Turmeric is that brilliant yellow spice that gives Indian dishes their signature color and flavor. As it turns out, turmeric is practically worth its weight in gold when it comes to the health benefits it offers.
The active ingredient in turmeric is a polyphenol called curcumin. Curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and here are 10 excellent reasons to get more of it into your diet right away.
1. Lose more weight
Research shows that curcumin suppresses the growth of fat tissue. While curcumin isn’t a miracle weight loss supplement, it can boost your weight loss efforts and fight inflammation caused by obesity.
2. Relieve arthritis pain
Curcumin’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce pain, swelling, and stiffness in your joints affected by arthritis or injury. The Arthritis Foundation recommends at least 500 milligrams of curcumin each day to enjoy the pain-relieving benefits of this compound.
3. Improve your mood
Inflammation in the body may play a role in depression, and a recent study found that 500 milligrams of curcumin twice daily improved the mood of people with major depressive disorder.
4. Lower your blood sugar
Research shows that curcumin works as a hypoglycemic agent, lowering blood glucose levels in people who have type 2 diabetes. A daily dose of curcumin can help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels to effectively prevent serious health complications of diabetes, including neuropathy and kidney disease.
5. Help prevent Alzheimer’s
People who naturally consume high levels of turmeric, such as populations in India, have considerably lower rates of Alzheimer’s disease than the U.S. and Europe. Studies show that curcumin inhibits the plaque that’s been linked to damage in the brain due to Alzheimer’s. Curcumin can also improve overall cognitive function, including memory and learning, which is beneficial as we age.
6. Improve digestion
People who suffer from digestive woes like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or colitis may find relief with curcumin. In one study, participants who took two capsules of turmeric each day for eight weeks had less abdominal pain and more consistent bowel movements. Another study found that curcumin helps ease symptoms of ulcerative colitis.
7. Reduce cholesterol
Although more research is needed, the positive effects of curcumin on cholesterol levels are promising. Curcumin appears to lower levels of triglycerides, which increases your bad cholesterol and your risk of stroke and heart attack. A study of rabbits who were fed a diet high in fat and given turmeric daily experienced lower triglyceride levels as well as reduced LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol levels.
8. Lower the risk of cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular disease is associated with inflammation, and curcumin can help reduce inflammation and the risk of a heart attack. Research shows that curcumin can help reduce the risk of heart attack during surgery, and it can help prevent artery disease. Recent studies show that it can also protect your heart against ischemia, or an inadequate supply of blood to the muscles in the heart.
9. Tame free radicals
The unstable oxygen molecules known as free radicals damage the arteries, promote the growth of tumors, and increase signs of aging. Curcumin’s antioxidant powers tame these free radicals and support the body’s antioxidant enzymes that fight free radical damage.
10. Ease neuropathy pain
For people suffering from neuropathy, curcumin can help reduce associated pain. Curcumin has neuroprotective effects, and a recent study showed that it reduces the perception of pain.
How to Get the Most Benefits from Turmeric
You can add powdered turmeric to soups, stews, and smoothies. Add a teaspoon to the water you cook rice in, add 1/2 teaspoon to your casseroles, or add 1/4 teaspoon to your cup of tea. Sprinkle it over your hummus, mix it into your pancake batter or bread dough, or use it to spice up your roasted meats and veggies. Whenever you add turmeric to a dish, add a pinch of pepper. Pepper helps your body absorb optimal amounts of curcumin.
In addition to adding more turmeric to your diet, an easier and more manageable approach is to consider a daily curcumin supplement. Nerveology’s Turmeric Curcumin supplement provides you with 1,300 milligrams of curcumin and 10 milligrams of BioPerine, a pepper extract, for increased absorption. A powerful curcumin supplement ensures you’re consuming enough to provide your body with the fullest possible health benefits.
As we age, it becomes more and more important to fill up on foods and supplements that help ward off disease and mental decline. Curcumin’s potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties make it an exceptional boon to your good health.