You must have heard about several claims of “super foods” for quite some time, most of which are baseless. Turmeric stands out as one of the best super foods you can find. Turmeric is the brilliant yellow or orange powder commonly used as a spice that is derived from a plant called Curcuma longa. Turmeric has been used in Asia to treat various health problems for several centuries. In traditional medicine, turmeric was used for a wide array of conditions like menstrual cramps, aches and pains, colic, and jaundice. Let’s look at what makes turmeric a paleo.
Turmeric is naturally extracted from the rhizome of the Curcuma longa plant, which has been cultivated for thousands of years in India, China, and other parts of the world. If not used fresh, the rhizomes from Curcuma plant are boiled for about 40 minutes and then dried in hot ovens. They are then ground into deep-yellow-orange powder to be used as spices, curries, or dyes.
Studies that have been carried out on turmeric revolve around an active antioxidant called curcumin. Antioxidants help in the elimination of free radicals in the body, which are responsible for cell damage and illnesses.
Contains No Anti-Nutrients
Turmeric doesn’t contain compounds that interfere with the normal breakdown of food. In addition, it doesn’t interfere with the absorption of minerals and nutrients along the digestive system. Its great taste can indeed make meals enjoyable, which gives you an opportunity to explore various food sources with higher nutritional values.
Has Healing Effects
Turmeric has been used in India, China, and other countries in treating illnesses like diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and arthritis. Although more evidence is still required, there are claims that low, regular doses of turmeric are beneficial in cancer prevention. Unlike most anticancer agents that impair the immune system, curcumin has restorative abilities. Curcumin regulates cell function by disrupting its growth, which is a large factor in cancer development. It’s also suggested that people in India who rely on a traditional diet containing turmeric have lower bowel cancer rates.
Improves Brain Function
Previously, it was thought that neurons couldn’t divide and multiply after early childhood, but it’s been shown that it happens. Neurons have the ability to establish new connections as well as multiply and increase in number in certain areas of the brain. Curcumin promotes the production of growth hormone that functions in the brain, which reverses mental illnesses and age-related cognitive decline. It is also thought that it can boost your memory and make you smarter.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Heart disease is the major global killer. Studies have shown that curcumin in turmeric can improve the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels. In one study, curcumin effect on preventing heart disease was equated to exercise, while another one shows it works as effectively as some medications. In short, curcumin has beneficial effects on factors that play a role in heart disease. It improves the function of endothelium and is a potent anti-inflammatory agent.
Uses of Turmeric
- Spice: Turmeric is commonly used as a spice in many dishes all over the world. Its use began in traditional Asian culinary dishes. It is also used in spicing homemade soap to improve its color while instilling benefits on the skin.
- Whitening teeth: While turmeric is renowned for its staining prowess, it is commonly used in teeth whitening. This is possible as it doesn’t come into contact with enamel long enough to change its color.
- Foundation customization: Adding a touch of turmeric to your tinted moisturizer can help you get a perfect glow that matches your skin tone. Turmeric is a common recipe used by women in face creams and body scrubs for a glowing skin.
- Stomach soothing: If you have a stomach that doesn’t behave, turmeric can help. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), you should take 500mg of specific turmeric extract twice daily to alleviate digestive issues.
Turmeric is a paleo that is extracted from a plant called Curcuma. Turmeric is commonly used as a spice in preparation of dishes. Curcumin is the main ingredient in turmeric that comes with many health benefits. Turmeric can be effective in treating and preventing inflammatory illnesses like arthritis. Studies are still underway to find the effects of turmeric on other diseases like heart disease and cancer.
- Health Benefits of Spicing the Food with Turmeric – Consumer Health Digest
- Why is Turmeric a Great Antioxidant? – Live Lighter