Turmeric (Curcuma longa), has a peppery, warm bitter flavor and a mild fragrance with a slight hint of orange and ginger. Although this spice is best known as a main ingredient in curry dishes, it also provides the bright yellow hue to products like ballpark mustard. Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has been used for many years as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent in both the Chinese and Indian Medicine systems, to treat conditions including bloody urine, bruises, chest pain, colic, flatulence, hemorrhage, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, and toothaches. Read on to discover more about 5 of the most amazing health benefits provided by one single item that most people can find in their pantry.
Turmeric has demonstrated very potent, but safe anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin ( the yellow or orange pigment of turmeric) is thought to be the primary pharmacological agent. The anti-inflammatory effects of this spice have been comparable to drugs such as hydrocortisone, phenylbutazone, and Motrin. A major benefit to using curcumin is that it’s non-toxic and doesn’t have the same side effects associated to using the drugs listed above.
Curcumin has antioxidant properties that allow it to protect parts of the body from free radicals that damage cellular DNA. This miracle spice also helps destroy mutated cancer cells, preventing them from spreading through the body and causing more harm. One other way curcumin helps to protect against cancer development includes preventing the synthesis of a protein wich is thought to play a major role in tumor formation.
It is thought that curcumin helps prevent the oxidation of cholesterol wich damages blood vessels and causes heart attacks and strokes. This prevention of oxidation may help to reduce diabetic heart disease. Turmeric is also a great source of vitamin B6, which is needed to keep homocysteine levels from getting too high. High levels of homocysteine are considered a significant risk factor for blood vessel damage, and heart disease.
Treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Research states that curcumin may provide an inexpensive, easily tolerated, and very effective treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. Not only does the antioxidant makeup of the turmeric assist in treating bowel disease but curcumin is proven safe in large doses.
Improved Liver Function
Studies suggest that turmeric may elevate levels of two very important liver detoxification enzymes (UDP glucuronyl transferase and glutathione-S-transferase) The result being that turmeric may increase detoxification and reduce the effects of several dietary carcinogens.
These are just a handful of the health benefits you can achieve when incorporating this miracle spice in your diet. So why not start protecting your health today. There are several ways to easily add Turmeric into your daily routine, you can purchase it in pill form from your local health store, create delicious curry dishes for dinner or simply add a few teaspoons a day to your daily post recovery smoothies. Do you know of another miracle food? Share your thoughts below. For more ingredients that pack a punch, check out my Top 5 smoothie ingredients here!