Turmeric is well-known as a curcuma longa – a common herb.
It is often mentioned as queen of spices with golden color and sharp taste.
Turmeric contains a variety of valuable properties including antibacterial, antifungal, etc.
Many studies have suggested that it has positive impacts on our body, especially the brain.
This article focuses on pointing out nutrition facts and 10 benefits of turmeric.
In fact, turmeric is the spice which makes curry yellow in color.
For long, Indian have used turmeric as not only a spice but also a herbal drug.
Curcumin plays a role as main ingredient of turmeric (1).
Facts have shown that curcumin is a strong antioxidant which can prevent oxidative damage (2).
Oxidative damage is a key element which can cause aging (3).
In addition, curcumin is also an anti-inflammatory element (4) which may help with treating many chronic Western diseases.
Bottom line: Studies have suggested that curcumin – the active ingredient in turmeric shows major benefits for many aspects of health.
Health Benefits of Turmeric
Here are top 10 benefits of turmeric which have been proved by scientific studies.
1. Soothes Inflammation
One of mechanisms behind benefits of turmeric is its ability to sooth inflammation.
It sounds strange but inflammation is quite essential.
Not only does it support the body to prevent foreign invaders, inflammation also contributes to repairing damage.
While short-term inflamamtion is beneficial, everything changes when it becomes chronic.
Loading with large amount of curcumin, turmeric can help with inflammation (11).
Bottom line: Curcumin in turmeric shows potential ability to fight inflammation.
2. Fight Signs of Aging
The massive benefits of turmeric make it ideal for fighting aging signals.
In fact, powerful antioxidant agents in turmeric can curb UV progression.
Moreover, they can prevent some environmental factors from doing damage to skin (14).
Notably, curcumin is also popular as an anti-aging agent (15).
How to use:
- Mix 2 spoons of turmeric powder with a cup of warm milk.
- Drink before going to bed.
One of the most outstanding benefits of turmeric is its anti-depressant effect.
Nowadays, depression is among common problems which people usually deal with.
Facts have shown that curcumin is a promising agent to treat depression.
60 patients were divided randomly into 3 groups.
While the first group took prozac – an antidepressant medicine, the second one used curcumin, the other used both (16).
Results showed that while the improvement were the same in group 1 and group 2, group 3 fared best (17).
Accordingly, curcumin plays a role as an antidepressant effectively.
Moreover, turmeric may also reduce brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BNDF) (18).
Fortunately, curcumin can increase BNDF levels (19).
Bottom line: Similar to prozac, curcumin can alleviate depression symptoms, which has been proved by a study in 60 depressed people.
4. Prevent Cancer
When it comes to benefits of turmeric, many people mention its ability to prevent cancer.
Cancer is a deadly disease whose main cause is uncontrolled cell growth.
It is anti-carcinogenic qualities of curcumin that enables it a cancer fighter (22).
Also, a number of studies showed that curcumin may limit cancerous cell development (25).
However, these studies were done in animals.
There is shortage of confirmation about curcumin’s ability to treat cancer in people.
Instead, curcumin is proved to prevent the appearance of cancer since its beginning.
44 men with lesions in the colon which might sometimes turn cancerous participated in a study.
According to the result, 4 grams of curcumin daily could lower the number of lesions by 40% after a month (26).
Bottom line: Curcumin results in several changes on the molecular level which may assist in preventing cancer.
5. Heart Disease
Benefits of turmeric also include heart health improvement.
It fact, heart disease is one of the biggest killers.
They are mainly triggered by endothelial dysfunction (27).
Curcumin makes a great contribution in improving endothelial function (28).
Additionally, curcumin has effects on reducing not only inflammation but also oxidation, which is vital in heart disease.
Bottom line: Curcumin can benefit the treatment of heart disease thanks to its ability to improve endothelium function.
6. Weight Loss
To support weight loss naturally is among typical benefits of turmeric.
Curcumin actually blocks fat storage (29).
Therefore, people can use turmeric to help either slim down or maintain the weight.
Of course, you can’t eat mountain of fatty, sugary foods then wish to offset it by a sprinkling of turmeric.
Instead, it is essential to eat sensibly and add turmeric suitably to your diet:
- Add dried turmeric powder to sauces.
- Sprinkle a little over stir fries.
- Juice turmeric with some fruits and vegetables for an extra health kick.
7. Bacterial Infections
If turmeric for weight loss is the most common keyword people search for, benefits of turmeric on bacterial infection should be another.
Antimicronial components make turmeric ideal solution to bacterial infection (30).
Therefore, turmeric can not only combat a cold, it is also able to fight off bacterial infection.
Moreover, turmeric also boosts the immunity and gives your body better chance to take care of any foreign invaders (31).
8. Reduce Liver Damage
You may not know but curcumin is a leading factor for benefits of turmeric.
In fact, curcumin makes turmeric a promising food for cancer prevention.
This element can also improve liver fibroids.
Furthermore, curcumin promotes dietary carcinogens (32) – substances can enhance protection against liver damage.
It seems to delay the onset of cirrhosis (33) thanks to the combination of anti-inflammatory and antioxidants properties.
9. Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease – a kind of neurodegenerative disease – is a great contributor to dementia (34)
A bad news is that there remains lack of concrete treatment for Alzheimer’s.
As a result, it is important to prevent this problem from its early stage.
Facts have shown that inflammation and oxidative damage play a part in Alzheimer’s.
In reality, curcumin can help deal with both of which (35).
Scientific research also suggests that curcumin can prevent the formation of Amyloid plaques.
Amyloid plaques are key feature of this disease (36).
Therefore, it is easy to understand that Alzheimer’s prevention is one of the best benefits of turmeric.
Another field in which benefits of turmeric shine is arthritis improvement.
For the elderly, arthritis is always a common dread.
There are various kinds of arthritis, however, inflammation in the joints is the most common.
In reality, turmeric can help the treatment for arthritis thanks to its potential amount of anti-inflammatory effects.
Result from a study concluded that curcumin showed greater effectiveness in comparison with anti-inflammatory medicine (37).
Bottom line: Many studies have shown that curcumin is a good choice for anyone who suffers from arthritis.
Take Home Message
In addition to these above benefits of turmeric, it can also brings about many other good effects.
Nowadays, fresh turmeric appears widely in the market. Therefore, you can easily find it.
In case you want to purchase for turmeric supplement, you can either buy it online or seek for supplement stores.
To enhance the absorption of curcumin, you should use it with bioperine.
People believe that without bioperine, large amount of curcumin may pass through digestive tract.
Regarding the uses, people usually drink turmeric milk.
Alternatively, if you can resist the taste of turmeric juice, extract it with some other types of fruit or vegetables.
Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.