Turmeric is a spice that has been used throughout history, not only for its robust flavor but also for its myriad of health benefits.
The turmeric plant is also in the same family as ginger — the Zingiberaceae family. They’re both also rhizomes, or plant stems.
You can commonly find turmeric in the spice aisle and use it to flavor some popular dishes, such as curry. Its yellow-orange hue stands out from other common spices.
Because of its health benefits, turmeric supplements are becoming more common.
But what are these health benefits? Will turmeric improve your health? Here are 5 benefits of turmeric.
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Inflammation is our body’s natural response when something is wrong. Short-term inflammation isn’t worrisome because your immune system communicates with other bodily areas to repair any damage.
However, chronic inflammation can hinder your natural body processes. This is when anti-inflammatory compounds come in. Turmeric has been used as an anti-inflammatory aid throughout history.
This study shows turmeric blocks NF-kB, a molecule that activates inflammation.
2. Improves Brain Function
This study shows turmeric can increase BDNF, a growth hormone located in the brain.
Lack of BDNF has been linked to many brain ailments, from depression all the way to Alzheimer’s. The secret lies within curcumin, which is a substance in the turmeric plant.
While turmeric may not fully cure these ailments, they can prevent and delay brain-related diseases.
3. Increases Your Body’s Antioxidant Capacity
Oxidation causes many bodily ailments and can even accelerate aging. This is why we consume antioxidants — to try and reverse or delay the oxidation effects.
Fortunately, antioxidants are abundant in many foods and supplements, such as turmeric.
Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant that can fight off free radicals in the body. In addition, curcumin is powerful enough to activate your body’s own antioxidant enzymes.
4. Turmeric Can Prevent Cancer
While its treatment is still debatable, there are studies that suggest turmeric can prevent cancer. For example, this study found turmeric played a role in cancer development, growth, and even the spreading of cancer.
However, it’s unclear how we can dose or take turmeric. However, turmeric gummies and supplements have the most promise.
5. Lowers Your Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is deadly on a global scale. However, it’s complex and there are many steps in the heart disease process. This is why heart disease treatment is difficult.
While turmeric can’t cure heart disease, compounds such as curcumin can help reverse its effects.
For example, curcumin improves the endothelium’s function. The endothelium is the lining of the blood vessels. Endothelial dysfunction is a major heart disease contributor.
Treat and Prevent Diseases with the Turmeric Plant
From protecting the brain to reversing heart disease, the turmeric plant is more powerful than we could ever expect. Turmeric and its compound curcumin benefits our body and even our mental health in many ways.
Whether you take a turmeric supplement or use it in your food, it’s important you consume turmeric daily.
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