Turmeric is a spice that comes from the root of the curcuma longa plant, which is a perennial in the ginger family. Its major active ingredient is curcumin. Curcumin gives turmeric that yellowish color. Curcumin has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers are investigating whether it may help diseases in which inflammation plays a role.
Turmeric has been used by Ayurvedic healers as medicine since the olden days. Popularly known as Haldi, this powerful spice is also a go-to option while dealing with numerous health ailments. Whether consumed or applied, its benefits are plentiful.
Health Benefits of Turmeric Are:
Anti-Inflammatory & Anti-Oxidant: Research has shown curcumin to be highly effective in reducing inflammation. For chronic conditions where inflammation starts to affect tissues in your body, taking turmeric may be beneficial. Curcumin is also a powerful anti-oxidant and thus protects our body from free radicals, reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Delays Diabetes: Curcumin present in turmeric delays the onset of type 2 diabetes by inhibiting the formation of inflammatory cytokines and thus having a favourable effect on blood glucose levels. Because curcumin can help fight inflammation and keep blood sugar levels steady, it could be a useful tool to prevent or treat type 2 diabetes. One study followed 240 adults with prediabetes and found that taking a curcumin supplement over 9 months lowered their odds of developing diabetes.
Immunity Booster: Turmeric also boosts immunity levels. Its anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties protect us from a variety of infections. Many doctors highly recommend taking a teaspoon full of Turmeric in a glass of warm milk every day to keep the common cold and flu at bay. Curcumin might help you to fight off a variety of viruses, including herpes and the flu.
Reduces the Risk of Heart Diseases: The anti-oxidant property of curcumin found in turmeric may prevent heart diseases and diabetic cardiovascular complications. Curcumin also reduces serum cholesterol levels and protects against the pathological changes occurring with atherosclerosis. One small study found that turmeric can help ward off heart attacks in people who have had bypass surgery.
Reduces Risk of Cancer: Curcumin interferes with the growth and development of cancer cells and prevents their spread. One study, which focused on colorectal cancer, saw a 40% reduction of the number of lesions in the colon in men. In lab and animal studies, turmeric has stopped the growth of tumor cells, helped detoxifying enzymes work better, and more. What these studies can’t tell us, though, is what will happen in the human body when a person eats turmeric.
Helps in Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease: Alzheimer’s disease is caused due to build-up of protein tangles called amyloid plaques. Curcumin in turmeric is said to help in clearing these plaques. Turmeric may help prevent Alzheimer’s or help slow its progression. India has a relatively low rate of occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease, something that may be connected to Indian citizens’ average daily intake of 125 mg curcumin per day.
Helps Patients with Depression: If you have depression, the protein known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is reduced and your hippocampus, which helps with learning and memory, starts to shrink. Curcumin boosts BDNF levels in the brain, thus helping patients with depression. Curcumin also boosts the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine — which are chemicals in your brain that regulate mood and other body functions.
Improves Bone Health: Supplements of Curcumin when given to patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, shows significant improvements in pain and joint functioning. Curcumin also safeguards bone tissue and prevents bone loss. Turmeric has shown promise for its ability to ease joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation. If you decide to try it for your joint pain, help your body absorb natural curcumin by eating your turmeric along with black pepper.
Improves Digestion: Curcumin in turmeric reduces bloating and brings the digestive system on track. It stimulates the gallbladder to produce bile. It also helps in preventing and treating pancreatitis. The spice can contribute to healthy digestion as a result of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a digestive healing agent. Western medicine has now begun to studyTrusted Source how turmeric can help with gut inflammation and gut permeability, two measures of digestive efficiency. The spice is even being explored as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Good Skin: Turmeric has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that can help to:
- Heal wounds
- Prevent acne and breakouts
- Fight eczema and psoriasis
- Reduce scars
- Lighten dark circles
- Give a natural glow
These properties make it a popular skincare ingredient, often associated with brightening or evening skin tone.
Ideal Dose of Turmeric: It is not advisable to consume more than 5 tsp of turmeric per day.
How to consume turmeric?
- Turmeric can be used in cooking in a variety of dishes for colour and taste.
- To achieve maximum health benefits, consume turmeric with black pepper, as a compound named piperine in black pepper increases the absorption of turmeric in the body.
- Turmeric in milk also known as ‘Golden Milk ‘ or ‘Haldi Doodh’ has immense positive effects on the body.