, all of these options having amazing health benefits.
But what to look for in a supplement that contains turmeric?
First of all, it is important that this supplement can provide your body all the nutrients it lacks.
Second it is important that the ingredients are certified organic, grown without pesticides as you will consume this supplement daily. You don’t want to sabotage your health poisoning your body with harmful chemicals, on a daily basis.
Another important aspect is the package. Make sure it comes in dark (amber) glass that can provide an excellent UV protection, not damaging the content.
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