If you’ve ever had curry, you’ve probably had turmeric — it’s the spice that gives curry its yellow color.
But there’s a lot more to this spice than it’s golden hue!
Also known as Indian saffron or the golden spice, turmeric comes from the curcuma longa plant. The turmeric root, or rhizome, grows underground and looks similar to ginger.
While you can find it in many Southeast Asian countries, India is the largest producer of turmeric and has been since ancient times. (India consumes nearly 80% of the world’s turmeric.)
Turmeric has been used for medicinal purposes for more than 4000 years, especially in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of natural healing. In Ayurvedic practices, healers have used this herb to treat respiratory conditions, alleviate gas, improve digestion and relieve arthritis, just to name a few.With over 13,000 scientific studies supporting turmeric’s health benefits, it’s hard to dispute this spice has super powers.
So why it’s good for me?
Anti – inflammatory:
Inflammation is the body’s response to injury and infection. It signals the immune system to respond by either treating or repairing the damage or to “prepare for battle” against invaders, such as bacteria or viruses. While some inflammation is necessary (and even vital), chronic inflammation can lead to many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer. Thanks to its curcumin compounds, turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory — and a strong one at that.
One study found that turmeric (and curcumin) is comparable to anti-inflammatory medicines with the added bonus of no side effects. (As a side note, the study also found aspirin and ibuprofen were the least effective.)
Protection from Free radicals:
They are the cause of many diseases and are a known cause of ageing. Turmeric protects your body from these due to its ability to fight oxidative stress. Turmeric may not be a beauty berry like acai, but it can still improve the health of your skin health. Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant and it has the ability to block free radicals. And thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, it may be beneficial in treating psoriasis. It’s also said the combination of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories helps bring out your skin’s natural glow.
Is the #1 cause of death in the world, claiming the lives of over 15 million people — but turmeric may help! Curcumin has the ability to improve the endothelium — the thin layer of tissue that lines blood vessels. (Did you know? Endothelial cells, when laid end to end, could circle the Earth four times!) A 2012 study tracked the endothelial function in a small group of post-menopausal women and endothelial function. One group performed aerobic exercise, while another group ingested curcumin. After 8 weeks, those who took curcumin improved their endothelial cell function just as much as a group who exercised.
It helps with PMS:
If you suffer from menstrual cramps or other PMS symptoms such as back pain and headaches, turmeric may provide some much needed relief! In a randomised, double-blind study, women who received two capsules of curcumin every day for seven days before their period and for three days after for three successive cycles had reduced PMS symptoms.
Rich in minerals:
Manganese and iron are both found in abundance in this fragrant spice and consuming it regularly is an easy and tasty way of adding more of these essential nutrients to your diet.
By increasing absorption within the gut and increasing gut flora (the good bacteria) turmeric helps to make sure that the digestive system is working as it should.
It’s good for your skin:
Turmeric may not be a beauty berry like acai, but it can still improve the health of your skin health. Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant and it has the ability to block free radicals. And thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, it may be beneficial in treating psoriasis. It’s also said the combination of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories helps bring out your skin’s natural glow.