Chances are you’ve heard about the amazingness of turmeric spreading in the news lately. But this ancient herb has long been known for its healing properties before it became a mainstream wonder child of the real food world. Largely known for its anti-inflammatory abilities, turmeric boasts many health benefits. Introduce this herb it into your diet along with black pepper to receive its full benefits: pepper multiplies the body’s absorption of turmeric by 2000! (source)
According to Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD: “The turmeric root yields a yellow powder that is the principal ingredient in yellow curry. It is also one of the most common ingredients used in Ayurvedic medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties. No other food ingredient has such a powerful anti-inflammatory effect.“
Here are some of the Best Benefits of Turmeric:
1.) Turmeric is cancer fighting.
Inflammation has been known as the fuse that ignites cancer, and being that turmeric has such strong anti-inflammatory properties, it is known to be one of the most cancer-fighting foods. Attributed to the high intake of turmeric in their diet, Indians have 1/8 as many lung cancers as Westerners, 1/9 as many colon cancers, 1/5 as many breast cancers, and 1/10 as many kidney cancers (source).
2.) Turmeric relieves arthritis.
Arthritis by definition is inflammation of the joints. Turmeric helps to reduce inflammation in the body, thus relieving arthritis. A recent study found that pretreatment with turmeric completely inhibited the onset of rheumatoid arthritis in rats. This study also found that using turmeric for pre-existing rheumatoid arthritis resulted in a significant reduction of symptoms.
3.) Turmeric is a natural antibacterial agent.
Turmeric has natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties that can aid in the healing process. It can also help repair damaged skin and can be used in the treatment of psoriasis.
4.) Turmeric can protect against Alzheimer’s.
A number of studies have suggested that curcumin, the principal molecule in turmeric, protects against Alzheimer’s by activating a gene that codes for the production of antioxidant proteins. In addition, likely due to the prevalence of turmeric in the Indian diet, Indians have one of the lowest rates of Alzheimer’s in the world (source).
5.) Turmeric can help maintain weight & promote weight loss.
Research suggests that curcumin may be helpful in the treatment and prevention of obesity-related chronic diseases. Additionally, it can be useful in increasing the flow of bile, which aids in breaking down dietary fat.
6.) Turmeric is antioxidant/immune-boosting.
“A general immune system booster due to its high antioxidant capacity, turmeric is five to eight times stronger than vitamins C and E, and even strong enough to scavenge the hydroxyl radical, which is considered by some to be the most reactive of all oxidants” (source).
There are so many more benefits of this wonder herb, but I just wanted to touch on some of my favorites today. Happy curry-ing! :)