Sourced from a plant growing in Asia, turmeric is renowned for its spicy, slightly bitter taste and for its bright golden color. It’s the main ingredient in many different curry dishes thanks to its warm flavor, but turmeric is more than just a spice and a natural food coloring.
For literally thousands of years, turmeric is one of the most valued ingredients in both Indian Ayurvedic and ancient Chinese herbal medicine because of its wondrous health benefits. Modern medicine has even gotten into the act, studying turmeric for its restorative properties and identifying curcumin as the organic compound in turmeric that provides the lion’s share of its benefits. in fact, here are five reasons why adding turmeric to your diet is the best idea ever.
It’s a Natural Pain Reliever
If you suffer from painful, swollen joints, turmeric is an excellent natural remedy. Thanks to the high levels of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities in curcumin, turmeric helps to reduce swelling and inflammation in body tissue and especially joints affected by conditions like osteoarthritis. On top of that, the antioxidants in turmeric help reduce and repair painful and debilitating oxidative stress caused by free radicals throughout the body, making it perfect as a general tonic for the aches and pains brought about by growing older. In fact, it’s even been shown to play a positive role in treatments to reduce toothache pain, making turmeric an all-around great pain reliever.
It’s Great For Your Heart
Turmeric has properties that can support and improve your circulatory system, keeping your heart healthy and strong. It acts as a mild blood thinner, which can aid in keeping the effects of high blood pressure at bay, and it can also help to reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol – the same cholesterol that transforms into artery-clogging plaque. Too much plaque can also increase blood pressure by constricting blood vessels, leading to your heart having to pump harder to supply blood to your body and possibly leading to complications like heart attacks, making turmeric just one more important facet of good cardiovascular health.
It Keeps Your Brain Working
Unlike many other treatments used in holistic medicine, turmeric has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, providing its unique benefits to your brain as well as the rest of your body. Turmeric increases blood flow to the brain thanks to its circulatory properties, and the high quantity of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substances in turmeric can aid in easing migraines. Turmeric has also been used to help with depression and anxiety, to increase cognition, and has even been linked to lower instances of neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and an easing of symptoms of illnesses like multiple sclerosis.
It’s Got Strong Anti-Cancer Qualities
Historically, populations that include high levels of turmeric in their diet have much lower cancer rates when compared to populations that don’t use it as a spice. This could be due to the fact that turmeric has been shown in some clinical studies to have cancer-fighting qualities that can not just help prevent you from developing certain types of cancer but stop these cancers in their tracks, preventing them from spreading. Some research even says that taking turmeric during cancer treatment can help protect the body from some of the negative effects of chemotherapy or help heal damaged skin in the wake of radiation treatment.
It Makes For a Happy Stomach
Finally, turmeric has been associated with an excellent cure for upset stomachs and digestive disorders for centuries. Medical research shows that turmeric can help stimulate the production of bile in the gallbladder, which provides for better digestion. The spice is also good at reducing the feeling of being bloated or intestinal discomfort. There have even been studies showing a connection between turmeric and preventing the return of ulcerative colitis and flare-ups of irritable bowel disease, providing evidence for Ayurvedic Indian and ancient Chinese herbal medicine claims that turmeric is ideal to calm tortured stomachs and inflamed intestines.
Whether you’re a fan of holistic medicine or you trust modern medical science, the writing is on the wall: from its antioxidant properties and its ability to calm even the most turbulent stomachs to its strengths in treating cancer, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease, turmeric has what it takes to keep you healthy.