Turmeric Fights Inflammation
Known as the “cleanser of the body” in Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal herb. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric has so many incredible health benefits, one of them being an anti-inflammatory. Curcumin works to decrease inflammation within the body by lowering the amount of two enzymes in the body that actually cause inflammation.
Turmeric contains extremely powerful anti-oxidants that help to destroy free radicals; free radicals damage cell membranes, cause cell death and can even interfere with DNA. It prevents against the oxidative damage that causes aging and many diseases. Turmeric has been proven to inhibit the abnormal multiplication of cells and has been shown to cause apoptosis or cancer cell death.
Due to the powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric, turmeric is actually being shown to help increase and improve the cognitive abilities of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. For those who do not have Alzheimer’s, including turmeric in your diet is a great preventative measure. Take your turmeric in the morning, as it helps with mental clarity, concentration, and increases your ability to focus. So if you have a busy work day ahead of you, take some turmeric! It also helps lower stress, calm anxiety, and is a natural anti-depressant. Turmeric increases both dopamine and serotonin in the brain, two critical neurotransmitters connected to depression.
In one study conducted, one group of individuals was given Prozac to treat their depression, another group was given curcumin (again, this is the active ingredient in turmeric), and a third group was given both Prozac and curcumin. Individuals taking the curcumin supplement reported effectiveness comparable to the group taking Prozac.
Taking the turmeric in supplement form is most beneficial – find a supplement that contains turmeric and black pepper. The black pepper helps the body absorb the curcumin into the bloodstream. It is also more easily absorbed by the body when eaten with a fat so take your supplement with a little avocado or a handful of nuts.
Cooking with Turmeric
You can really add turmeric to anything you’re cooking. Add some to your rice, or quinoa. Add some into an Indian curry dish, or even into your oatmeal, your smoothie or into pancake batter! It has a mild flavor so don’t be afraid to try this amazing health hack!
In good health,