5 Health Benefits of the Turmeric Plant

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.

1. Anti-Inflammation

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.

Need more diet advice? Continue reading our blog.

The ABCs of Turmeric

Modern life can be stressful and unhealthy. We wake up early, eat processed foods, stress about our jobs, then go to bed late after hours of screen time. It’s no wonder we’re feeling exhausted, burnt out, sick, sore, and unhealthy. Our bodies are missing out on all the good stuff and too few of us are doing anything about it.

If you want to make a change, then there are a few places you can start. You can change your sleep routine, cut down on screen time, and add more vegetables and fruit into your diet. You can also start looking at how turmeric can benefit your body. Read on to find out more about this miraculous ingredient.

What is Turmeric?

Turmeric, or Curcuma Longa, is a plant from the ginger family. The plant has flowers on it, but the roots are where all the magic happens. The roots are used in cooking, health tonics, and more. Once the roots are dried and powdered, they are a beautiful golden spice that turns food a brilliant shade of yellow. Turmeric also plays host to curcumin, one of the most beneficial ingredients for the human body.

How Can You Consume Turmeric?

There are ways in which to consume turmeric for all the benefits of the included curcumin. For a more concentrated, straightforward, and easy consumption method, supplements may appeal. You can buy them in containers with directions on the back for the best way to consume them for their health benefits.

Alternatively, you can spice up your curry with turmeric powder, add it to roast vegetables or frittatas, throw it into a scrambled egg, or even put it with rice. You get to enjoy the flavor, color, and, of course, the health benefits. Speaking of health benefits, what are they?

1. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

It’s important to understand that inflammation is quite an important symptom. Its job is to fight foreign invaders such as bacteria, and repair damage as well. However, long-term and chronic inflammation can be a problem. It causes your body to attack its own tissue and plays a role in many Western diseases.

Because of the prevalence of inflammation, many doctors prescribe drugs to combat it. What scientists are finding, however, is that curcumin in turmeric is matching the effectiveness of some of those drugs. Instead of taking pills, you can consume more curcumin and enjoy the same anti-inflammatory benefits.

2. Reduced Brain Disease Risk

Everyone has a hormone in their brain called BDNF, or brain-derived neurotrophic factor. When you experience a decrease in this hormone, you are at risk of Alzheimer’s, depression, and other brain disorders. Curcumin plays a vital role because it can increase your BDNF levels, delaying or even reversing brain diseases.

Degeneration in your brain is not something that’s easy to catch, but taking a curcumin supplement may be able to make a difference as you age.

3. Cancer Treatment & Prevention

No one can say outright that curcumin in turmeric will fight and prevent cancer. However, there are certainly signs that it may help in the future. Curcumin, in some studies, showed promise by being able to kill cancer cells and reduce blood vessel growth in tumors. Other studies even showed that it stopped cancer from spreading.

However, studies are in their infancy stages, and much of the testing has been on animals. Time will tell where this research will head.

4. Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease

Did you know that heart disease kills more people in the world than anything else? It’s an exceptionally complicated disease and one that has many different risk factors and reasons. At the heart of it, however, is curcumin. This ingredient might be able to reduce some of the steps that lead to heart disease.

In some studies, it could improve your endothelial function. This function drives heart disease, blood clotting, and blood pressure regulation. Curcumin can also reduce oxidation.

5. Helps with Arthritis

In recent years, studies have shown that curcumin in turmeric may be able to help with arthritis. Several studies with real people have shown promise. Some people said the turmeric ended up being more useful for their rheumatoid arthritis than anti-inflammatory drugs. Much of its benefits with arthritis comes down to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Conclusion

Turmeric is more than a delicious spice that you put in Thai and Indian curry to give it flavor and color. It’s also an important and beneficial ingredient that can have unique health benefits. It has promise in cancer research, arthritis, brain diseases, and much more. It’s also something you can consume in ease in a supplement form, or add to all manner of delicious meals.

If you haven’t yet experienced the benefits of this magical ingredient for yourself, then there’s no time like the present. You’ll be amazed at what it can do for you.

Author’s Bio

The ABCs of Turmeric alison heferMy name is Alison Hefer, I am originally from Cape Town, South Africa but I have spent the last few years in beautiful New Zealand. I write articles for various lifestyle websites including Goodhealth.co.nz and regularly contribute articles about the always changing world of SEO to Clickthrough.co.nz. I am a busy blogger/mom by day and avid writer by night.   My career goal is to one day write a novel of my own. Connect with me via email at ali@clickthrough.co.nz.