Whether you call it turmeric, curcúma, or haldi, this spice is full of anti-inflammatory fighting properties and many other health benefits. Drink it as a tea, or add it for flavor, turmeric is definitely a spice you want in your cabinets.
What is it?
Turmeric is an ancient spice that comes from the Curcuma longa plant, which is part of the ginger family. It has been used for thousands of years, and is most commonly found in Indian cuisine, such as curry. Turmeric has made contributions all throughout Asia. Dyes in clothing, medicine and food are just some of the ways turmeric has been utilized over the years.
What properties does it have?
Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. It possesses curcumin, which is a bright yellow chemical produced by certain plants that gives turmeric its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This little yellow chemical is what makes turmeric so beneficial to our health.
How does this benefit my health?
Since it has anti-inflammatory properties and is a powerful antioxidant, turmeric has many medicinal benefits that treat different health conditions. Turmeric is a functional food, which means it provides more benefits than just nutritional value. To get the full benefit, turmeric should be consumed with black pepper, because the piperine in the pepper allows turmeric to be easily absorbed in our bodies in order to receive the full nutritional and additional benefits it possesses.
Turmeric does a lot for the body. It’s a natural pain reliever, aids in weight management, prevents cancer, treats depression and much more. Listed below are just three of the areas turmeric makes contributions: inflammation, immunity and digestion.
According to Dr. Sunil Pai, M.D., turmeric “has been shown to block over 97 different mechanisms of inflammation.” The curcumin in turmeric fights inflammation at the molecular level. This allows your whole body to reap the benefits of being inflammatory free. He also states that, “India has the lowest dementia rates in the world; they consume 25 to 50mg of turmeric daily, which prevents inflammation in the brain.” Making turmeric a part of your daily intake can have positive lifelong consequences.
Turmeric helps you fight foreign bodies in your system, and also repairs damage. Since turmeric is also an antioxidant, it has the ability of ridding the body of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that don’t have an electron pair, so they travel the body looking for one. This causes stress to the body, as well as cellular damage. Consuming antioxidants is very important in maintaining your health. Regular intake of turmeric will help the body fight free radicals as well as prevent diseases and cell damage. You may find it useful to take turmeric supplements to assist in these repairs.
Studies have shown that turmeric can stimulate the gallbladder. When the gallbladder is stimulated it releases bile, and bile helps the body break down food. It also calms the digestive system to reduce bloating and gas. Turmeric allows the stomach to withstand digestive acids that could end up damaging the lining of the stomach.
Turmeric is a spice that does a lot. Not only does it flavor our food, and add a nice coloring to it, turmeric also has many health benefits that everybody needs. Fighting inflammation, being an immunity booster and improving digestion are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what turmeric can do.