Turmeric, also known as “Queen of Spices”, is a spice of gold color and characteristic aroma, widely used in the cuisine of the world. According to the Journal of the American Chemical Society, this spice contains a wide range of antioxidant, antiviral, antifungal, anticancer, antimutagenic and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, it is packed with healthy nutrients such as protein, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin C, E and K, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc. Because of all these healthful properties, turmeric is often used to treat a wide variety of health problems that we will summarize below. Here are 10 healthy benefits of turmeric:
1. Prevents cancer
Turmeric prevents prostate cancer, slows the growth of existing prostate cancers and even destroys cancer cells. Researchers have found that the active components of turmeric make it one of the best protectors against radiation-induced tumors. It also has a preventive effect against tumor cells such as T-cell leukemia, colon carcinomas and breast carcinomas.
2. Relieves arthritis
The anti-inflammatory properties of this spice are great for treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition the antioxidant properties of turmeric destroy the free radicals of the body that damage the cells of our organism. People who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and regularly consume turmeric have been found to experience much more relief in both joint pain and inflammation.
3. Help control diabetes
Turmeric can be used in the treatment of diabetes because of its ability to moderate insulin levels in the blood. It also improves glucose control and increases the effect of medications used in the treatment of diabetes. Another beneficial and significant property of turmeric is its ability to reduce our insulin resistance, which can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.
Despite its benefits, when combined with potent medicines, turmeric can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), so it is recommended to consult with a health professional before starting to take turmeric capsules.
4. Reduce blood cholesterol levels
Studies have shown that simply using turmeric as a flavoring in our meals can reduce serum cholesterol levels. A high blood cholesterol level can cause serious health problems. Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels can prevent a wide variety of cardiovascular diseases.
5. Reinforce our immunity
Turmeric contains a substance known as lipopolysaccharide, which helps stimulate our immune system. Its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties also help to strengthen the immune system. A strong immune system decreases the possibility of colds, flu, cough … If you suffer from a cold, we can accelerate the healing process and feel better, mixing a tablespoon of turmeric powder with a glass of warm milk. Drink the mixture once a day.
6. Heals / disinfects wounds
Turmeric is an antiseptic and antibacterial agent that can be used as a natural effective disinfectant.
If we suffer from a wound, or burn, we can sprinkle some turmeric powder on the affected area to speed up the healing process. Turmeric also helps repair damaged skin and can be used to treat psoriasis and other inflammatory conditions of the skin.
7. Helps control weight
Turmeric can be very helpful in helping us achieve our ideal weight. A component present in turmeric helps to increase the flow of bile, a very important component in the breakdown of fats. So if we want to lose weight, or treat our obesity, we can improve the effectiveness of that weight loss by adding a teaspoon of turmeric to our meals.
8. Prevent Alzheimer’s disease
It is suspected that inflammation of the brain is a major cause of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s. Turmeric helps improve overall brain health, helping to eliminate plaque buildup, and improving oxygen flow. This can prevent or delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
9. Improves digestion
The key components of turmeric stimulate the gallbladder to produce bile, which improves digestion and reduces symptoms of swelling and gas. In addition, it is useful in the treatment of most inflammatory bowel diseases (including ulcerative colitis). However, people suffering from some form of gallbladder disease should not take it as a dietary supplement, as it could worsen the condition. The best way to consume it when we suffer from a digestive problem is raw.
10. Prevents diseases of liver
Turmeric is a kind of natural detoxifier for our liver. The liver detoxifies the blood by producing enzymes. Turmeric increases the production of these vital enzymes, which break down by reducing the number of toxins in our body. It is also believed to strengthen and improve blood circulation which would also promote good liver health.
Taking into account the many health benefits of turmeric, adding this spice to our diet is one of the best things we can do to improve our quality of life. We can add it in powder (in foods like curry, to remove fried dishes, for milkshakes or hot milk, to dress up salads …) or to take it in form of pill like dietary supplement. They should not be used by people who suffer from gallstones or biliary obstruction.