Turmeric is one of the health foods that has become popular as a superfood. Indeed, with its many benefits to health, it deserves to be in that category. I have made it my daily routine to put turmeric in my morning hot chocolate.
This addition does change the taste; adding a hint of spiciness to it which warms me up as I drink. It may be an acquired taste but a healthy one so try dissolving some in your hot chocolate and give it a sip. Try it out for at least a month and experience the positive results. Check out more health benefits of turmeric after the jump.
Here are 10 health benefits of turmeric and its main component curcumin that you may not be aware of.
One of the reasons I add this to my hot chocolate is to avail of its anti-inflammatory effects. We tend to have inflammation in the body when we do physical exercise for the first time or when we change exercise routines. It also helps reduce inflammation for faster healing of wounds.
2. Eases Joint Pain
For people suffering from arthritis, turmeric helps manage inflammation and pain around the joints. One of the best ways to take turmeric instantly is through a smoothie. Add just a small amount of the powder or a freshly grated amount and blend to your health.
Turmeric has antioxidant properties that protect the skin from environmental pollutants. It boosts the body’s natural antioxidant capacity which in turn strengthens the body’s defense system. This is good for our appearance and for our overall health.
An added property of turmeric is that it is antimicrobial which further boosts the body’s immune system. Consuming it with black pepper enhances the body’s consumption of turmeric. You may try adding this combination next time you make curry.
5. Heals the Gut
Most of our health problems stem from digestive issues. It is important to heal the gut in order to maximize nutrient absorption of the food you eat. Turmeric can be used with pumpkin to make a hearty, gut-healing soup.
6. Improves Liver Function
Turmeric’s antioxidant effect seems to be so powerful that it can help reduce or stop toxin damage of the liver. This is good for people who need to take strong drugs for conditions such as diabetes and other health issues. Strong drugs may hurt the liver with long-term use so adding turmeric to your diet can help detoxify the liver.
7. Can Help Fight Cancer
Did I mention that turmeric is anti-inflammatory, has antioxidant properties as well as antimicrobial? This makes it a powerful ingredient in cancer prevention and treatment. So make sure to add turmeric to your daily intake to help your body prevent cancer.
8. Protect and Improves Brain Health
Turmeric is also brain food and can help enhance long-term brain health. It can also help stave off conditions such as Alzheimers by protecting brain functions as we age. If we want to keep our memories sharp into old age, let’s be sure to get our daily dose of turmeric.
9. Helps Protect the Heart
Turmeric has been shown to protect the heart by reducing inflammation, free-radical damage and strengthening heart functions.
10. Improves Mood
This spice has been used in treatment of depression. It has been shown to reverse detrimental brain changes that happen in depressed person’s brains. At the same time, it helps boosts the mood to combat depression.
We must always remember that too much of a good thing can be bad. The same is true for a spice that’s considered healthy. Turmeric has many health benefits but it also has some side effects that apply to your personal condition. So here are some side effects to consider:
When taking in large amounts, turmeric can result in an upset stomach. The same components in turmeric that aid in digestion can irritate the stomach when taken in a large dose as it stimulates production of gastric acid.
One of the side effects of turmeric many purifying properties is that it thins the blood which may make you bleed more easily. This can help in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure but for those taking certain medication, this may not be applicable. For example, pregnant women should avoid taking large doses of turmeric. It’s best to consult your doctor.
Apparently, foods seasoned with curry, of which turmeric is a major spice, stimulates contractions and eases child birth. Studies also suggest that turmeric can ease PMS symptoms.
There are many ways to add turmeric to your diet aside from adding the powder to your hot chocolate, smoothies and curry. You can also use it in your salad dressings or drink it as a tea or even as an ingredient in your juice. Plus, you can sprinkle it or use it fresh for your main dishes and sauces.