Health benefits of turmeric
Turmeric is a tropical plant with a bulbous root. It is a plant that is originally native to Asia and it’s a common ingredient in Indian and other Asian dishes. It is a perennial herb that is about 2 to 3 feet high with a short stem and tufted leaves; the rhizomes constitute the turmeric. The health benefits of turmeric come from its high concentrations of vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin C but it’s commonly known for its active ingredient; Curcumin. Turmeric gets its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties from its active ingredient, Curcumin. It makes up between 2-6% of turmeric and this provides the health benefits of turmeric.
Turmeric powder is the most common form in which it is used. The roots are boiled and dried out, then crushed into powder for it to be used and that also offers some health benefits. Turmeric powder can be used and applied in different ways. Some of the ways in which turmeric powder can be used includes
- Used in cooking and baking
- Turmeric powder tea
- Used in smoothies and milk
- Used as an essential oil
- Natural soap and skin-care products
- Turmeric supplements
Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric, also known as “Indian gold” has a lot of been used as an immunity booster in the Far East for thousands of years. In parts of Asia, it has been used in traditional medicine to treat diseases such as cough, diabetic wounds, rheumatism, and sinusitis. In recent times, there has been more research into the health benefits of turmeric and its role in preventing and fighting diseases. Curcumin, the main yellow active ingredient has been shown to have a wide variety of biological actions which include it’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antidiabetic, antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Knee Arthritis or Osteoarthritis
Arthritis is a word that is derived from the Greek words “artho” and “itis” which translates to “joint” and “inflammation” respectively. It is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint and it is estimated that more than 10 million people in the UK have arthritis or other similar conditions that affects the joints. Some forms of arthritis increase with age due to the decreased capacity to suppress inflammation and increased bone turnover.
The exact cause of arthritis remains uncertain and there is no treatment available for its fundamental causes. The primary objective of treating arthritis is to reduce the pains in the joints that are induced by inflammation. Therefore ingredients like turmeric which have anti-inflammatory properties with little or no side effects are important treatment options for arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. One of the health benefits of turmeric is how it cures the etiological factors and pathological changes of inflammation that can be associated with arthritis
The health benefits of turmeric also include its role in skincare. It is known to assist in the removal of hairs and also improves the complexion of the skin. In India and some parts of Asia, it is considered as an effective wound-healing medicine. Traditionally, in India, if a wound occurs as part of a ritual, only turmeric powder is used for healing. It is known to be an effective way of treating wounds without any pus formation or infection. Also, in Japan turmeric powder is added to warm baths to help realize some of the benefits of turmeric. Turmeric mask has become popular in recent times as it is known to lighten dark circles, protect skin from sun damage and to help treat stretch marks.
Research in the ’90s from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre investigated the properties of curcumin. The research reported that the effect of turmeric on cancer cells was “staggering” and that it blocked a biological pathway needed for the development of melanoma and other cancers-including prostate tumors.
Studies have shown that India, which produces and consumes most of the world’s turmeric, also has one of the world’s lowest prostate-cancer rates. This does not appear to be a sheer coincidence as Indian men have been known to consume turmeric powder for thousands of years.
In 2001, research scientist discovered that turmeric dampens the inflammation cascade within the body, thereby stopping the proliferation of cancer in its tracks.
There is a good argument supported by scientific research on how turmeric may help prevent cancer or reduce the effect of cancer cells in the body.
Turmeric for depression
The health benefits of turmeric also include the role it may play in depression. In a small scientific study, curcumin which is the active ingredient in turmeric was reported to be as effective as an antidepressant. Available research suggests that taking curcumin may significantly reduce depression symptoms in people already using an antidepressant.
The health benefits of turmeric can be obtained from turmeric powder which is used in many ways and can easily be used in most food recipes. Some ways of using turmeric powder in recipes include;
- Adding it to your soups
- Sprinkling it over cooked rice
- Adding it to your salads
- Adding it to your stir fry
- Adding it to your peanut butter sandwich or any other sandwich
- Adding it to your ingredients when baking
Examples of turmeric recipes
Crispy Chicken Wings – By Ndudu by Fafa
Turmeric Tea – By Ndudu by Fafa (Highly recommended)
Easy One Pan Cauliflower Curry – By Bintu
Tofu Bowl – By betterfoodguru
TROPICAL TURMERIC OVERNIGHT OATS – By TillyEats
Turmeric Capsules or Supplements
In 1997, two doctors won a patent that was later reversed to market turmeric as a wound healer. It was reversed because India’s research agency found out and argued that it was impossible to discover healing properties that had been known in India for thousands of years.
As a result, turmeric capsules are widely available on the market from various sources and brands.
The recommended dose for taking turmeric is 400 to 600 milligrams per day. No toxicity has been reported from using very high doses of turmeric, even at about 12 grams per day.
There are a lot of turmeric capsules on the market that may contain different percentages of curcumin. Pure Food Supplement’s Turmeric capsules are standardised extract containing a minimum of 95% curcumin in each capsule. This standardised 95% extract makes our product unique with higher potency than most brands on the market. Most brands offer turmeric capsules which usually contains around 3% curcumin whereas our high strength turmeric capsule is 95% curcumin.
Turmeric and black pepper
The body is known to absorb and use turmeric far better when it is taken with black pepper, healthy fats, fish oil or with a healthy meal. A research carried out on turmeric reported that co-supplementation with 20mg of piperine (extracted from black pepper) significantly increases the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000%. Bioavailability refers to the degree and rate at which an administered drug is absorbed by the body’s circulatory system.
Turmeric Side Effects
Turmeric and Curcumin are generally known to be safe even with regulatory bodies. The European Food Safety Commission which is known to have very strict requirements for food safety has designated curcumin as safe. Safety examinations indicate that turmeric powder is also known to be safe in high doses such that it is deemed virtually overdose-proof.
Turmeric’s active ingredient, Curcumin is known to have scientifically proven health benefits when used reasonably. The health benefits of turmeric include the role it plays in arthritis (including osteoarthritis), supporting the immune and circulatory system, supporting a healthy cholesterol balance and also good for supporting a healthy liver and gall bladder function.
It is recommended to take turmeric capsules that contain piperine (black pepper) as it enhances curcumin absorption by 200%
You can buy one from www.purefoodsupplements.com or by clicking here.
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Balachandran, K. and Stebbing, J. (2016). Turmeric: a spice for life?. The Lancet Oncology, 17(12), p.1639.
Ellison, S. (2009). Over the counter natural cures, expanded edition. Naperville, Ill.: Sourcebooks.
Ravindran, P., Nirmal Babu, K. and Sivaraman, K. (2007). Turmeric. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.