Turmeric is a plant that grows throughout South East Asia. This common spice is related to ginger and is used in traditional medicine to help relieve pain, inflammation, and fatigue. The rhizomes (underground stems) of turmeric are used the same way that ginger is—minced or ground up into a fine powder.
This spice has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for a long time and modern medicine is starting to catch up. We are now finding that many of the reported benefits of turmeric have a solid scientific basis for them.
What is the Benefit of Turmeric?
Turmeric is high in curcuminoids. These compounds bolster your body and brain, helping you to feel and look stronger and healthier. Here’s how.
Inflammation is the body’s response to injury. When you get injured or sick, your body uses inflammation to alert the immune system to the tissue that needs repair.
But when inflammation is chronic, this helpful system becomes harmful. Coronary diseases, metabolic syndromes, Alzheimer’s and even cancer are correlated with inflammation.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, helps to reduce inflammation at the molecular level.
Turmeric Increases BDNF
Curcumin also helps increase Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). This is a growth hormone. When you have higher BDNF levels, your body can generate new brain cells.
High BDNF levels decrease your likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s. This hormone improves your memory, your cognitive abilities, and your mood.
Turmeric Fights Free Radicals
Free radicals are reactive molecules that have become decoupled from electrons. They wreak havoc on the body. Free radicals may be responsible for aging and disease.
Turmeric is an antioxidant. Antioxidants allow your body to fight free radicals and helps increase your body’s antioxidant defenses.
Lower Risk of Heart Disease
Inflammation is indicated in heart disease, but that isn’t the only reason that turmeric helps reduce your chance of coronary problems.
Endothelium is the lining in your blood vessels. Dysfunction in this lining disturbs your body’s ability to regulate blood pressure. This lining clots your blood and performs various other necessary functions for your circulatory system. Endothelium dysfunction is one of the primary drivers in heart disease.
Compounds in this ancient plant improve endothelial function. One study found that those who took curcumin supplements after coronary artery bypass surgery had a 65% reduced risk in heart attacks.
How to Take Turmeric
Eating sufficient quantities of turmeric daily to get medical benefits is difficult. You need to take the spice at high levels in order to receive benefits. Taking a supplement will reap better results.
The active compounds present in the plant are poorly absorbed by the body. Pair turmeric with black pepper and fatty foods in order to increase your nutrient absorption.