7 Incredible Health Benefits of Turmeric
Growing in popularity in recent years, turmeric can help with certain health conditions and has a TON of health benefits! It's a great addition to smoothies, recipes and warm beverages. Here are some of it's most impressive benefits:
1. Decreases Inflammation in the Body
Inflammation can rise in the body for a number of reasons (dietary, stress, injury etc.) and it can rear it's ugly head through obvious symptoms or linger in the background, quietly disrupting our health and wellbeing. The colour in turmeric comes from the chemical compound curcumin. Curcumin is a supercharged, naturally occurring anti-inflammatory that combats inflammation in the body with effects comparable to some prescribed medications! It's like ingesting a little army of Mike Tysons to punch away the internal inflammation. POW!
2. Contains Powerful Antioxidants
Oxidative damage is thought to be one of the contributors to aging and many other diseases we suffer from. Oxidative damage involve free radicals which are these pesky, highly reactive molecules that damage important building blocks in our bodies like DNA, fatty acids and proteins. Curcumin is a super potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals and even boosts the activity of your body's own antioxidant enzymes. Free radicals just got double teamed! Curcumin blocks them directly and stimulates your body's own antioxidant enzymes.
3. Improved Brain Function and Health
Aging, Dementia, Alzheimer's and some other conditions of the brain are considered to be inflammatory conditions. Dementia is the overarching term that refers to any deterioration of brain function, and Alzheimer's is the most prevalent form of age-related decline. Alzheimer's is characterized by abnormal protein deposits in the brain which damage the tissue with free radicals and inflammation. Que turmeric and our good friend curcumin... It has 10 known neuroprotective actions, so it helps our brain in at least 10 different ways. WOW! Being a powerful antioxidant, it helps fight oxidative damage and free radicals that our brain is subject to in conditions like Alzheimer's. It also helps with the detoxification of heavy metals in the brain! Which along with abnormal protein deposits, can cause damage to the brain's functioning and processing abilities.
4. Can Help Slow the Growth of Cancer
Inflammation appears to play a key role in the development and progression of Cancer. Curcumin is being looked at as a complimentary treatment/preventer of cancer, mainly because of it's amazing anti-inflammatory properties. Lab studies have supported its benefits in reducing the growth of many types of cancer and lesions in test-tube/human studies. Other studies have suggested that curcumin can assist chemotherapy and help it be more effective. In a 30-day study following 44 men with lesions in the colon that sometimes turn cancerous, 4 grams of curcumin per day reduced the number of lesions by 40%!
5. Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the number one cause of death around the world. With this in mind, wouldn't we want to do everything we can to avoid this? Curcumin is one way we can do this! It may help to reverse many steps in the heart disease process and is something we can add into our routine every day. The main benefit of curcumin in respect to heart disease is it's ability to improve the functioning of the endothelium, which is the lining of your blood vessels. Endothelial dysfunction is a major contributor to heart disease and includes an inability of your endothelium to regulate blood pressure/blood clotting. In addition, it helps to regulate cholesterol (contributor to heart disease) in two ways: First, it works as a powerful antioxidant to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol (keeps it from becoming harmful. Second, it increases LDL receptors to give LDL cholesterol more places to go which prevents it from spending too long in our bloodstream and oxidizing.
6. Reduces Pain Caused by Arthritis
The most common conditions associated with inflammation are Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. The dynamic duo, turmeric & curcumin, use their powerful antioxidant effects to help combat these conditions by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals damage healthy cells/cell membranes, and are prevalent in conditions like arthritis because they are culprits causing the joint pain and damage. Through neutralizing these free radicals, curcumin helps to stop their spread throughout the body, thus protecting the cells and joints from their damaging effects. Studies have even shown the effects of curcumin on rheumatoid arthritis to be comparable to those of a medical inflammatory when dealing with morning stiffness and joint swelling!
7. Has Incredible Benefits Against Depression
Depression is linked to a shrinking hippocampus (brain area that plays a role in learning/memory) and reduced levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Curcumin supercharges BDNF levels which helps to potentially reverse some of these changes! In addition, there is also evidence to suggest that curcumin can increase serotonin and dopamine which are key brain neurotransmitters involved in regulating brain health and mood. If that wasn't enough to convince you, a study following 60 individuals with depression showed that supplementing with curcumin for 6 weeks was as effective as Prozac in alleviating symptoms of the condition!! Isn't it crazy how we can heal ourselves with food?
The Bottom Line
Turmeric and its ride or die curcumin have a LOOOOOONG list of scientifically-proven health benefits ranging from treatment to prevention of many conditions and diseases. When combined with black pepper, the absorption of curcumin increases by 2000% (which is why we have black pepper in our Buzz'd Original blend!!). Start putting turmeric in your daily routine!