Turmeric, the Indian spice responsible for the golden colour of curry, maybe the most effective herbal supplement available. The spice originates from India and other parts of Southeast Asia, it has been used in traditional medicine for many years due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
More recently, many studies have confirmed its various health benefits, including the possibility of preventing heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, arthritis and more.
Turmeric is made up of several compounds, called curcuminoids, all of which possess their own unique medicinal properties. Curcumin is the key active component in turmeric, responsible for its “dazzling array of properties that are beneficial to health.” Sadly, turmeric (and curcumin) is not absorbed well into the body’s bloodstream, meaning that simply throwing the spice into your meals here and there will not invoke the necessary anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
That is where health supplements with a higher concentration of curcumin come in. For the best results, each time you consume turmeric combine it with black pepper as piperine found in black pepper can increase the absorption by up to 2000% so your body can absorb more of the good stuff.
A healthy fat (such as coconut oil) should also be consumed with the turmeric to protect the curcumin from harsh stomach acids on its way to the small intestines. Other healthy fats that can be added include; ghee, olive oil, goat, almond, or cows milk.
Here we will explore 5 health benefits procured from turmeric.
Turmeric Increases the Body’s Antioxidant Capacity
Curcumin, turmeric’s right-hand man, has been shown to be the perfect opponent for our body’s oxygen-free radicals. Oxygen-free radicals are unstable atoms, which attack stable molecules to try and stabilise themselves. This creates a chain reaction, proving harmful to the body.
Curcumin Is Anti-Inflammatory
One of the main reasons people love turmeric is due to its ability to fight inflammation, thanks to curcumin. The anti-inflammatory properties in curcumin are able to block inflammatory molecules in the body.
A study by the National Library of Medicine found that with the right dose turmeric can be more effective than common inflammation-fighting medicine, like Ibuprofen or Aspirin.
Turmeric Could Potentially Help Prevent Cancer
Curcumin supplements seem to have a positive effect on the uncontrolled cell growth of cancer and its properties have been found to contribute to the death of cancerous cells. Whether or not curcumin can cure cancer is still uncertain, but there is evidence to prove that it can help prevent cancer from forming in the first place.
In summary, curcumin causes changes in the body’s molecular level which could prevent and in some cases even cure cancer.
Curcumin Can Be Useful in Treating Alzheimer’s Disease
Common brain disorders, like Alzheimer’s disease, are often linked to low levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which is a protein crucial in maintaining the health of our nerve cells. Luckily for us humans, curcumin increases the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factors in our body, meanwhile, also managing to regulate the communication system between our nerve cells.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) has studied curcumin for Alzheimer’s disease. That being said, more concrete evidence is needed for certainty.
Arthritis Sufferers Have Reacted Well to Turmeric
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce the pain people with arthritis experience in their joints. The Arthritis Foundation has documented various studies that reinforce turmeric’s ability to drastically reduced inflammation.
Other studies have also shown that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties make it suitable for lowering the risk of heart disease and fighting depression.
Are There Any Side Effects?
In comparison to its long list of advantages, turmeric has a minimal amount of side effects. None of which have adverse health effects.
While turmeric helps most people with their digestion, it can upset others. By causing gastronomical, gastrointestinal problems. In other words, if consumed in large amounts it can give you diarrhea or make you vomit.
How Can It Be Consumed?
There is a way of adding turmeric to your life for everyone. Whether it’s turmeric herbal tea, turmeric capsules, turmeric supplement powder, or turmeric oil, the list of options is endless.
So, below are some of our favourite, vegan, ethically sourced, organic options.
Organic India Turmeric Formula
And if you just want to brew up a quick tea at home, boil ½ teaspoon of turmeric for 10 minutes.