In case you haven’t heard this yet, turmeric just might be the most effectively nutritious spice in existence. Turmeric is a root that when grated and turned into a powder is most widely known for turning curry that vivid yellow color. The people of India have known about the magical properties of turmeric for some time, and science is just now catching up. Narrowing the health benefits of this spice down to just five was a feat in itself, but here goes.
1. Powerful medicinal properties
Curcumin, a component of compounds called curcuminoids, is the main active ingredient in turmeric. Curcumin is an extremely powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. This ingredient is tough for your body to fully absorb on its own, so adding a few shakes of black pepper to whatever you have your turmeric in (the possibilities are endless, really) will majorly help your body out. These powerful anti-inflammatory properties assist your body in fighting off foreign invaders and also with rebuilding. Chronic inflammation is a major contributor to many Western diseases (heart disease, arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s, etc.) and curcumin fights that inflammation on a molecular level to help stop those scary diseases in their tracks. Antioxidants protect your body from free radicals caused by your daily environment. Those pesky free radicals can cause many issues, but fine lines and wrinkles are one of the major ones.
2. Improved brain function
The neurons in our brains are constantly forming new connections, but these numbers can increase and decrease at any time for any number of reasons. Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) is a type of growth hormone that functions in the brain. Many common brain disorders and diseases have recently been linked to low levels of BDNF, Alzheimer’s being number one. Our new best friend, curcumin, boosts that hormone, delaying degenerative brain function or possibly stopping it all together. Sold yet?
3. Helps prevent cancer
Cancer is very generally characterized as the uncontrollable growth of cells. Great news, though: Curcumin can get itself in there and slow down and, in some cases, stop this cell growth at a molecular level. This is a fairly new study, but seems extremely promising.
4. Crazy helpful for battling depression
Going back to that hormone, BDNF in the brain affects lots of our daily functions. Curcumin has the ability to be a very effective antidepressant. When a person has low levels of BDNF it can lead to a shrinking of the hypothalamus, which plays a crucial role in learning and memory. Curcumin can reverse this process. When you boost your levels of BDNF, your levels of serotonin and dopamine (the happy hormones) rise, causing you to naturally become less depressed.
5. Delay effects of aging
Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory are words generally used to sell anti-aging beauty products, right? Instead of spending much more money than necessary on those types of products, try adding more turmeric to your diet. You’ll be amazed at the results.
Not only can turmeric potentially save you from cancer, a brain disorder or joint problems, it can also help you age flawlessly. What’s not to love about the spice of 2016?
1. Gunnars, Kris. “10 Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric.” Authority Nutrition. N.p., Jan. 2016. Web. 11 Mar. 2016. <https://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric/>.