From South Asia comes a plant from the ginger family called turmeric that has a lot of different uses, and pretty much all of them are great. Not only can turmeric be used in food preparation, but it can also be used in medicine. Turmeric is used as an ingredient in a lot of different foods, but not many people realize how beneficial it can be.
This spice doesn’t seem that it could have a lot of beneficial properties, but many people in Asia swear by its uses. Since turmeric is fairly cheap and readily available anywhere in the world, that makes it even better. So what are all of the great benefits that turmeric can bring into your life? Here are some of the proven health benefits that turmeric brings and how to use it for maximum effectiveness.
The Best Medicine
Turmeric has the same properties of a lot of different medications out there (though you shouldn’t replace these medications if you are already on them). Many of the over the counter medications for everyday relief such as ibuprofen, aspirin or warfarin have the same effect as turmeric. The best part is, the side effects of turmeric are not severe, less common and much more manageable.
Although turmeric has been around for centuries, it has only been a couple of decades where we have found out the medicinal purposes of turmeric. Even anti-depressants such as Prozac have been found to have just about the same effect as turmeric in treatment. One study showed that turmeric’s properties had the same effect in managing manic depression and did not have any negative side effects to boot.
The main component of turmeric is curcumin, which is the substance that was discovered to be useful in anti-depressants and other medicines. It can also help detoxify your body and acts as an anti-inflammatory. The curcumin found within turmeric can really help to kill off a lot of the bacteria in your body, making it easier to not only prevent diseases, but get through ones you might have more quickly.
Inflammation can lead to a lot of different diseases, including ones that will last for the rest of your life. Adding more turmeric to your diet helps prevent these chronic diseases that include Alzheimer’s and heart disease. This is because turmeric does a great job of preventing free radicals from ravaging your body, as your cells are better protected to fight against foreign bodies.
Easing the pain of arthritis is another thing that people are hoping to do, as it is a very common bone disease. Turmeric can assist with that, just as effectively as some of the other prescription drugs. Arthritis pain was found to be lower in those that used curcumin compared to other drugs, and again didn’t have the harmful side effects. It can also help you prevent getting arthritis and other bone diseases altogether.
Cancer is one of the most devastating diseases, and it is estimated that there are more than 1.6 million new cases each year, with almost 600,000 people dying from cancer in that same timespan. For that reason, finding ways to prevent cancer has been on the forefront of a lot of minds, and the properties of turmeric can help you with that goal.
Studies have shown that there are certain types of cancers that curcumin within turmeric can help you prevent, including brain cancer, prostate cancer, leukemia and melanoma. When it comes to skin cancer (melanoma), cells that cause skin cancer tend to die off when introduced to curcumin, often being applied as a topical cream.
For most other cancers, the spread of harmful cells is quelched by introducing curcumin, and that becomes a big part of surviving a cancer diagnosis. Tumors have not grown in many studies where patients were introduced to curcumin, and has even been added to many chemotherapy treatments to enhance effectiveness and ease symptoms. Even deadly brain tumors that are resistant to chemotherapy can be shrunk with the use of curcumin.
Most of us are looking to drop at least a few pounds, and turmeric can help you along your journey. Being overweight naturally causes an inflammation in your body, and turmeric as an anti-inflammatory will get you started on the right path. If you have put on weight, your body has developed new blood vessels. Those that have been introduced to a higher amount of curcumin did not develop these blood vessels and weren’t able to gain more fat.
Not only that, but turmeric can assist in lowering your insulin resistance, which boosts your metabolism as a result. You will also feel less hungry as your digestive system improves thanks to turmeric. People have found that mixing turmeric with lemon water to make tea is a great way to curb appetite while boosting energy and metabolism, leading to more successful weight loss.
If you are one of the many people that are suffering from liver, kidney, stomach or heart problems, turmeric can be a big help. Detoxifying your body will help improve the function of all of your major organs, especially the liver. Even livers that have been damaged from alcohol or fatty foods can treated with turmeric. If you are concerned about your vision, turmeric helps with that, too, as it reduces your chances of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Your blood flow will increase as a result of better liver function, and turmeric even benefits the lining of your blood vessels. This will lead to less clotting and lower blood pressure. With your digestive system in full order, your stomach and kidneys are also going to be running smoother, leaving you feeling immeasurably better.
Summing it Up
From acting as an antidepressant and preventing chronic diseases to helping you lose weight and help your liver, there doesn’t seem to be much that turmeric can’t do. With anything, though, there are side effects that you have to look out for. They are very rare in the case of turmeric, but it’s better to know the warnings before it’s too late.
Pregnant woman should likely not be ingesting turmeric until they are no longer nursing unless it’s a small amount that’s found in food. It could also create low blood sugar, so diabetics need to monitor themselves when taking supplements. Lastly, gallbladders and acid reflux problems might arise, but these are not common.
Whether you are consuming turmeric in food or through a supplement or even drinking it, there are a lot of things to like about turmeric. You don’t have to add much to your daily diet, either, and since it is low in calories, there isn’t the worry about overdoing it.