Turmeric seems to be all the craze these days and there are plenty of reasons why. This beautiful gold-colored, Indian spice has graced the plates of many Indian dishes for centuries. Only recently is it getting the credit it deserves in the West, though. There are some amazing health benefits to adding turmeric to your meals; here are five of them.
Researchers have found that one of the active ingredients in turmeric called curcumin (the reason turmeric has that vibrant yellow color) may be responsible for a decreased risk of a heart attack after bypass surgery. In a study conducted with 121 bypass patients, half the patients were given a placebo while the others were given curcumin capsules four times a day. The curcumin group turned out to be 65% less likely to have heart attacks. It is believed that the anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant properties lowered their chances (1).
The same ingredient in turmeric that helps with heart disease also targets inflammation throughout the entire body. Curcumin blocks inflammatory pathways in the body and stops the inflammation from even starting. There is research that reports curcumin is just as effective as certain anti-inflammatory drugs (2).
Decrease Chance of Alzheimer’s Disease
Indian people who are in their 70’s and older have a lower rate of Alzheimer’s Disease than people the same age in the United States. These people live in areas where there is a high consumption of turmeric. Research reports that turmeric eats away the amyloid plaque in the brain, which is a prominent component of Alzheimer’s patients (3, 4).
Current research surrounding weight loss suggests that the curcumin in turmeric increases fat burning, decreases insulin resistance, helps with hyperglycemia, lowers leptin resistance, and reduces inflammation. These are all pieces of the puzzle when it comes too healthy weight loss. So, eat your way to lowering your risk of obesity with turmeric (5).
If you aren’t a fan of eating turmeric, you can simply place the spice on your cuts, burns or breakouts. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory effects so it decreases redness and swelling and also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral abilities to keep your cuts nice and clean. It also has pain relieving qualities so it takes care of all your cuts, burns and breakouts on every side of the coin (7).
There are many ways to use and consume turmeric. You can add it to your recipes, sprinkle it over salads, mix it in shakes or take it in pill form. Hop on the spice train with us and gobble up all the magnificent health benefits turmeric has to offer. Always consult your health care professional if you are taking any drugs or under the care of a doctor for certain ailments.
- Wongcharoen, Wanwarang, et al. “Effects of curcuminoids on frequency of acute myocardial infarction after coronary artery bypass grafting.” The American journal of cardiology1 (2012): 40-44.
- Julie, S., and M. T. Jurenka. “Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent.” Alternative medicine review2 (2009).
- Kaur, Harmanjot. “TURMERIC: THE SUPER SPICE.”
- Debjit Bhowmik, Chiranjib, et al. “Turmeric: a herbal and traditional medicine.” Archives of applied science research2 (2009): 86-108.
- Aggarwal, Bharat B. “Targeting inflammation-induced obesity and metabolic diseases by curcumin and other nutraceuticals.” Annual review of nutrition 30 (2010): 173.
- Gunes, Hayati, et al. “Antibacterial effects of curcumin An in vitro minimum inhibitory concentration study.” Toxicology and industrial health2 (2016): 246-250.