Turmeric is a peppery spice known for its bright orange colour as well as its role as a major ingredient needed to make curry. This orange spice originates from the root of the Curcuma Longa plant and has been widely used for thousands of years in Asia as a medicinal spice with health benefits for body and brain. It is a shame that we don't eat more of this superfood in Western nations, as the proven health benefits coming from turmeric's main active ingredient curcumin are amazing and truly rank turmeric as one of the most potent superfoods we can eat.
Curcumin, the most important compound in Turmeric for health benefits, makes up only 3% of turmeric by weight which means it can be difficult to get a meaningful dose of this superfood unless consuming roughly 30 grams of turmeric powder a day! If you can do this then great, I take my hat off to your dedication to health or love for turmeric. However, I prefer to use a turmeric supplement which has been extracted to contain 95% curcumin, meaning I can get the health benefits of this superfood ingredient without having to eat nothing but curry!
So even if you don't like/want to eat turmeric every day, the health benefits you can get from a diet rich in curcumin are proven and need consideration, and with some incredible supplements available you can get them conveniently!
The Health Benefits of Turmeric
As explained, the health benefits of the superfood turmeric are based around its main active compound: curcumin. These benefits have been studied extensively and demonstrate strong links between curcumin and improved health and longevity.
Extremely Potent Antioxidant
Curcumin is an extremely potent and stable antioxidant for removing dangerous free radicals from our bodies. Not only does curcumin fight free radicals in itself, it also stimulates the bodies natural free radical fighting enzymes for a doubled antioxidant effect. Why is this important? It is believed that free radicals which cause an oxidative stress on your body is one of the main reasons behind many forms of disease including cancer.
Anti-Inflammatory Super Power
Another cause of almost every Western disease is chronic inflammation including cancer, Alzheimers, and heart disease. Studies of curcumin show it to have stronger anti-inflammatory effects than some anti-inflammation drugs which cements turmeric as a superfood of gargantuan significance in blocking many of the mechanisms of inflammation.
The anti-inflammation health benefits of turmeric have been shown to be able to reduce the risk of a heart attack and even potentially treat heart disease in those that are at risk of heart problems!
Finally, turmeric has been used extensively for its anti-inflammatory effects to treat the painful symptoms of arthritis with results suggesting that this is a very effective treatment for these types of pain. So if you suffer with your joints or an athlete wanting to reduce inflammation in over worked joints then consider turmeric.
The health benefits of turmeric extend much further than just disease and pain prevention, the active ingredient curcumin crosses the blood brain barrier meaning its effects can influence our neurology. Studies have shown that curcumin helps the brain create beneficial hormones associated with increased brain function as well as the prevention of degenerative conditions such as alzheimers and dementia. These amazing health benefits of turmeric support the use of turmeric as a way to improve the way our brain works, our hormones, and ultimately how we feel.
A study into turmeric as a treatment to depression concluded that curcumin supplementation was as effective as prozac at treating depression symptoms! This is again due to the brain and hormone support turmeric can provide and a much more natural alternative to pharmaceutical drugs.
Turmeric: The Ultimate Superfood
The studies in to the health benefits of turmeric prove that this is one of the most potent superfoods you can consume for improved overall health. Either as a preventative supplement for reduced risk of degenerative and inflammation caused diseases or as a treatment for depression, arthritis, and even cancer the health benefits are convincing. Unfortunately a meaningful dose of turmeric's active ingredient curcumin requires supplementation but for us this is a small price to pay for improved health, Turmeric is one bad ass spice.