Turmeric is not a commonly used ingredient in Western culture but its popularity is very quickly growing, and with good reason. In the East, the medical properties of turmeric have been known for many years and it’s used in Chinese and Indian medicines.
So what is all of the fuss with Turmeric?
Does it deserve its place in our SuperFood wall of fame? Let’s explore 7 reasons you need to be adding Turmeric to your diet…
1. Turmeric can lower cholesterol level
The active ingredient in turmeric that’s responsible for its impressive benefits to health is curcumin. Curcumin reduces your cholesterol levels in three very powerful ways. First, it reduces the time that cholesterol spends in the blood stream. Second, it prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol due to its antioxidant properties and third, it helps to maximize the efficiency of LDL cholesterol by increasing the receptors. All of which results in significantly improved cardiovascular health.
2. Lower the pain from (and spread of) arthritis
In tests, the curcumin found in turmeric was just as effective as a traditional anti-inflammatory treatment for joint swelling. Introducing turmeric to your diet can lead to a significant impact on the quality of your life, especially if you suffer from arthritis. Furthermore, the antioxidant properties found in curcumin can help to eliminate free radicals from the body. Free radicals are extremely troublesome for sufferers of arthritis because they cause damage to cell membranes which is one of the main causes of joint pain.
3. Maintains healthy thyroid function
Thyroid complications are very prevalent in todays society and can give rise to all manor of issues, including weight gain, dry skin, thinning hair, numbness or tingling in the hands brittle nails, and even constipation. A vital mineral that is essential for optimal thyroid function is Manganese. Turmeric is full of Manganese and will help you to make a significant step towards a better functioning thyroid. Given the amount of symptoms (and we only touched on a few, there are many many more) that are a result of an incorrectly functioning thyroid, its a good idea for you health, general well-being and future medical bills to incorporate turmeric to your diet regime.
4. Reduces pain and inflammation
When compared to traditional medical anti-inflammatories, curcumin (found in turmeric) wins hands down. The compounds that are responsible for pain during inflammation are called mediators, and they come in packs! Most medical anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs target two or three mediators but curcumin targets dozens! The result… more effective, organic and total pain reduction, and non of the unpleasant side affects associated with conventional remedies!
5. (Very probably) Strengthens your memory and helps make you smarter!
A food that might make you intelligent? I don’t think much else can make something more worthy of the prestigious rank of ‘SuperFood’ than its ability to improve your intelligence.
The curcumin in turmeric helps to build brain function and lowers the risk of brain disease by boosting the neurotrophic factor. As we grow, neurons make new connections and our ability to understand and remember more information increases. The growth hormone that facilitates this process is called the brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF). Decreased levels of this hormone have been linked to many common brain disorders, such as Alzheimers and depression.
Curcumin increases BDNF levels, which can help our brains do what they are intended to do… grow, learn more things and make us smarter, although a lot more research is needed to demonstrate that we really do become more intelligent. An increase of BDNF could also prevent, and probably even reverse, the affects of several age-related brain functioning difficulties.
6. Can help to prevent, and possible even treat, cancer
During lab tests on animals, curcumin (which, as you know by now, is found in turmeric) was shown to lower metastasis (the spread of cancer) lower angiogenesis (the growth of blood vessels in tumors) and even kill cancerous cells. During an alternative study (this time on humans) curcumin lowered colon lesions in 44 adult males by 40% over a period of 30 days. Although this study was not on men that were actually suffering from cancer, colon lesions can become cancerous, so it’s a significant indicator that curcumin may help prevent cancer.
7. A natural beauty treatment
Up till now we’ve talked about some of the incredible health benefits of turmeric, but did you know it can make you more attractive as well!
For generations women in Asia have used turmeric as a natural beauty treatment. Its powerful beautifying characteristics have been praised for their ability to reduce acne, cure eczema, remove dark circles from under the eyes, decrease the appearance of wrinkles, diminish scarring and even remove sun spots.
If you want to enjoy turmerics beautifying benefits you can apply it on the skin as a face mask, as well including it to your new healthy diet regime.
Turmeric truly deserves its place in our SuperFood wall of fame. A brilliant, healthy, inexpensive, colourful and yummy addition to your diet (and beauty routine) that has many amazing health and beauty benefits. In fact, many more than we’ve shown on this page!