Many of us know turmeric to be one of the main components of curry powder. Notably, with its bright yellow color, many people have used turmeric to dye fabrics. But apart from being used as dyestuff or seasoning to enhance the flavor of our food, turmeric is popular in India and some parts of Asia in treating many health conditions. It is even considered as one of the most effective nutritional supplements in existence. A lot of the studies show that the benefits of turmeric come from its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has key benefits for both the body and brain.
Turmeric came from a widely cultivated tropical plant in India of the same name. Turmeric, the plant, has yellow flowers and a large, pungent-smelling, yellow rhizome. The root of turmeric is the part extensively used to create medicine. In addition, the yellow-colored chemical called curcumin found in turmeric is the one most studied for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, functioning as its main active ingredient. Here is a list of the 10 benefits of turmeric both in and outside the body.
Turmeric fights chronic inflammation
Curcumin fights chronic inflammation. This is the root cause of many health conditions like autoimmune disorders, cancers, heart disease, hay fever, and many more. Inflammation should be properly managed. Curcumin, having anti-inflammatory properties, matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs – minus the side effects like stomach pain, heartburn, headaches and dizziness, allergic reactions, liver or kidney problems, and even high blood pressure.
Turmeric combats arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic autoimmune disease with inflammation of the joints, can be combated with the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin. The curcumin in turmeric has a long history of being used in Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine to treat arthritis. Studies show that curcumin may be helpful for athletes looking to diminish muscle pains related to delayed onset muscle soreness. Studies say that curcumin can also reduce muscle fatigue after workout.
Turmeric helps prevent cancer
More than a thousand studies (mostly laboratory and animal studies) have shown that curcumin kills cancer cells and prevent more from growing or dividing – particularly cancers of the skin, stomach, breast, liver, colon, lung, pancreas, prostate and more. The curcumin blocks the growth of cancer by intervening with the cellular indicating aspects of chronic disease. Also, there is evidence that curcumin diminishes the severity of side effects from radiation therapy such as radiation-induced inflammation of lungs and skin.
Turmeric promotes heart health
Curcumin may help reverse the process of heart disease. It protects the heart by bettering the function of the endothelium (the lining of the blood vessels) and thinning out inflammation and free-radical damage. These play a role in heart disease. Also, studies have shown that turmeric helps in the improvement and treatment of cardiac hypertrophy, which is the abnormal enlargement of the heart.
Turmeric promotes better digestion
Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is believed to promote healthy digestion. Studies have shown that taking in turmeric might help relieve dyspepsia. Also, research proposes that taking turmeric extract daily reduces the occurrence of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – the recurrent abdominal pain and diarrhea. Above all, stomach ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) infection can be eased as well. The minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory elements, and fiber found in turmeric can help normalize muscle movement, acid production, and nutrient absorption to keep the digestion healthy in general.
Turmeric improves brain function
Curcumin has been found with the ability to treat neurodegenerative diseases, depression, brain aging, anxiety, and more. Alzheimer’s can be prevented with its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant components. Researchers noted that due to Indians’ turmeric-high diet over their whole lifetime, the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease among them has become five times less than that of Americans. According to some studies, curcumin also has the potential to boost brain health by raising the levels of a hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which promotes the survival of nerve cells (neurons) and plays a major role in long-term cognitive function.
Turmeric betters the skin
Turmeric has been popular for healing properties and cosmetic benefits for centuries due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. It has been studied that turmeric may help psoriasis by controlling flares and some other symptoms. Also, the anti-inflammatory qualities of turmeric can reduce scarring, target pores and calm the skin, thus helps in reducing acne. Some people apply turmeric to the skin for ringworm, sprains, bruising, swellings, and infected wounds.
Turmeric improves liver function
Turmeric encourages antioxidant defenses in the body, helping the liver to detoxify. Studies say that the antioxidant properties of turmeric are quite powerful that it may even stop toxins to harm the liver. Hence, people who take strong medications for other health conditions which may damage the liver with long-term use will be able to avoid such serious side-effects by taking in turmeric. In addition, turmeric may help prevent liver cirrhosis, as laboratory studies of curcumin claimed that it has the potential to delay or entirely prevent the onset of the disease.
Turmeric prevents kidney problems
Curcumin fights down free radicals which cause different diseases. It helps to cut down urea and creatinine levels. Note that heightened urea and creatinine levels mean renal failure or reduced kidney function. Turmeric helps to stop and treat inflammation of the kidney and other complications related to kidney, it is because the curcumin diminishes the effects of the inflammatory molecules and enzymes that may result in chronic kidney disease.
Turmeric helps in weight management
Having turmeric tea day-to-day helps increase bile production in the stomach. A digestive juice that helps in emulsifying fat and its metabolism, turmeric is ideal for weight loss. In addition, turmeric helps bring down the risk of cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and blood sugar levels, acting up against obesity.