Turmeric (Curcuma domestica) is a herb plant belongs to the Zingiberaceae family like cardamom, ginger, galangal, and temulawak. This plant grows well in tropical and subtropical countries. Traditional Indian and Chinese medicines have known the benefits of turmeric for health from the demonstrated anti-inflammatory (painkiller), antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties. Feature image credit to Pixabay.
Turmeric’s root (Curcuma longa), also known as ‘the Golden Goddess’ in India, has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic traditions. Indians drink turmeric milk to get benefits of turmeric for health. They drink it to cure colds and coughs. Asians add turmeric as a spice to make a delicious curry and other types of food.
With over 200 phytochemical compounds, the pigments known as curcuminoids give this radiant-root its characteristic vibrant color.
More than 7000 studies have been done to prove the benefits of turmeric for health in preventing and curing many diseases.
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What Are The Nutrients Behind The Benefits Of Turmeric For Health?
Nutrient Facts of Turmeric (% of Recommended Dietary Allowance, RDA, per 100 g)
Source: USDA National Nutrient Data Base
Almost all studies have reported that curcumin compounds in turmeric are the most active substance compared to other compounds.
Here are some benefits of turmeric for health that we should know:
1. Turmeric Prevent And Cure Anemia
The high content of Fe or iron (517 % RDA per 100-gram serving) is the factor that makes turmeric very good in preventing anemia. Turmeric is a great source of Fe for our body besides other sources like spinach, chicken liver, oyster, beef, sardine, chicken, turkey, fortified cereal, pumpkin, broccoli, brown rice, etc.
Tip: to absorb the most iron from the food we eat, avoid drinking coffee and tea or consuming calcium-rich foods. To improve the absorption of iron, eat it along with a good source of vitamin C such as orange, broccoli, or strawberries.
2. Turmeric Can Overcome Inflammation
Inflammation is a process that occurs as a reaction to infection of cells or tissues in the body. Bacterial infections and free radicals that trigger the release of cytokine compounds cause most of the inflammation in the body.
Based on research published in the Journal of Oncogene, curcumin contained in turmeric can enhance cells immunity and inhibit the production of cytokines and prostaglandins. It overcomes the inflammation in the body and reduces the pain. Make a pot of turmeric tea and drink it to get the benefits of turmeric for health, especially to overcome inflammation.
How to Make Turmeric Tea
- Boil four cups of water.
- Add one teaspoon of ground turmeric and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
- Strain the tea through a fine sieve into a cup; add honey and/or lemon to taste.
- Add a pinch of black pepper to increase absorption.
3. Turmeric Can Prevent And Cure Cancer
Cancer is the third position of the top cause of deadly diseases in the world after heart disease and stroke. This disease arises from mutations of genes in the body. Cancer cells grow out of control and spread to other organs. Unhealthy lifestyle, viral or bacterial infection and free radicals can cause cancer.
Free radical compounds such as hydrogen peroxide can trigger cells damage and trigger the emergence of cancer cells. Research proves that antioxidants in turmeric can prevent the influence of free radicals and inhibit the growth of cancer cells. We can also find various antioxidants in colorful fruits and vegetables.
Other studies also mention that curcumin compounds in turmeric can kill cancer cells and increase the effectiveness of conventional drugs used in the treatment of cancer. Click how to use turmeric as cancer therapy to learn it further.
4. Turmeric Can Prevent And Reduce The Arthritis Symptoms
Arthritis is an inflammation that occurs in the joints. This disease triggers pain in the joints. Many herbal can be used to reduce the symptoms of arthritis or inflammation of these joints. One of them is turmeric.
Curcuminoid compounds and essential oils in turmeric reduce the production of inflammatory compounds in the joints. The most abundant components of turmeric essential oil are aromatic turmerone (25.3 percent), a-turmerone (18.3 percent) and curlone (12.5 percent). Other constituents include caryophyllene (2.26 percent), eucalyptol (1.60 percent) and a-phellandrene (0.42 percent). These components of turmeric essential oil make it potent to naturally fighting serious health concerns ( credit to draxe.com ). Learn more about the benefits of aromatherapy massage here.
Research shows that the active compounds in turmeric can work optimally if we consume it before the pain appears. In other words, if we have arthritis, we can consume turmeric on a regular basis without waiting for the pain to appear. Learn further about how to use turmeric for arthritis pain.
5. Turmeric Can Relieve Ulcers
Maag (ulcers or stomach ulcers) is one of the diseases that attack the gastrointestinal tract. Various factors that can cause maag are irregular eating patterns and bacterial infections that injure the stomach wall and emerge inflammatory. Turmeric contains curcumin compounds that are able to stimulate the mucus secretion or mucus protector of the stomach wall.
Curcumin compounds are also able to inhibit the production of stomach acid that causes heartburn in patients with ulcers. Consuming turmeric regularly can help healing wounds in the stomach while increasing appetite. Find how to cure maag or ulcers naturally, by using turmeric.
6. Turmeric Can Relieve Stress And Grow New Brain Nerves
Modern society today, especially those who are busy working or studying, have a high risk of suffering stress problem. Stress is caused by various factors such as life burden, psychological problems, and other things that concern a person’s mind, hence the brain.
The brain is one of the important organs in the human body that controls all body activities, thinking ability and memory of a person. Vitamin B6, B9, and B12 are the most prominent B-vitamins involved in homocysteine metabolism.
B-vitamins effects are particularly prevalent to numerous aspects of brain function. The aspects are energy production, DNA/RNA synthesis/ repair, genomic and non-genomic methylation, and the synthesis of numerous neurochemicals and signaling molecules.
Researchers from the Government Medical College, Gujarat, India found that the effect of curcumin in turmeric is similar to the effects of antidepressant drugs such as Prozac. Turmeric extract has been used in the treatment of depression for a long time without side effects.
Substances contained in turmeric can increase the flow of nutrients and oxygen to the brain so that the brain can function optimally. The result is the brain works well, able to produce the hormone melatonin and serotonin. Both of these hormones help improve memory and overcome other mental illness.
Thus, to help calm the nerves and relieve stress, consume turmeric in the form of herbs or supplements and mix it in milk, or drink turmeric tea
Even we can relax our mind by smelling the turmeric powder odor. Have you ever smell the turmeric powder odor? It is fresh and has a relaxing effect on the mind.
7. Turmeric Can Lower Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol is one type of fat or lipid. It is classified into two types: bad cholesterol or Low-Density Lipoprotein ( LDL ) and good cholesterol or High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL). High levels of LDL or bad cholesterol in the body can increase the risk of heart disease and constriction of blood vessels or atherosclerosis. Curcumin compounds contained in turmeric have the capability to reduce bad cholesterol levels in blood plasma and increase good cholesterol levels required by the body.
8. Turmeric Can Overcome Acne And Prevent Skin Aging
Both adolescents and adults can experience skin problems. Acne is a skin disorder characterized by inflammation and lumps on the surface of the face and other body areas.
Acne is usually caused by P.acne bacteria infection and pore blockage due to dead skin cells. One of the benefits of turmeric is to relieve P.acne infection while eliminating acne scars. This is because turmeric contains antibacterial compounds.
Consuming turmeric routinely can slow down the skin aging caused by free radicals. What gives turmeric its antioxidant nature is phenolic in curcumin. Turmeric is 5 to 8 times stronger than vitamin E and 10 times more effective than vitamin C. It is more powerful compared to grape seed, eugenol ( in cloves ) and capsaicin ( in cayenne ).
Turmeric is one of the spices gives the most powerful antioxidants effects to the body. Learn about top 10 powerful antioxidants here. Adding turmeric in our diet helpful in supplementing our antioxidant intake. Turmeric helps in many ways to delay signs of ageing. In other words we can have ageless appearance by consuming turmeric.
To get the antioxidant properties from turmeric, take it on a daily basis. Pausing turmeric dosage again increases the activity of free radicals. Find interesting ways to add it to our diet. It can be turmeric milk, turmeric tea, curry spices, etc.
Leek and cardamom are other antioxidants sources to protect our skin from damage by free radicals.
9. Turmeric Can Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s is one of the mental illnesses correlated with dementia or senility. Alzheimer’s usually affects the parents and appears in the elderly. The benefits of turmeric for health especially in preventing Alzheimer have been researched for years. Curcumin as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action improves the cognitive functions in patients with Alzheimer Disease ( AD ).
Consume turmeric routinely can prevent damage to the brain’s nerves that can cause memory loss. It can stimulate the formation of cells in the brain and accelerate the stimuli from sensory cells to the brain.
10. Turmeric Can Prevent Diabetes
Diabetes is one of the diseases of metabolic disorders that needs to be wary of, and is categorized as “silent killer disease“. So, medical tests needed for women over 40 years old include sugar blood-monitoring. This disease arises due to disruption of pancreatic cells that produce insulin and unhealthy lifestyles. A bad habit of eating too many carbohydrates, lack of sleeping and lack of exercise weaken the action of insulin hormone.
In diabetics, insulin cannot work optimally in regulating blood sugar levels due to loss of sensitivity. Curcumin compounds contained in turmeric can lower blood sugar levels and keep them in normal condition. Consuming turmeric on a regular basis can help the body maintain insulin sensitivity and prevent the onset of diabetes. This is mentioned in the results of a research scientist from Auburn University published in Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Communications.
11. Turmeric Can Help Us Lose Weight
Turmeric helps us to get slim and maintain ideal body weight. A study proved that rats fed with turmeric extract did not gain weight or suffer from fat cells addition in the abdomen compared with mice fed the same amount but not accompanied by turmeric intake.
Thus, if we want to lose weight and want to have a slim and ideal body, there is no risk in consuming herbs turmeric every day (in safe amount consumption), of course with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
12. Turmeric Can Accelerate Wound Healing
Communities in India have been using turmeric in Ayurvedic medicine for a long time. They apply turmeric powder-water mixture to speed up wound healing process. Curcumin compounds contained in turmeric can accelerate wound healing by reducing inflammation in the skin region.
13. Turmeric Can Clean The Liver
Turmeric contains curcumin active compound which can trigger the formation of glutathione S transferase. The compound is one of the enzymes that play a role in the process of detoxification or toxins neutralization in the body. Glutathione S transferase enzyme is also capable of stimulating repair and regeneration of damaged liver cells. Consuming turmeric on a regular basis can prevent liver diseases such as HEPATITIS and CIRRHOSIS.
14. Turmeric Can Help Treat Asthma
Asthma is one of the respiratory diseases caused by allergies and inflammation of the respiratory tract muscles. Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory compounds that can relieve and prevent the recurrence of asthma. Drink a glass of warm milk mixed with a spoon of turmeric powder to relieve shortness of breath and asthma symptoms.
15. Turmeric Can Relieve Fever And Flu
Fever and flu can be caused by the presence of bacterial or viral infections that enter the body. Curcumin compounds contained in turmeric can effectively alleviate fever and flu. If we have a cold, try to drink milk that has been mixed with turmeric powder available on the market.
Mix one teaspoon turmeric powder and one teaspoon honey in a glass of warm water to get a powerful drug for influenza curing. Drink it before your night sleeping and you will surprise that your nose stop producing the thin liquid one day after drinking the mixture magically.
How Much Turmeric is Safe for Consumption to Get The Benefits?
The myriad benefits of turmeric for health is undoubtedly and proven safe if consumed daily. The Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) in America has labeled Generally Recognized as Safe “(GRAS) for turmeric ( GRN number 000686 ).
There are no significant side effects caused by consuming turmeric, either if consumed in the short term or in a long period of time. However, we should limit the consumption of turmeric per day.
According to University of Maryland Medical Center, the permissible dosages of various forms of turmeric ( for adults) :
- Cut root: 1.5 – 3 g per day
- Dried, powdered root: 1 – 3 g per day
- Standardized powder ( curcumin ) : 400 – 600 mg, 3 times per day
Excessive consumption of turmeric can cause disruption of the stomach and liver.
Turmeric should be avoided for those who have kidney stones and bile problems. Consult a doctor first if we want to consume a supplement contain turmeric, especially if we are taking hypertension drugs such as aspirin because turmeric can cause contra-indications and thicken the blood in the body.
Be wise in consuming turmeric, as in consuming other foods, to get the optimal benefits of turmeric for health. Something good can be bad if we use it excessively!
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