The health benefits of turmeric have always been celebrated in India but they are just beginning to become widely known in America. The simple spice can be found in just about any grocery store or market and you may even have a bottle or jar on hand in your kitchen cabinet. Turmeric is a colorful, orange-yellow spice that comes in powder form and most of the world’s supply is grown in India where the Turmeric plant’s roots are gathered, boiled, and dried in super hot ovens. Once fully dry they are ground down into a fine powder, which is very strong and easily stains whatever it comes into contact with. That’s why it’s often used as a dye agent, even though it’s most widespread and common use is as a spice for flavoring foods.
Studies and health experts are now saying that if you eat a little bit of turmeric each day, about a teaspoon or so, you can help your body fight off inflammation, pain, aging, even some cancers, and more. This is mainly due to the most active compound it contains, called curcumin. Curcumin is what makes turmeric anti-inflammatory and it helps to fight free radicals, plaque, and other types of toxins and bad stuff in your body. However, our bodies are not that great at absorbing curcumin by itself. This can be easily overcome by simply adding a bit of black pepper in with the turmeric, which greatly increases absorption. Here are a few of the awesome health benefits that turmeric provides:
Brain Support Boost- Turmeric helps keep brains healthy and functioning properly. Researchers have found that curcumin, the main bio-active ingredients found in turmeric, can cross the blood-brain barrier and bind directly with plaque. It’s been found to have a positive effect on overall cognitive function and may delay or even reverse certain brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Anti-Inflammatory Relief- The curcumin found in turmeric is a strong anti-inflammatory compound that works just as well, if not better, than many of the current anti-inflammatory drugs available. It can help ease inflammation due to inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, pancreatitis and many other diseases.
Aids in Cardiovascular Health- Once again the curcumin naturally found in turmeric is what works to remove built up plaque in our arteries and thus helps to prevent blood clots from forming. It helps our whole cardiovascular system and can effectively reduce levels of bad cholesterol (LDL).
Improves Digestion- The curcumin in it has powerful anti-inflammation effects and works to ease and reduce bloating, gas, and other digestive tract problems. It also stimulates the gall bladder, so people with gall bladder disease should avoid turmeric in a daily basis to avoid the risk of over-stimulation.
There are more positive health effects that can be gained from eating a teaspoon or so of turmeric every day and this video covers a few of them. Try working it into meals, it tastes great in soups, stir fries, and smoothies. Sprinkle a bit on your dinner tonight and start using it to flavor recipes!
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