Health Benefits Of Turmeric: Turmeric, sometimes called Indian saffron or the golden spice, is a tall plant that grows in Asia and Central America. Like many spices, turmeric (Curcuma longa) has a long history of use in traditional medicine.
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.
However, the curcumin content of turmeric is not that high. It’s around 3%, by weight.
Also turmeric (and curcumin on its own) doesn’t absorb well into the bloodstream and having it in curry once a month is unlikely to give you the desired anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
Health Benefits of using Turmeric and Curcumin.
1. Natural Anti-Inflammatory Compound
One of turmeric’s main claims to fame is that it’s commonly used to fight inflammation, and the bulk of turmeric’s inflammation-fighting powers can be credited to curcumin.
This anti-inflammatory ability might reduce the aggravation that people with arthritis feel in their joints.
Curcumin blocks NF-kB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of your cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. NF-kB is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases
2. May Protect Against Heart Disease
A past study shows that curcumin may improve endothelial function or the health of the thin membrane that covers the inside of the heart and blood vessels. This membrane plays a key role in regulating blood pressure.
Curcumin may help protect against age-related loss of function and reduce your likelihood of developing heart disease.
3. Increases the Antioxidant Capacity of the Body
Curcumin is a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure.
In addition, curcumin boosts the activity of your body’s own antioxidant enzymes.
In that way, curcumin delivers a one-two punch against free radicals. It blocks them directly, then stimulates your body’s own antioxidant defenses.
4. May Help Treat or Prevent Diabetes
According to a past review of studies, curcumin may help treat and prevent diabetes, as well as associated disorders like diabetic nephropathy (also called diabetic kidney disease), which affects people with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Curcumin appears to have both an insulin-sensitizing and glucose-lowering effect while improving glycemic regulation.
5. Curcumin May Prevent Cancer
Curcumin has been studied as a beneficial herb in cancer treatment and been found to affect cancer growth, development and spread at the molecular level.
In fact, research in mice suggests that curcumin may help slow the spread of tumor cells and may even prevent tumors from forming in the first place.
Turmeric also helps reduce inflammation and pain from chemotherapy.
6. Enhances Brain Function
Improving overall mental health and cognitive function is one of the most popular turmerics uses.
Curcumin can increase brain levels of BDNF. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a type of growth hormone that functions in your brain.
7. May Play a Role in Treating Depression
Curcumin appears to have an antidepressant and anxiolytic effect through its ability to modulate levels of serotonin and dopamine. Thus, it may be a good complementary treatment for depression.
Depression is also linked to reduced levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and a shrinking hippocampus, a brain area with a role in learning and memory.
Curcumin boosts BDNF levels, potentially reversing some of these changes
8. Improves skin health
Researchers have confirmed that curcumin reduces oxidative stress associated with inflammatory skin conditions. Turmeric also enhances collagen synthesis and significantly speeds up tissue repair.