Turmeric, is the root of a flower that originally grew in India and South East Asia and thrives best in warmer climates but today with good care you can grow turmeric almost anywhere.
In Eastern cultures turmeric, has traditionally been used for medicinal purposes especially in Indian in Ayurveda medicine. Curcumin, the primary component of turmeric, is the spice that gives it the yellow color but it is best known for its medicinal properties.
Potential benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin:
Curcumin is an Anti-inflammatory
Inflammation is an important defense mechanism of the human body. It fights foreign invaders like bacteria’s and helps repair any damage from invasion. Normally inflammation is acute and short-term. Problems occur when the inflammation doesn’t stop and the body starts attacking itself. This is what is called chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation is rampant in today’s modern society and plays a part in many western diseases like heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and many degenerative diseases.
Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Research has found that it can be as potent as the anti-inflammation mediations you get at the pharmacy when taken in the correct dose. Either using turmeric daily in your food or taking it as a supplement can be helpful to ease the chronic pains caused by inflammation
Curcumin is a powerful anti-oxidant
Oxidative damage is what ages the body and creates many diseases. Free radicals are very reactive molecules that are unpaired with electrons. When they react with organic substances like fatty acids, proteins or DNA they oxidize the body. The antioxidants in curcumin neutralize and protect your body from these free radicals. Curcumin also stimulates the body to create its own antioxidants so it works double time to protect the body from oxidation.
When the body isn’t oxidative it can live longer and healthier and as such curcumin can also promote longevity.
Curcumin helps manage depression and improve brain function preventing diseases like Alzheimer’s
Curcumin raises levels of brain hormone BDNF which is responsible for creating new neurons in the brain and as such can be effective in slowing maybe even reversing the many age related degenerative brain diseases. It can also help improve memory. We know that inflammation and oxidative damage both play a role in Alzheimer’s while eating curcumin daily can help alleviate those symptoms and as such help in the prevention degenerative brain diseases.
It is also said that curcumin can also boost the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and as such help manage depression.
Curcumin is said to lower the risk of Heart Disease
Endothelium is the thin lining of the blood vessels and heart. It is known to be the major reason for heart disease as it loses the ability to regulate your blood pressure and stop blood clotting as you age. It is said that eating curcumin helps improve the endothelial function as well as reduce inflammation and oxidation which also contribute to heart disease.
Eating Curcumin along with a regular exercise program is a great health insurance to keep your heart and blood vessels in good condition.
Curcumin can possibly help cancer patients
Cancer is linked to inflammation in the body and a daily intake of curcumin helps manage inflammation. Curcumin changes the body on a molecular level preventing free radicals from ravaging the body and even helps the body to create its own antioxidants. Eating Curcumin daily is another part of the insurance policy maybe not curing the body of cancer but it can help to prevent it.
Curcumin eases Arthritis and Osteoarthritis
Arthritis is often inflammation in the joints. Once again the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin are a good option for treating this chronic pain syndrome. The amount of curcumin in turmeric is quite low so some people choose to take supplements to help support the symptoms of their illnesses.
One of my clients who worked with me for 6 months took turmeric supplements and at the end of her time with me her pain had completely subsided. She also added regular daily exercise and iodine for her thyroid.
Treat or prevent diabetes with Curcumin
Prevent or treat diabetes through its anti–inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Curcumin helps manage insulin resistance, high blood sugar and a condition where there is an elevated amount of fat in the body or what is otherwise called bad cholesterol. In other words, curcumin helps manage high cholesterol too.
How to eat Tumeric
Since we don’t absorb turmeric and curcumin easily into the bloodstream it is suggested to eat it with black pepper. Black pepper has a component called piperine which makes turmeric more bioavailable.
Curcumin is also fat soluble so it can be absorbed when you eat it with fats like olive oil or coconut oil.
An important note before continuing, one must eat turmeric root daily to reap the health benefits or else take it in a supplement form. Once a month in Indian take-out food won’t work.
It is best to get the root fresh and organically grown if you can. I suggest that you grate it into your food. You will need to keep aside a special grater and cutting board just for turmeric root because it will discolor them. If you don’t want to color your hands you can also keep a separate pair of gloves for handling turmeric. Don’t worry it is well worth the extra effort with all the potential health benefits listed above.
If you still don’t want to turn your hands yellow you can also buy it in the powered form at the supermarket.
If you are going to take the supplement it is best to make sure it include peperine so that you are sure to absorb the curcumin into your blood stream. Be mindful of how your body reacts to the supplements and remember that taking too much of a good thing isn’t good either and you want to manage your doses and read the recommended dose on the bottle.