Turmeric used as a coloring agent in curry is the healthiest spice. It is the most powerful herb on the planet due to it long-range of benefits. Among all spices, it is found to have higher healing property.
More than 6000+ studies had been done to find the efficiency of benefits revealing its importance.
What makes Turmeric so effective?
Turmeric is used for thousands of years in India as a spice and even as medical herbs.
They provide color to curry and even used as a pain reliever, improving skin health, curing wounds, etc. These are very few benefits that are known by people from a long time.
There is much more a turmeric powder can provide. All these benefits lie in one compound that it contains.
Turmeric contains highly active compounds that make it highly beneficial. But with a cost. There are many things you need to care while taking a higher dose.
It is completely safe to consume. There are no major side-effects, but few precautions should be taken.
In an upcoming article, we will explore its benefits, side-effects, precaution, easy to use tips, and much more.
1. Contains Extra-Ordinary Compound Curcumin
Turmeric is used in curry from a long time. But the dose is quite less to gain complete benefits.
Curcumin is the important compound in turmeric that provides potential benefits. It possesses high anti-inflammatory, anti-antioxidants, and healing property. But the major concerns is that curcumin content is just 3%. (1)
Since we add a limited amount of turmeric powder in food, it is found that we eat less than 1 gram through our diet. To get benefits we need a high dose of curcumin daily.
Another concern, curcumin is poorly absorbed by our body.
How to get enough curcumin?
Consume black pepper, it contains piperine, a natural compound that increases absorption of curcumin by 2000%. (2)
You can also take it with fatty meals, as curcumin is fat soluble.
But, it also contains other compound that provides similar benefits like curcumin.
Along with curcumin, turmeric contains another unique compound that is also found to have many benefits.
Turmeric contains quite a low amount of phytosterol but that is enough to reap its benefit. 1 teaspoon contains 1.804 mg of phytosterol.
Phytosterols include beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol. Both possess high antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and sedative property.
Did You Know?
Turmeric is very popular in India. Studies show that Alzheimer and Cancer rates in Indian are 10-20% less than that of Americans.
2. Turmeric’s Curcumin & Phytosterols Compound Provide Anti-Inflammatory Property
A very serious and sensitive topic around the world…
Inflammation is our body’s response to diet, lifestyle or environment changes. It’s a form of self-defense to stay protected from bacteria, virus, etc.
Inflammation is good as it heats up and kills harmful virus or bacteria. This a good inflammation as it is short-term inflammation maintaining the body balance.
Chronic (Low grade) inflammation is termed to be the worst part of inflammation as it disturbs body balance. Today’s major modern health issue like cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer, degenerative disease, arthritis, etc. are caused due to chronic inflammation. (13, 14, 15)
It is important to take care of inflammation and bring it to normal or healthy level.
Curcumin and Phytosterol in turmeric are active anti-inflammatory compounds that is found to reduce the chronic inflammation. (16)
NF-kB is a major reason for the onset of chronic inflammation. It controls over 500 different genes. To control inflammation it is important to get anti-inflammatory agents that slow NF-kB process.
They block NF-kB from traveling to nuclei that stimulate the gene related to inflammation.
Want safe anti-inflammatory products that don’t do harm as other pharmaceutical drug do?
Aspirin and ibuprofen are even found to be less effective to cope inflammation compared with curcumin as published in Journal Oncogene.
Wrap up: Curcumin and phsterols are strong anti-inflammatory campounds that provdide protection from chronic inflammation.
3. Turmeric Boost Body’s Antioxidants Capacity
Oxidants are present naturally in our environment and also produced inside our body. They are produced in our body to fight virus, bacteria, and microbes. So they are important to stay protected from those diseases.
But these are a major concern with it.
Oxidants in high amount can turn to be harmful. On the daily basis, we are exposed to more oxidants from pollution, alcohol, and smoke.
Oxidation or oxidants are free radicals, a highly active molecule with a unpaired electron. They react to with organic substances like protein, fatty acids, and DNA.
To provide protection from these free radicals, antioxidants comes into play. They neutralize those free radicals by changing their physical structure.
Wrap up: Curcumin is powerful antioxidant that provides protection from free radiclas. Also it boost the activity of body’s antioxidant.
4. Turmeric Boost Complete Brain Health and Wands Away Psychological Disorder
Heard about, the brain is completely developed at an early stage of childhood?
It’s even possible at every age…
One of the major reason, turmeric is considered as the healthiest spice, due to it’s high efficiency to boost brain health.
Factor 1: BDNF hormone
Brain is made of millions of neurons that are connected to each other. With a better connection, our brain performs at an optimum level.
They multiply and grow in presence of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), a growth hormone in the brain (22)
The cognitive function like memory, concentration, problem-solving skills, etc. also improves.
Few studies have also found curcumin to lower the depression level. An Indian study found that curcumin was effective as procaz (drug to treat depression), showing a similar result. (27)
Factor 2: DHA & ALA
DHA and ALA are omega 3 fatty acid has a wide range of health benefits including building a healthy nervous system in our brain as well as our body. (30)
With high DHA level in our body, the brain is able to absorb more fatty acid.
Curcumin boosts the function of the enzyme’s desaturases and elongases to increase production of DHA and ALA, improving the function of brain relying on DHA. (31)
The cognitive functions like memory, concentration, problem-solving skills, etc. also improves.
Wrap up: Curcumin boost congnitive function and lower the depression level.
To more how to boost brain health read Proven Brain Foods That Make You Healthier, Smarter For Lifetime
5. Curcumin Is Useful In Preventing and Curing Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer is a common neurodegenerative disease spread around the world in elder people. It is also the leading cause of Dementia.
In this condition, brain cognitive function decline as there is damage to neuron. There is no remedy found to cure it, so prevention is the best and the only step.
Turmeric’s curcumin is found highly efficient to protect from Alzheimer. It decreases the low-density protein oxidation and free radicals production in the brain. (32)
Along with, it prevents buildup and promotes cleanup of Amyloid plaque, a major reason for Alzheimer’s disease (33).
Phytosterols also provide additional protection from Alzheimer’s due to its high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant property.
Fact: India has the lowest Dementia rate in the world. They consume 25 to 50 mg of turmeric daily, which prevent inflammation in the brain.
Wrap up: Curcumin protect from oxidation, free radicals and Amyloid plaque. These 3 are the major reason for Alzhimer disease.
6. Curcumin Fights Almost Every Type of Cancer Even It Has Curing Property
Cancer is among the deadliest disease. In this, cancerous cells damage other healthy cells nearby.
Cancer is caused due to increase in oxidation and free radicals. Cancer like colon cancer, lung cancer, tumor, leukemia (blood cancer), prostate cancer, etc. is degrading the quality of life.
All these cancers are caused by uncontrolled growth of cells due to an increase in oxidation and free radicals.
Curcumin supplementation has found to provide benefits for multiple types of cancer. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant property of curcumin prevents damage of cells. Many studies have found that curcumin prevents development and spread of cancer.
American Cancer Society, a test has found that curcumin interferes with several important pathways in cancer development, growth, and spread. Those pathways are angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels), metastasis ( a spread of cancer) thus promoting the death of cancerous cells. (34).
It is also found beneficial against every type of cancer. making it most preferred drug option or maybe future cancer drug alternative…
Researchers at UCLA found, it improve effectivity of cisplatin, a chemotherapy used for many types of cancer. Cisplatin and curcumin work better in suppressing cancer cell growth. Nutrition and Cancer journal stated that curcumin makes cancer cell more susceptible to chemo while protecting healthy cells from the toxic effect of chemo. (41)
It’s not officially termed as a cancer drug at present but you can enjoy its benefits. Add 1 teaspoon turmeric with black pepper to improve curcumin absorption.
Wrap up: Curcumin is potential to be future cancer drug. Enjoy the benefit as it can protect and even have potential to cure cancer at early period.
7. Curcumin In Turmeric Reverse Arthritis
Arthritis is another disease that is the biggest concerns in the modern world.
With the increase in age, a joint problem has become common to every people. Arthritis risk is due to the increase in inflammation in the joints.
But there is a sign of relief…
With a high anti-inflammatory property, turmeric has been studied for its effectivity on arthritis. Many studies have confirmed that curcumin to be more effective than arthritis drug (diclofenac sodium) (42).
Those studies have confirmed the curcumin can be potentially used to cure and prevent rheumatoid arthritis or other types of arthritis conditions. In fact, there is no side-effect that arthritis drug have.
Wrap up: Curcumin is found to be the most preffered to cure and prevent arthrites without any side- effect.
8. Turmeric Improves Skin Health & Fights Aging
You can gain healthy looking skin by adding turmeric to the diet.
It has been used from a long time to get a healthy and good looking skin. Turmeric has an antiseptic property that is found to reduce the acne and acne scars when applied over it. (43)
A pinch of turmeric with milk or sandalwood is applied for healthy skin. It promotes healthy cell production by removing the dead skin.
It is used as antiseptic for cuts, burns, bruises and as an antibacterial agent. It is also found to protect from UV ray damage to the skin. (44)
Another skin issue is aging. An early sign of aging are wrinkles or dull skin.
Oxidation and free radicals are responsible for degenerative diseases like cancer, heart diseases, including aging. As curcumin is found to possess high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant property, it can also provide protection against aging.
Curcumin is also used as a sunscreen because it acts as a barrier against UV rays. (45)
Wrap up: Curcumin benefits skin externally by imporving its look, protecting fom infection and UV radiation. Internally it protects from oxidation and free radicals.
9. Turmeric Is Best Natural Anti-coagulants / Antiplatelets
Searching for a better and safest anti-coagulants?
Some of the most used drugs to prevent blood clotting are.
- Clopidogrel (Plavix)
- Enoxaparin (Lovenox)
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others)
- Warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
People with deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism (health issues caused to due to an increased blood clot) are treated with the above drugs.
But these drugs have common side-effects like
- Excessive bleeding
- Back pain
- Difficulty breathing
Turmeric is found to be the best alternative for these drugs. It is safe to consume without side-effects until consumed in large amount.
In the mid-1980s, researchers suggested curcumin as the safest and effective alternative to people with vascular thrombosis.
Wrap up: It is the best and safest Anti-coagulants / Antiplatelets, to give it a try. Get suggestion from your doctor before switcing to it.
10. Turmeric is Natural and Effective Painkiller Alternative
Turmeric is well-known for the medical property of painkiller.
People are using it as pain reliever from the year.
U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, suggest using curcumin as an alternative for dangerous opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory. They said that it can provide relief pain for severe burns without any major side-effects. (46)
Curcumin is been used as a pain reliever.
Wrap up: Curcumin is the best and safest Painkiller alternative
11. Curcumin Is 400 Times More Potent Than Diabetes Drug
Turmeric is among the most beneficial for lowering blood sugar and insulin resistance.
In 2009, Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Communications publish that turmeric can reverse diabetes. (47)
A research on rats found that turmeric possesses antidiabetic property and enhanced pancreatic regeneration that provides better protection and even potential cure for diabetes. (48)
Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory property of curcumin increase its antidiabetic property. Along with, it lower the complications like neuropathy and retinopathy (damage to blood vessels causing blindness). (49)
Curcumin is found to be 400 times more potent that diabetic drug Metformin in activating AMPK which improve insulin sensitivity in Type 2 Diabetes. (50)
Wrap up: Turmeic antibiabetic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant property provide it potential to prevent and treat diabetes. Also it protect from other complications during diabetes.
12. Curcumin Result Healthy Heart Similar To Aerobic Exercise
Heart health issues are the most common in modern lifestyle. It is the biggest killer.
For a healthy heart, it is important to include physical activity. Nothing can neglect the need for physical activity.
Turmeric is found to have the potential to provide benefits to heart health similar to exercise.
American journal of Cardiology had found to lowers the post-bypass heart attack risk by 56%.
Endothelium health is vital as it maintains arterial elasticity that checks healthy blood flow. Disturbance in endothelial dysfunction is regarded as the major cause of heart attack, high blood pressure, and unhealthy blood clots.
Curcumin also lowers the bad cholesterol and its anti-inflammatory and antioxidants protect from plaque build in arteries, preventing atherosclerosis. 16-week studies on mice showed 26% less fat deposit in arteries. (53)
Wrap up: Curcumin plays wide role in improving heart health. It lower cholestrol, improves vascualr endothelium system functioning and protect from inflammation.
13. Turmeric Is a Natural Steroid for Multiple Health Problems
There are many health issues that we suffer due to increased inflammation. There are many medications available that provide relief but at cost of many side-effects.
If you are suffering from any of the health issues then you can try turmeric or curcumin, without any side-effects. UK’s National Health Services (NHS) listed benefits that curcumin can provide without any steroid
- Delayed wound healing
- Diabetes onset
- Mood disturbances
- Muscle weakness
- High blood pressure
- Stunted growth in children
- Rapid heartbeat
- Thinning skin
- Increased appetite (leading to increased weight)
- Kidney and thyroid issues
- Risk of infection
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Chronic pain
If you aren’t having any health issue, then also you can take it to prevent any health issues.
14. Curcumin Cures Inflammatory Bowel Disease
People suffering from stomach or digestive system face problem due to medicines damage their stomach mucosal lining.
Corticosteroids are taken to manage inflammatory bowel disease and to reduce pain symptoms. But it damages the inner lining of the stomach.
For this, people tried curcumin and found a better result than corticosteroids, without doing any harm to the stomach. Its inflammatory property helped to heal the gut and supports the growth of probiotics (healthy bacteria).
Turmeric is safe to consume but it can have few side effects due to a higher dose.
- Mild, itchy rash
- Hyperactive gallbladder contractions
- Increased menstrual flow
- Increased risk of bleeding
- Increased liver function test
- Hypotension (lowered blood pressure)
- Uterine contractions in pregnant women
Care should be taken as it can interfere with anti-coagulants like aspirin, clopidogrel and warfarin.
Apart from the above, no toxicity has been found instead of consuming a large amount.
Turmeric Nutrition Facts
Turmeric is used sparingly in the curry, 1 tsp can color the whole curry. Due to this reason, we get a very low amount of curcumin or other vital nutrients from turmeric.
It contains quite a good source of essential nutrients like
- Omega 3 – 23 mg
- Omega 6 – 114 mg
A small quantity can provide
- Manganese – 26%
- Iron – 16%
Contains no cholesterol but a unique compound known as Phytosterols.
Word of Caution – When To Avoid It
During pregnancy or lactation, avoid curcumin pills.
Avoid turmeric while suffering from gall bladder disorder, excess dose can lead to bile duct obstructions and stomach upset as well.
Turmeric has blood thinner property and prescribed to people suffering from an excess blood clot. It is suggested to limit the dose as it can increase blood loss as it slowdown blood clotting. Avoid it, if you are taking blood-thinning drug Aspirin.
In women, it acts like estrogen and can, interfere with the menstrual cycle and worsen the hormonal imbalance related disorders and conditions.
People suffering from Jaundice should not consume turmeric as it further increases the yellow shade of skin and eyes caused by Jaundice.
How And How Much To Include Turmeric
Add inside your curry. For curry lover, it’s sad to say that they don’t get enough amount of curcumin to reap its complete benefit.
Turmeric Dose To Reap Complete Benefit
- Take 1 glass hot milk
- Add 1 tsp turmeric powder
- Mix well
- Drink every day
Tip: Add 1-2 crushed black pepper. Wheres milk contains fat that also improves curcumin absorption.
Good for arthritis and other health issues stated above.
50 milligram of turmeric for 7 months have linked to complete health benefits that it provides.
Carrots and pumpkin cooked in turmeric retained more Beta-Carotene.
Grilling meat produces heterocyclic amines (HCAs) from the protein. Marinating the meat before grilling prevent the formation of HCAs (responsible for cancer).
If you want to prefer to get the benefit of curcumin then you can prefer a curcumin capsule.
Turmeric is safe to consume but don’t exceed intake. A small dose will also provide enough curcumin to reap its benefit.
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