Turmeric: Discover The Secret to A Healthier Diet
by Carolyn Lee May 13, 2019
Herbs and spices add a bit of “kick” to the way we prepare our meals. It also helps that many of these herbs and spices are packed with health benefits. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a popular spice that has long been praised for its amazing health benefits.
Turmeric is also known as Indian Saffron or the Golden Spice. It contains natural anti-inflammatory compounds called curcuminoids. Studies have shown that curcuminoids contain curcumin, which as a nutraceutical, has the potential to treat inflammation, diabetes and cancer.
Below is a short list of some of the proven benefits of turmeric:
- It aids digestion. This is a result of its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Traditionally, it has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat digestive issues, wounds, skin diseases and liver conditions.
- It improves liver health. The antioxidants in turmeric help to reduce the levels of toxicity in the body, by stimulating the lymphatic system. This could be helpful for persons who take strong medicines for diabetes or other health conditions that require long-term use.
- It prevents blood clots. Curcumin is also an anticoagulant. Blood clots are usually healthy and can be life-saving when they stop bleeding. However, they can cause stroke, a heart attack and other medical problems. It is important that this is kept in mind if you are already on blood thinning medication.
- It helps to lower cholesterol. Curcumin directly balances cholesterol. It eliminates low–density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol from the arteries and blood vessels.
- It has anti-cancer properties. It may reduce cancer related symptoms such as neuropathic pain, cognitive deficit and fatigue.
- It can be used to treat and/or prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. Turmeric’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cholesterol lowering properties are key processes in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). It can stimulate neural activity and prevent cognitive degradation related to AD.
Additional benefits of turmeric include; treating neurological and psychiatric disorders, obesity, some skin diseases, chronic illnesses affecting the eyes, liver, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems.
How can you include turmeric into your diet?
Many products contain curcumin. These include capsules, ointments, tablets, teas, energy drinks, etc. It is also one of the spices that can be found in curry. Curry is used in a variety of dishes. It has a distinct taste and flavour.
Important note: Curcumin has poor bioavailability, which is linked to rapid metabolism, poor absorption and rapid systemic elimination. Curcumin, when combined with Piperine can significantly reduce this problem. Piperine can be found in black pepper, which enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000%!
Finally, if you have a serious illness such as cancer, diabetes or Alzheimer’s Disease, it is crucial that you speak to your health professional about a course of treatment that is best for you.
This article is for information only. If you think you have cause for concern, please contact your healthcare provider. Consult a doctor or dietician before making any drastic changes that may affect your health and wellbeing.