You might have been using Turmeric for its excellent flavor and aroma in food items, but one thing you did not know was that this golden delight is also nature’s agent for good health. There are several health benefits of turmeric such as a natural antiseptic, good for skin, anti-cancer, anti-aging, etc.
Nature is abundant and miraculous when it comes to natural or holistic healing. One of the most excellent things about mother earth – When it came into existence, it readily came packed with all the natural healing material for its children.
Or how else do you suppose people healed themselves before medical science? Yes, we are talking Ayurveda and Chinese medicine, known to flourish and work wonders since 2000 BC.
Whenever herbs and spices are the topics of discussion, turmeric never misses its mark.
What is turmeric?
Turmeric, extracted from Curcuma longa plant, closely relates to the family of another spice called Ginger. Turmeric has an active compound of a chemical called curcumin, which is mostly responsible for all the health benefits.
The vibrant color of the turmeric is due to curcumin, thus, giving it a pigmented orange, yellow hue. Therefore, when research talk health benefits of turmeric, it means curcumin.
Turmeric nutrition facts
Turmeric has vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and folate. Turmeric is most abundant in minerals like iron and manganese that constitute 16% and 26% respectively.
Other minerals present in small proportions are magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, and zinc. Other than this, it also has omega-3 fatty acids along with alpha-linolenic acid.
Health benefits of Turmeric
Inflammation is our body’s response to foreign invaders and pathogens. However, when it goes on for too long, it becomes a part of the diseased condition of the body.
Curcumin is beneficial in targeting any chronic inflammation on the molecular level and is more efficient an anti-inflammatory than the likes of ibuprofen and aspirin. Its anti-inflammatory properties have also been useful in treating people with arthritis (the inflammation of joints).
Much of the research held on turmeric supports the evidence of its anticancer properties, where it helps by shrinking the tumors or work on killing cancerous cells even when applied topically. Combined with chemotherapy, it can help patients subjected to harmful radiations of chemotherapy.
Turmeric is a natural anti-oxidant that promotes the smooth functioning of the liver. It stimulates the production of bile in the gallbladder, which is the critical component in flushing toxins out of the liver.
If it comes to fighting cirrhosis, toxicity due to alcohol or inflammation due to hepatitis, turmeric can be your go-to solution.
You can boost your recovery from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer, Parkinson’s or stroke with the daily dose of turmeric.
Turmeric promotes the release of dopamine and other healthy hormones that support a healthy brain and mental function. Include turmeric in your diet if you want to bid your depression or other anxiety problems a farewell.
Curcumin from turmeric facilitates blood circulation, also maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. You can maintain a healthy heart function since curcumin’s anti-coagulant properties help reduce the chances of blood clot formation.
Its natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties keep your cardiovascular health in a good position.
Turmeric is an excellent anti-microbial ingredient to be included in your diet that facilitates gut healing, relief towards IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), and Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Its healing properties also provide rest towards bloating and gas during indigestion.
You can enhance the health of your skin by merely incorporating turmeric into your diet as it helps treat psoriasis, facilitate acne treatment, diminish wrinkles & stretch marks, treat skin pigmentation and cracked feet.
Turmeric also makes a great exfoliator for your skin. You can add a tablespoon of turmeric in any facemask to make it a good scrub.
Speed up your weight loss program with a dash of turmeric in your diet regime. Turmeric is healthy when it comes to maintaining a healthy metabolism or cholesterol levels. A healthy metabolic activity means better weight management and lesser fat gain.
You can also lower your risk of diabetes with turmeric as it can prevent early onset of type-2 diabetes along with moderating insulin levels.
Use turmeric as first aid for faster recovery from wounds and pain since it is natural antiseptic. You can apply it topically on the wound for more rapid relief.
Eye and dental health
For its properties, turmeric is also useful for treating dental pain, periodontal problems, preventing cataract or dry eyes.
How to include turmeric in routine life
- You can use turmeric in your food as a spice for flavor or as a health tip; the choice is yours.
- Drink turmeric by adding it to your favorite herbal tea or smoothie.
- You can also take turmeric as a curcumin supplement. Curcumin is present in a minimal amount of turmeric root, which is the reason why people prefer curcumin in the supplemental form.
- For better absorption of curcumin, try adding black pepper along with turmeric since black pepper has a compound named peperine that helps with better absorption of the compound curcumin, meaning more benefits. Most curcumin supplements come with piperine in their ingredient list.
Risks and Side effects of turmeric
- Always consult with your doctor first if you are on medication since turmeric may interfere with the absorption of certain drugs.
- In some people, turmeric induces gastric discomfort such as bloating, gas, constipation etc. if you are not sure how your body responds to turmeric, you can initiate with taking small doses of turmeric in the beginning.
- Turmeric can lead to blood thinning if used in excess. Therefore, people on anti-coagulant medication should avoid the use of turmeric since it only leads to more blood thinning.
- Pregnant women should avoid using turmeric since it might induce contractions in the uterus.
- It can also induce contractions in gallstone due to which people with gallstone might experience a lot of discomfort and pain. People with kidney stones should also consult with their doctors first.
So far, we have established that turmeric is an excellent anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, anti-bacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-aging compound. A little addition of turmeric in your diet regime can go a long way to fetch you all those health benefits as mentioned earlier.