If you’ve noticed all the headlines about turmeric lately, you might have dismissed it as just another fad that will soon pass. However, this is one trend that has some solid science to back it up and you may not want to miss out on some amazing health benefits this spice can bring.
IT'S A POWERFUL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY
Inflammation is at the heart of many modern illnesses. Whilst a little inflammation is good, too much of it can lead to problems like Alzheimer’s, heart disease and cancer. In fact, it’s such a powerful anti-inflammatory that it has been shown in studies to be just as effective as certain anti-inflammatory drugs – without all the side effects.
It has also proven useful on arthritis, which is caused by inflammation in the joints. Some studies have shown it’s even more effective than anti-inflammatory medication in treating rheumatoid arthritis.
With its orangey-yellow hue, it’s no wonder that turmeric is considered nutritional “gold”. Much of its power lies in its active compound, curcumin. Your experience with it might be limited to curries, but we’re going to show you why you might want to start incorporating it into your diet as much as possible.
Turmeric Chickpea Salad
IT COULD PREVENT AND TREAT CANCER
Curcumin, has been shown to contribute to the death of some types of cancer cells and reduce the spread of cancer. Turmeric also stops the growth of the new blood vessels that tumours rely on to thrive. It’s showing particular promise in cancers like colorectal cancer.
BENEFITS TO YOUR BRAIN AND MOOD
Curcumin has demonstrated lots of potential as a natural antidepressant, with one study finding it to be just as effective for depression as Prozac. It can also help to relieve stress and anxiety.
In addition, it has shown potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, people who live in parts of the world where turmeric is a dietary staple have lower rates of this disease. Curcumin works by breaking up the plaques in the brains that can form Alzheimer’s in addition to reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. It may also be useful for treating Parkinson’s disease.
GETTING MORE TURMERIC IN YOUR DIET
Whilst turmeric supplements are pretty easy to find these days, it is even better if you can get it from your diet. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have curry every day. Turmeric is easy to incorporate into stews, soups, smoothies, and salad dressings. It’s also good in eggs, rice and added to warm milk to create a healing beverage called Golden Milk.
Just be sure to add a pinch of black pepper to whatever you’re cooking with turmeric to help your body absorb and use the curcumin. Many supplements come with piperine, a component of black pepper, in the formulation to aid bioavailability.