Turmeric may honestly be one of the most effective nutritional supplements in existence and you need to incorporate this into your diet asap!
The turmeric plant has a long history of medicinal use dating back to nearly 4,000. Ground turmeric root has extensively been used in Indian and Chinese cooking, and its medicinal benefits are as well-prized as its unique flavor. Many high-quality studies show that tumeric has innumerable benefits for both the body and the brain. Most of these health benefits are attributed to the active ingredient in turmeric called curcumin.
Here are the top ten evidence-based health benefits of turmeric.
1. Turmeric Contains Bioactive Compounds with Powerful Medicinal Properties
Scientific research has recently proven that turmeric contains compounds with medicinal properties called curcuminoids, curcumin stands as the most important one of them all. Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is a very strong antioxidant. Pure turmeric powder has the highest curcumin concentration, averaging to 3.14% by weight. If you want to experience the full effect, you need to take a supplement that contains significant amounts of curcumin.
However it is important to note that curcumin is not absorbed into the bloodstream that well, and we are generally advised to take curcumin with piperine, a natural substance present in black pepper that enhances the absorption of curcumin by a whopping 2,000%. This is why the best curcumin supplements will always contain piperine, substantially increasing their effectiveness. Curcumin is also fat-soluble, so it could be a good idea to take it with a fatty meal.
2. Curcumin is a Natural Anti-Inflammatory Compound
The process of inflammation helps to fight off foreign bodies in our system and also plays a significant role in repairing cell damage. Without inflammation, pathogens like bacteria and viruses could easily take over our body and eventually kill us!
Although acute, short-term inflammation is beneficial for the body, it can become a major problem when it becomes chronic and attacks the tissues. Scientists believe that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a crucial role in most diseases like cancer, cardiac diseases, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions. Curcumin has a strong anti-inflammatory property and has the potential to prevent and even treat these diseases.
The key takeaway is that curcumin is a bioactive substance that fights inflammation at the molecular level. It can also block NF-kB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of our cells and activates genes related to inflammation that are responsible for chronic diseases.
3. Turmeric Increases the Antioxidant Capacity of the Body
Oxidative damage is believed to be one of the main reasons behind aging as well as many diseases. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body, leading to extensive cell and tissue damage. The main reason antioxidants are so beneficial is that they protect our bodies from free radicals. Among a very long list of antioxidants, curcumin stands as a powerful antioxidant that can easily neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure. In addition, curcumin is said to boost the activity of our body’s own antioxidant enzymes; leaving curcumin to play a dual role against free radicals – it neutralizes them and then stimulates our body’s own antioxidant defences.
4. Curcumin Linked to Improved Brain Function and a Lower Risk of Brain Diseases
Neurons are capable of forming new connections because of the hormone brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is a growth hormone and is one of the most versatile and important neurotrophic factors in the brain. A reduction of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor affects cognitive function, learning and memory and also causes behavioral disorders. Most of the common brain disorders are linked to decreased levels of BDNF, which also include Alzheimer’s disease and depression. Interestingly, curcumin can actually increase levels of BDNF which therefore increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in your brain as well as improves your general memory.
5. Curcumin Should Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every single year. That means it causes 1 in every 4 deaths. Heart disease is incredibly complicated and numerous factors contribute to it. Curcumin may help reverse many steps in the heart disease process due to its versatile properties. Several studies have confirmed the therapeutic role of curcumin in the management of cardiovascular diseases. The main benefit of curcumin when it comes to heart disease is improving the general function of the endothelium, which is the lining of your blood vessels.
6. Turmeric Can Help Prevent and Treat Cancer
Cancer is a terrible disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth. Anticancer properties of curcumin have been found to affect cancer growth, development and spread at the molecular level. Studies have also shown that curcumin can contribute to the death of cancerous cells and reduce angiogenesis and metastasis. There is also evidence that curcumin may actually prevent cancer from occurring in the first place, especially colorectal cancer which affects the digestive system. It has the best effects on breast cancer, bowel cancer, skin cancer and stomach cancer cells. Curcumin has several effects on the molecular level that may help prevent and perhaps even treat cancer.
7. Curcumin May be Useful in Preventing and Treating Alzheimer’s Disease
Most people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s start to show symptoms in their mid-60s. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world and a leading cause of dementia. Experts suggest that as many as 5.5 million Americans aged 65 and older have Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease causes a progressive loss of brain cells that leads to memory loss and the decline of other thinking skills in the long run. It is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills in an individual. Its prevention is of utmost importance, and curcumin has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier to do so. Curcumin has beneficial effects on both the inflammation and oxidative damage, which are the key reasons that cause Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin can also lead to various improvements in the pathological process of Alzheimer’s disease.
8. Arthritis Patients Respond Very Well to Curcumin Supplements
Arthritis is a common disorder characterized by joint inflammation. Curcumin has a potent anti-inflammatory compound proven to be very helpful for arthritis patients. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin was shown to be more effective than an anti-inflammatory drug. Other studies have also proved that turmeric powder and its curcumin-enriched extracts have shown noted improvements in various symptoms of arthritis. Animal studies show curcumin’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits significantly slow osteoarthritis progression and relieve joint pain.
9. Studies Show That Curcumin has Incredible Benefits for Depression
Curcumin has also been used in the treatment of depression. Research on 60 participants with depression showed that curcumin was as effective as Prozac in alleviating symptoms of the condition. Depression is also linked to the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which curcumin has a direct effect on (refer to point 4).
10. Curcumin May Help Delay Aging and Fight Age-Related Chronic Diseases
Curcumin has obvious benefits for longevity. Although aging is not a disease, there are numerous age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, metabolic disorders and others caused by low-grade inflammation. Research has shown that slowing aging and postponing the onset of age-related diseases may be achieved by blocking NF-kappaB inflammation. Curcumin is an efficient inhibitor of NF-kappaB and helps to slow down the aging process, which is why curcumin has become very popular as an anti-ageing supplement.
Give Tumeric A Try
Turmeric powder which is popular for its most active compound curcumin, and has several scientifically-proven health benefits. If you want to buy a turmeric/curcumin supplement, there are some excellent options available in the market with thousands of great customer reviews. To complement turmeric and curcumin, you will need to create the right dietary and lifestyle approach. Talk to your healthcare professional about ways to incorporate turmeric into your diet and curcumin into your supplement plan.