We know turmeric from Indian curry mixtures and like to use this spice in cooking. However, turmeric is not only delicious but also has some health-promoting properties.
What is turmeric?
Turmeric originates from South Asia and has been used as a spice and remedy in India for several thousand years. The yellow root belongs to the ginger family but does not taste as hot as ginger, but is somewhat mildly spicy and slightly bitter.
Turmeric contains various essential oils and polyphenol curcumin. Both ingredients contribute significantly to the health-promoting and healing effects of turmeric.
For example, curcumin has an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect - and is said to relieve pain in osteoarthritis. Always check with your pain doctor near you.
Integrative Physicians across the world agree that turmeric is an essential spice in one's diet.
Turmeric belongs to the ginger family and tastes mildly spicy and slightly bitter. The root contains essential oils and the active ingredient curcumin, which contributes significantly to turmeric being so healthy.
1. Turmeric has an anti-inflammatory effect
Acute, short-term inflammation helps the body repair damage and protects against dangerous bacteria. However, when inflammation becomes chronic, it can harm the body.
Studies show that chronic inflammation can promote or cause, diseases such as metabolic syndrome, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and heart disease.
The curcumin in turmeric has a strong anti-inflammatory effect and is therefore used to prevent and treat diseases. In some studies, the effectiveness of curcumin is even compared with anti-inflammatory drugs.
However, pure turmeric powder contains just three percent curcumin. The power substance is also poorly absorbed through the intestines and quickly excreted by the body. For this reason, some manufacturers add a black pepper extract (piperine) to their products.
By taking turmeric daily this may help reduce inflammation and stave off clinical hypothyroidism. While studies have shown that turmeric help your thyroids function, if you have swollen thyroid nodules then refer to this post.
For the body to better absorb curcumin, piperine is added. However, black pepper hardly increases the bio-availability of turmeric/curcumin but may even pose health risks in amounts above 2 milligrams.
2. Turmeric has an antioxidant effect
Oxidative damage is caused by free radicals, highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons. Free radicals react with organic substances such as fatty acids, proteins, or DNA and can cause disease and accelerate aging processes. Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals.
Curcumin has not only an anti-inflammatory effect but also a potent antioxidant effect. Due to its chemical structure, curcuminoids can neutralize free radicals, making them harmless.
In addition, curcumin also promotes the activity of the body's antioxidants. Thus, free radicals are fought particularly effectively.
Curcumin has a strong antioxidant effect. The active ingredient contained in turmeric can neutralize free radicals and promote the body's antioxidants.
3. Turmeric reduces the risk of brain diseases.
Nerve cells can reconnect with each other. In some regions of the brain, nerve cells can even multiply. The growth factor BDNF (Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor), the so-called neurotrophic factor, is decisive for this multiplication. BDNF is a type of growth hormone that is active in the brain.
Some brain dysfunction, such as depression or Alzheimer's disease, is associated with decreased levels of BDNF in scientific studies.
Curcumin strengthens the concentration of the growth factor BDNF in the brain. This promotes the proliferation of nerve cells and reduces diseases and impairments of the brain.
4. Turmeric reduces the risk of heart disease.
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Heart disease is very complex and is influenced by many different factors.
It is shown that polyphenol curcumin can reduce the risk of heart disease (and cholesterol levels) due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-thrombotic, and cardiovascular strengthening effects.
Curcumin also strengthens the functioning of the endothelium in the heart. The endothelium is a vascular coating that regulates substances between the blood and the vessels.
Reduced endothelial function affects the regulation of blood pressure and blood clotting and is a significant cause of heart disease. Due to its endothelium-strengthening effect, curcumin in turmeric reduces heart disease risk.
Curcumin has a positive effect on heart health. Polyphenol has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory effects and strengthens the functionality of the endothelium.
5. Turmeric to protect against cancer
Currently, research is being conducted to determine how much turmeric can be effectively used in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Curcumin in turmeric may affect the development, growth, and spread of cancer cells.
Studies show that curcumin can inhibit the growth of blood vessels and metastases and contribute to the death of cancer cells.
Some laboratory studies with animals show that curcumin inhibits the development of cancer cells. Although the studies are promising, further research is needed to ensure the efficacy and medical applicability of curcumin against cancer.
Curcumin can affect changes at the molecular level. Curcumin with this ability may also protect against cancer or even be used to treat cancer.
6. Turmeric soothes the stomach
Turmeric, especially the contained polyphenol curcumin, helps with digestive problems and soothes the stomach. Turmeric promotes fat digestion in the stomach and intestines, preventing bloating and flatulence after high-fat meals.
Turmeric's effectiveness in treating inflammation of the digestive system has been scientifically confirmed.
In addition, curcumin has a strong antioxidant effect. The active ingredient contained in turmeric can neutralize free radicals and promote the body's antioxidants.
Turmeric, or rather curcumin, strengthens the concentration of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) in the brain. This promotes the proliferation of nerve cells and reduces diseases and impairments of the brain.
Curcumin also has a positive effect on heart health, as it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and strengthens the functioning of the endothelium. It is scientifically proven that turmeric helps with digestive problems and soothes the stomach.
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