[Turmeric Benefits] 3 Incredible Turmeric Health Benefits + How To Use Turmeric
Not all foods were created equal. Turmeric, an ancient Indian spice with a distinct yellow color you know from curry, is the epitome of a superfood.
In this guide, we discuss 3 life-changing health benefits of turmeric plus explain how to use it.
Derived from the curcuma longa plant, turmeric is not just any regular food, it's an absolute superfood. Its main active ingredient, curcumin, features antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties so potent it has been found to be as effective as certain anti-inflammatory drugs, without causing the same side-effects.
Turmeric and curcumin have been among the most well-researched herbal medicines on the planet: more than 12,800 peer-reviewed articles testify to turmeric's benefits in preventing inflammation, cell damage, and a range of Western diseases, including arthritis, Alzheimer's, and heart disease.
Frankly, the list of turmeric's health benefits is long, very long. To maximize the usefulness and practicality of our turmeric and curcumin research for you, we will focus on turmeric's health benefits for three key areas: chronic inflammation, brain health and heart health.
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Turmeric Health Benefit #1: Turmeric Fights Chronic Inflammation
Inflammation is the response of a healthy defense system when warding off external attackers like bacteria. By increasing blood flow into the affected area and sending chemicals, your immune system fights the attempted invasion.
While acute inflammation at its core is a normal mechanism, it has been observed that many of Western societies' worst enemies — from heart disease to cancer and Alzheimer's disease — stem from low-level, chronic inflammation.
Turmeric root has been held dear for its exceptional medicinal properties by some of the oldest medical traditions we know: both traditional Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine have relied on Turmeric for millennia. Still today, about 80% of people in developing countries resort to these two as well as other similar medical traditions to cure their ailments.
The turmeric plant is part of the ginger family and like ginger it boasts very powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin, turmeric's main active ingredient, is able to effectively tackle inflammation at the molecular level which explains how it was able to outdo some well-established anti-inflammation drugs.
This powerful anti-inflammatory ability is also what makes curcumin an important aid when it comes to dealing with inflammation of the joints or arthritis. For example, scientific studies have shown that curcumin is a powerful aid for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers given its ability to reduce joint swelling.
Turmeric Health Benefit #2: Turmeric Is a Brain Health Hero
The neurons in your brain split and multiply at a tremendous speed in very early childhood before then slowing down their neuronal development as you age. Recent research however has found that neuronal connections can still be established even later in life, that is, brain growth seems possible life-long.
One of the catalysts of these new neuronal connections and life-long growth possibilities in the brain is the activity of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Low BDNF levels have been associated with brain disorders, including clinical depression and Alzheimer's disease.
However, scientists believe that turmeric’s main bioactive ingredient, curcumin, can help increase BDNF making turmeric a literal superfood for brain health. As a result, it is being studied for use as an effective anti-depressant and a means to preventing Alzheimer's disease.
Turmeric Health Benefit #3: Turmeric Boosts Heart Health
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), heart disease remains the leading cause of death world-wide. However, curcumin has a proven effect on blood vessels and is able to regulate blood pressure and prevent blood clots which are known for causing vascular and heart diseases.
One study in particular found that coronary artery bypass surgery patients who took a high doses of curcumin extract (4 g/day) before and after the surgery ran a 65% lower risk of having a heart attack while in hospital.
Based on its ancient medicinal history as well as the findings of modern-day research, it is safe to say that turmeric is one of the most powerful foods you can consume for good health. Reducing cancer cell growth, accelerating wound healing, promoting glowing and healthy skin are just a few of the other benefits turmeric is being associated with. Turmeric's scorecard indeed looks so impressive, it has been dubbed "the most effective nutritional supplement in existence."
How to Use Turmeric
Now that we have established what turmeric can do for your health and well-being, it is time to look into how to use it so you can start reaping all of the amazing turmeric health benefits today.
High-Quality Curcumin Supplement
Many of the aforementioned studies used high dosages of curcumin extracts (1 gram per day or more). However, trying to consume this much turmeric in a normal diet would be rather unrealistic.
Instead, you may want to use a high-quality curcumin supplement. The best supplements contain curcumin together with piperine, the bioactive compound found in black pepper. Piperine is important because it increases your body’s ability to fully absorb curcumin by up to 2,000%.
We recommend the Ora Organic Turmeric Golden Milk Powder and Organic Turmeric Curcumin Pills. Also, you can get 10% off at Ora Organic using our code SUPERDRINKS10 at checkout. Be sure to read our in-depth review of Ora Organic while you’re at it.
Fresh Organic Turmeric Root
For purposes of cooking or preparing turmeric teas and smoothies, we recommend you buy fresh and organic turmeric root from your local farmer's market or the produce section of your organic grocery store. This way, you avoid the conventional pesticides that non-organic herbs and spices often contain.
There are two ways you can get the most out of your turmeric: add a pinch of freshly ground black pepper (remember the importance of piperine for curcumin absorption) and consume with a food that contains healthy fat (for instance avocado). This will help your body absorb the curcumin which is fat soluble.
Iconic Turmeric Drink Recipes To Make At Home
For you to be able to start reaping all of the discussed turmeric health benefits today, we have prepared a list of 7 of the best turmeric drinks to make at home from scratch. It includes some of the most iconic turmeric recipes, including a turmeric-ginger spa detox tea, traditional golden milk as well as turmeric anti-inflammation and skincare smoothies.
Turmeric Side Effects
Not everyone can tolerate turmeric and allergic reactions have been reported, in particular after topical exposure to the skin. Moreover, high doses of turmeric have been associated with diarrhea, nausea and dizziness.
If you experience any of these symptoms, stop using it and seek medical advice from a doctor. If you suffer from certain pre-existing health conditions or are expecting, it’s best to consult with your physician before consuming.
+ Resources and references
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92761/ https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0024320514007036