Grown in India and parts of Southeast Asia, turmeric is closely interwoven into the daily lives of billions. Being a member of the ginger family, turmeric (Curcuma Langa) is cultivated from the rhizomes of a flowering plant and is an essential part of cuisines, traditions, and various healing methods today.
What Gives Turmeric its Healthy Properties?
Turmeric has received a lot of attention lately with science backing its time-tested health benefits.
Curcumin polyphenol found in turmeric is the primary phytochemical responsible for most of the novel biological and pharmacological actions in human bodies.
However, according to this National Library of Medicine journal, the curcumin content in turmeric is not optimally high. Moreover, it doesn’t absorb well into the bloodstream. This results in its low bio-availability.
So, how to take turmeric in order to avail its maximum benefits?
If questions like ‘how much turmeric should I take’ have popped in your mind, then here’s your answer.
A high-quality turmeric supplement is all that you need to ensure better absorption and health benefits.
What Is Turmeric Good For?
In case you are wondering how is turmeric good for you, here are some evidence-based benefits of this wonder spice:
- Boosts Heart Health
Cardiovascular diseases are a leading cause of death affecting millions around the world. Research indicates the positive effect of curcumin in reducing oxidative stress, inflammation, and proliferation.
It also reduces cholesterol efflux and decreases lipid aggregation, protecting you from CVD. Curcumin also improves your endothelial function and is as effective as exercising.
- Aids Weight Loss
Obesity is directly linked to various systemic diseases and conditions. These particularly include heart diseases, type-2 diabetes (see also 'Joint Supplements for Diabetics'), high blood pressure, and kidney failure.
According to this Frontiers in Pharmacology study, a decline in BMI and liver fat was observed in people who took turmeric supplements for 8 weeks.
- Prevents and Treats Depression
According to this Global Health study, more than 4% of the world’s population lives with depression, a leading cause of disability.
You may find a host of turmeric benefits online and how it improves neurogenesis on a molecular level by enhancing the production of dopamine and serotonin. It functions like SSRIs and MAOIs and can enhance the efficacy of antidepressants.
- Treats Inflammation
Inflammatory cells and cytokines are your body’s first line of defense against viral or bacterial infections. At times, your body continues producing these inflammatory cells without a specific cause, leading to diabetes, certain types of cancer, heart diseases, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Scientists say that turmeric is a high anti-inflammatory and anti-neoplastic agent. This anti-inflammatory effect is achieved through its ability to inhibit cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and lipoxygenase (LOX).
- Kills Cancer Cells
Cancer is a debilitating disease that is characterized by abnormal cell growth. Studies demonstrate that turmeric contains methoxy elements that impact the transcription and growth factors of cells, genes, and enzymes.
This chemo-preventive action of curcumin is mainly due to its ability to induce apoptosis and prevent cancer cell metastasis and invasion.
Also Read: Turmeric and Ginger: Combined Benefits
- Is a Natural Blood Thinner
Blood is made up of clotting factors, proteins, and cells. An imbalance in any of these leads to hypercoagulability and may cause blood clotting disorders, delayed wound healing, and low oxygen and nutritional levels in the body.
One of the most important benefits of turmeric is that it possesses natural anti-coagulation properties that induce blood clotting and promote hemostasis.
- Makes the Skin Glow
Studies have shown that turmeric supplement benefits your skin with its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. The use of turmeric supplements has shown a significant improvement in conditions like acne, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and even vitiligo.
- Delays or Slows Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s Disease is associated with dementia and is a chronic degenerative disorder. It is usually characterized by the presence of amyloid-beta protein fragments in the brain.
And, what does turmeric do to inhibit the progression of this condition?
According to a Frontiers in Pharmacology study, curcuminoids selectively enhance the immune cells of Alzheimer patients by altering their gene transcription.
- Reduces Arthritis Pain
When left untreated, low-grade inflammation can contribute to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. These conditions are characterized by joint pain and arthritis that usually worsens with age.
According to a BMC study, curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties have led RA patients to report a 50% improvement in pain. It has helped them lose nearly 2% of their body weight along with reducing joint pressure.
With such excellent science-backed health benefits of turmeric, active curcumin compounds in turmeric supplements potentially help you live a disease-free and productive life.