There are several natural compounds people use to improve their health. Many of these compounds have been used for several years.
They are often mentioned in traditional medicine practices. Natural compounds are used to treat everything from pain to cancer.
Turmeric is one of the most common natural remedies used by the general population. This is a plant that is used in food. It is sometimes processed and used for medicinal purposes too.
Find out 9 amazing health benefits of turmeric.
What Is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a plant of the ginger family, native to regions of southern Asia.
It is a beneficial plant you can use in various ways.
The spice comes from the Turmeric plant, which is sometimes also used as a food colorant.
The plant has many chemicals, and the most important one is Curcumin. Curcumin is what you should be interested in if you want to learn more about how Turmeric is useful for purposes outside of the kitchen. This chemical is anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant.
It can bring down inflammation in your body and even help to protect your cells against damage. It has many other health benefits too. Some suggest it may also protect against Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Some countries even use turmeric as a dye.
The plant has several health benefits. This is due to the medicinal properties in the root of the turmeric plant. You can also use it as a remedy for pain. In the modern world, turmeric has also become a popular natural product for people with arthritis.
You can use turmeric as a spice by adding it to your food. Some people also choose to use a curcumin supplement instead, consisting of concentrated curcumin.
This means the benefits may be more significant. This is because the concentration of curcumin in turmeric spice is generally lower than what it is in a supplement.
Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric is one of the most frequently mentioned medicinal herbs. And it has a tremendous ability to treat a wide array of diseases and health conditions as successfully as daily medications people take.
One significant advantage of turmeric is that it fits perfectly into a healthy lifestyle and natural approach towards addressing some medical issues.
What are the biggest benefits of using turmeric?
1) Blood clots
Blood clots stop bleeding. But they can also form in the body it doesn’t need them, thus increasing the risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart disease.
Medical intervention for this problem primarily comprises medications. Unfortunately, this isn’t always ideal due to some side effects, and it’s not uncommon to overdose on Ibuprofen.
On the other hand, turmeric is safe and the risk of adverse effects exists only if you take them in abnormal amounts. A study from the BMB Reports (1) found curcumin has antithrombotic properties, and daily intake of turmeric has anticoagulant effects.
Multiple studies confirm curcumin in turmeric offers benefits for symptoms of depression. For example, one innovative study (2) confirms curcumin can be an effective and safe modality for treating patients with major depressive disorder.
3) Anti-inflammatory properties
One of the most significant benefits of turmeric is its ability to control and decrease inflammation.
Research (3) proves curcumin has a tremendous potential to exert anti-inflammatory properties. It does so by inhibiting a number of different molecules that play a role in inflammation.
It’s important to mention that one research study (4) evaluated various anti-inflammatory compounds and rated their effectiveness. The least effective was Ibuprofen and Aspirin, while curcumin was one of the strongest compounds. The antioxidant effects of the spice also help to fight against free radicals. This may further help to reduce inflammation.
4) Arthritis management
Turmeric helps patients with arthritis too due to the anti-inflammatory effects. Research from Arthritis and Rheumatism (5) reveals turmeric supplementation inhibits joint inflammation.
5) Cancer treatment
Most people don’t know curcumin also slows the progression of cancer and helps cancer patients.
6) Diabetes management
Adding turmeric to the diet is one of the best things you can do to manage diabetes. One study (6) found curcumin could favorably affect multiple aspects of diabetes, including hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia, and islet apoptosis and necrosis.
7) Gastrointestinal treatments
Some studies suggest turmeric could be helpful for gastrointestinal problems too. This is due to the anti-inflammatory properties found in curcumin.
There are a few studies that have shown these benefits. In one eight-week study (7), participants took two tablets per day tablet containing turmeric. There was a significant improvement in abdominal discomfort.
The participants of the study also reported improvements in bowel movements. The researchers concluded that turmeric seems to be effective in helping people with irritable bowel syndrome. However, something to note is that they didn’t use a control group.
8) Cholesterol regulation
Millions of people in the United States have heart disease, and one of its major causes is pre-diabetes. As a result, both diabetics and non-diabetics suffer from oxidative stress, which damages the inside of blood vessels. Due to this damage, cholesterol starts building up. Statin drugs are widely used to address this issue, but they’re associated with multiple side effects. On the other hand, studies show that the administration of low-dose curcumin reduces total and LDL or bad cholesterol.
9) Pain relief
Pain relief is one of the most well-known benefits of curcumin. Scientists explain that this compound naturally activates the opioid system, which is your body’s inherent pain-relieving response. Besides alleviating pain, curcumin also proves to be effective in addressing conditions treated by corticosteroids such as lupus, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic pain, scleroderma.
Effectiveness Of Turmeric As A Health Supplement
Several studies have been conducted to help researchers understand how turmeric might be helpful. These studies often focus on determining how effective turmeric is.
Some studies show turmeric is effective for certain conditions. Other studies have limited findings. There are also a few studies that counter specific claims made about this spice.
The antioxidant activity of turmeric is its main advantage. In addition to this, you should also consider the anti-inflammatory effects. These are the focus points for most studies.
Researchers show turmeric may be useful for the following disorders:
- May help to reduce the risk of certain mental conditions. This includes Alzheimer’s disease.
- May help to lower the risk of certain brain diseases.
- May assist in reducing the risk of heart disease. This is due to the potent antioxidant capabilities. Dietary supplements with turmeric help to reduce inflammation in the blood circulatory system. It also reduces oxidative damage to the heart.
- Studies also show that gastroesophageal reflux disease may improve with the right dose of turmeric. The general health of the digestive system might also improve.
- There are several studies that show turmeric is useful for arthritis patients. This helps to reduce joint pain.
- Some studies have also shown that turmeric is useful in fighting against depression. This is another health benefit of turmeric.
Reviews on other subjects are currently somewhat limited. There are a few studies that show turmeric might hold potential as a cancer treatment. The current evidence is very limited, however.
Thus, turmeric is not yet a potent treatment option for cancer patients. We need further research to provide more conclusive results on this topic. We also need clinical trials on patients affected by cancer.
Side Effects Of Turmeric Supplements
When people use turmeric, there will generally not be any severe side effects. In fact, a lot of patients prefer turmeric over NSAIDs.
Clinical trials show curcumin may yield similar anti-inflammatory effects. It does not, however, cause as many side effects. You should also note that turmeric alone cannot fight cancer and similar diseases. Instead, it is often needed as a complementary therapy.
Research shows you can safely use turmeric as a daily supplement for up to eight months. Safety studies for more extended use when a patient has joint pain or another condition are not available. Thus, it is important to consider safety precautions when using turmeric for inflammation (8) over a longer period of time.
Common Turmeric Side Effects
- Upset stomach
A high dose of curcumin may lead to adverse effects. There has been a report of abnormal heart rhythm in a patient.
People with gallbladder problems should avoid turmeric. People with blood problems should also avoid the supplement. This is especially important for patients who have a bleeding disorder.
People with gastroesophageal reflux disease also need to be careful. There are cases where turmeric caused stomach upset. This may lead to adverse effects of this condition. Research regarding turmeric and stomach ulcers is currently limited.
Some reports claim that curcumin may act like estrogen in the body. This means people with hormone-sensitive conditions should also avoid these supplements. This includes breast and ovarian cancer, among others.
Best Ways To Add Turmeric To Your Diet
There are a few ways that people can increase their intake of turmeric. People add many cancer-fighting ingredients to food.
Some people add turmeric to rice. You could add it to green vegetables. There are a few soups that contain turmeric too. Frittatas and scrambles go well with some turmeric. Some people also toss a small amount of turmeric on roasted vegetables. You can also add fresh ginger with turmeric to health-boosting smoothies.
The main problem with recipes that contain turmeric is that they only use a small amount of the spice. They generally only use around a teaspoon.
Turmeric contains a small amount of curcumin. When a person ingests too little curcumin, they will likely not be able to experience the benefits of turmeric. For this reason, finding ways to increase curcumin intake is important. This is why increasing the intake of turmeric through supplements is often a preference.
Supplements generally contain concentrated curcumin. The curcumin is extracted from turmeric plants and then added to dietary pills. Sometimes people mix curcumin with other ingredients. This may include ground black pepper extract. Compounds in the black pepper extract may enhance the absorption of curcumin in the body.
When taking a supplement, it is important to carefully follow the dosage instructions. Taking too much can lead to more severe side effects. Instead, the person should look at the recommended serving size. This will usually include one or two pills each day. You should not exceed the recommended number of tablets to be taken each day.
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Turmeric is one of the healthiest compounds on the planet, and it comes as no wonder why scientists constantly work on studies to discover new benefits it can offer.
One of the easiest ways to include curcumin in your diet is through dietary supplements.
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