Turmeric is an extremely popular spice, which is commonly found in most South Asian homes, especially in India. This vibrant yellow-colored spice not only adds beautiful, diverse flavor to dishes but has been used as a powerful medicinal remedy for over a thousand years!
Turmeric powder comes from the root of a plant named Curcuma longa, which belongs to the ginger family. Turmeric contains many essential and beneficial medicinal properties that have proven to be effective against many disorders and ailments.
One of the most important compounds present in turmeric is called curcumin and is linked with most of the health benefits one can reap from turmeric. Curcumin is also the compound that gives turmeric its vibrant yellow hue.
Ayurveda and modern medicine both agree that this spice has proven to be beneficial to both the body and the brain.
Health-related benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin
Turmeric powder is considered by many as a miracle spice, which contains so many essential and beneficial compounds and properties. Some of the health-related benefits attributed to turmeric are:
- Ease inflammation and arthritis pain: Turmeric is a strong anti-inflammatory substance, which makes it an effective remedy for treating inflammation and the conditions associated with it, like arthritis. Research has shown that using turmeric powder or supplements in conjecture to allopathic medicines has shown much higher effectiveness.
- Reduce Depression Symptoms: Depression and mental ailments can drain a person of their vitality and are often linked with lower levels of BDNF. BDNF is a protein that is found in the spinal cord and the brain and is responsible for regulated communication between the nerve cells in the body. Curcumin can effectively increase the BDNF levels in the brain, thereby helping relieve the symptoms of depression.
- Treating Diabetes: Since turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory substance, it shows promising effects on diabetes as well. Curcumin supplements have been observed to lower blood insulin levels after 16 weeks of consumption. It could also potentially help prevent type 2 diabetes by bettering insulin resistance, reducing cholesterol, and lowering blood sugar levels.
- Improved Liver Function: Turmeric also contains strong anti-oxidizing properties, which help prevent and remove free radicals in the body. Turmeric has been noticed to have a detoxing effect on the liver and helps improve liver function as well.
- Weight loss: Even though there aren’t many conclusive links to why turmeric can aid with weight loss, preliminary research suggests that it can help improve the results of your efforts. According to many people who have used turmeric for this purpose, there are definite signs to show that turmeric is indeed effective. Its antioxidant properties aid in better digestion of food, enhance metabolism and also stimulate the gallbladder! Turmeric has also proven to be useful in reducing bloating and symptoms of gas.
- Boosts immunity: Turmeric also contains a compound called lipopolysaccharide, which is loaded with antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal effects. These properties help activate and enhance the immune system. A teaspoon of this yellow powder mixed with a glass of warm milk once a day will help you avoid getting the flu.
- Great for the brain: Turmeric contains an aromatic turmerone compound that is beneficial to your brain. The compound aids in the regeneration and repair of brain stem cells. Curcumin also has the potential to increase the levels of a protein in the brain called brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF. It shows significant effects on the nervous system and can help in preventing brain disorders as well.
- Lowered Risk of Heart Disorders: Curcumin has shown promising results in preventing heart disorders. The main benefit of using curcumin is that it improves the function of the endothelium, the lining of the blood vessels in your body. It also reduces blood pressure, blood clotting and benefits other factors relating to the heart. It also reduces inflammation, which is an important factor causing heart disease.
- Skin Health: Turmeric has many brilliant properties like anti-inflammation, anti-microbe, and anti-oxidation. It is shown to be extremely helpful in maintaining the health of your skin and prevents conditions like acne, eczema, and more.
- Can Help fight Against Cancer: Turmeric powder has been extremely beneficial in cancer treatment. Studies show that it can affect the growth of cancer cells by contributing to the death of cancerous cells. It also reduces the growth of new blood vessels in tumors and slows down the spread of cancer.