Home Bot CategoriesHealthEat Wise WHAT MAKES TURMERIC HEALTHY


by wowmagazine

Turmeric is growing in popularity and for good reason. It has so many health benefits, helps with certain health conditions, and makes so many dishes taste amazing. With peppery, warm, bitter notes and a mild fragrance, turmeric has a bright yellow colour and comes from the root of the curcuma longa plant, which has a tough brown skin and deep orange flesh. It adds brilliant flavour, colour, and fragrance to food, and in our kitchens is probably the one spice that is a must have.

So what makes it so healthy? Listed here are seven amazing health benefits of turmeric that will only reinforce why turmeric is a must in every kitchen.

Reduces Inflammation 

Perhaps one of the best known benefits of turmeric is its anti-inflammatory properties. The pigment in turmeric comes from curcumin, and curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory comparable even to prescribed pain medications or NSAIDs. Whereas most medical anti-inflammatories will work to reduce a couple inflammatory mediators (ie, the compounds causing the pain), curcumin is effective against a dozen of these compounds, meaning it’s attacking way more of the pain-causing agents than other pain medications. It works in all kinds of outward inflammatory conditions from sprained ankles, arthritis, and bursitis to internal inflammatory conditions like neurological disorders.

Improves Cognitive Health 

Conditions like ageing, dementia, and conditions of the brain can be considered inflammation. The increase in inflammatory mediators can cause damage to the brain cells or inhibit their function, and this can contribute to cognitive decline, memory loss, and other conditions.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s can both be classified as inflammatory conditions. Dementia is an umbrella term referring to any deterioration of cognitive function, and Alzheimer’s is the most prevalent form of age-related decline. Alzheimer’s is characterised by abnormal protein deposits in the brain, and these seem to increase in number, peak, and plateau sometimes decades before the symptoms of Alzheimer’s show themselves.

Turmeric has curcumin, and curcumin has at least ten known neuroprotective actions. These include: being an anti-inflammatory, an excellent antioxidant which helps fight oxidative damage and free radicals that our brain is subject to in conditions like Alzheimer’s, helps with heavy metal detoxification (heavy metals are big offenders that can damage brain mechanisms, helps with regeneration of brain cells in a similar way that exercise does, helps to slow the accumulation of those abnormal protein deposits in the brain which can lead to conditions like Alzheimer’s.

Can Help With Heart Disease and Cholesterol 

Curcumin works in a number of different ways to help with heart disease. It helps with LDL cholesterol in two ways: as an antioxidant to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, keeping it beneficial instead of harmful; and it increases LDL receptors to give LDL cholesterol more places to go and do its job preventing it from spending too long in our bloodstream and oxidising. Both of these are excellent steps to take in the direction of healthy cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health!

Curcumin is also helpful for endothelial function. We have this lining of all our blood vessels called the endothelial and its job is to keep blood vessels healthy. When that’s not working, it’s a failure of, or disease of, or lack of action in this endothelial spot. Curcumin helps the endothelial work better, helping the vessels use their own safety mechanisms to keep themselves healthy.

Can Improve Liver Functions

The liver performs 500 different functions in the body, and can therefore easily become overwhelmed. Fatty liver disease can occur through excessive alcohol consumption or, more commonly nowadays, through sugar consumption. The good news is that by fixing the diet to avoid refined sugars and things that break down easily into sugar, you can take a big step towards avoiding fatty liver. Curcumin also helps, though! It’s been shown to lower liver enzymes which are the markers that are used to measure liver function.

Works As Anti-inflammatory 

Free radicals damage healthy cells and cell membranes, and they are quite prevalent in conditions like arthritis because they are responsible for causing joint pain and damage. By neutralising these free radicals, curcumin helps stop their spread throughout the body, protecting the cells and joints from their damaging effects. Of course, the turmeric you use in your food is a great way to get the benefits. But if you are looking for stronger effects, you can always look for a curcumin supplement.

Can Improve Thyroid Functions 

Turmeric is a rich source of many vitamins and minerals, including manganese. In fact, just two teaspoons provide 17% of your daily recommended intake of this vital mineral. Manganese helps maintain proper thyroid function. It has been estimated that 200 million people in the world have some form of thyroid disease. The thyroid gland plays a crucial role in our overall health. If it is not operating at peak performance, it can produce life-altering symptoms that impact your health and happiness. What are some signs that your thyroid might be a bit sluggish? Dry or gritty eyes, thinning hair, weight gain, numbness or tingling in any area of the body, constipation, tinnitus, heart palpitations, dry skin, fatigue, feeling cold…

Turmeric provides the manganese you need and it helps with hormone synthesis which benefits a wide variety of health issues like weight loss, appetite, metabolism, and organ efficiency. It also helps with vitamin absorption for vitamins like B & E, and also magnesium.

Good Source Of Pigment Rich Vitamins

Finally, turmeric is a good source of other vitamins and minerals, such as iron, fibre, vitamin B6, copper, and potassium. In just two teaspoons, it has 10% of your recommended iron intake. We know that iron is mainly an aid in our energy, since it helps metabolise proteins and plays a role in the production of haemoglobin and red blood cells. But it’s important to not just get iron from red meat, as this can actually cause a burden on the body. Turmeric is a great meat-free source of iron! And what about vitamin B6? Two teaspoons contain 5% of your daily B6 intake which helps to stimulate co-enzyme activities, protect the immune system, and produce positive effects on things like metabolism, PMS, hormones, skin conditions, and the like.

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