Right off that bat I have to apologize for implementing my cringiest article title to date. I promise you the content is better than the heading. Once again I’m coming at you with one of my classic small changes, in this case to your daily food intake, that can lead to significant benefits for you and your body.
Turmeric is a root that is most commonly used to spice up certain dishes. While I won’t go as far as to call this a “superfood,” it without a doubt has some major benefits to its consumption. This is mainly found in curcumin, the compound found within turmeric and most often associated with the health benefits that turmeric has to offer. I mention this only because I will be going back and forth between using turmeric and curcumin in the coming paragraphs. Just think of them as basically the same thing and you won’t get confused.
I don’t like to delay with long intros so let’s get right into these benefits, shall we?
This is the overall most significant health benefit provided by turmeric. Inflammation in the body leads to all kinds of issues, and in truth is often caused by a typical, unhealthy diet. Things like processed foods and alcohol can lead to what is essentially chronic inflammation in the body. This can cause cancer, heart disease, obesity, and other diseases/issues that you definitely want to avoid. Thankfully, the anti-inflammatory properties found in curcumin combat these issues and gift your body with various anti-inflammatory benefits, including…
Relieves muscle and joint pain: Turmeric can help keep joints from getting inflamed or swollen, and is particularly helpful for those with rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis is a chronic anti-inflammatory disorder, and a study by the US National Library of Medicine showed that daily curcumin as a treatment was more effective than certain prescription drugs.
Promotes healthy cholesterol levels: Chronic inflammation and high blood sugar are the main contributors for high cholesterol levels. The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin will then help to keep cholesterol levels healthy. In fact, another study performed in India by the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics found that curcumin was comparable to the commonly prescribed drug, Lupitor, in bringing down cholesterol levels. A volunteer study found that 500 mg. of curcumin ingested daily dropped total cholesterol by almost 12%. Turmeric works!
Promotes heart health: You’re probably aware that heart disease is the number one cause of death in the world, largely in part to chronic inflammation. Therefore, turmeric can help prevent heart disease and the risk of heart attacks. It does this by improving the lining of the blood vessels, helping our bodies regulate blood pressure and clotting. Increasing curcumin intake has even been compared to aerobic exercise in its effect on a healthy heart!
I’m sure you’ve heard of foods/beverages that have antioxidants. It may be how you justify your nightly glass of red wine. Antioxidants are great because they rid the body of free radicals, which can lead to cancer and other diseases. Processed foods are often the source of these free radicals. Turmeric helps to boost antioxidant enzymes in your body and combat the free radicals.
Plus, antioxidants have anti-aging properties. Turmeric can help to fight oxidative damage and improve the overall look and health of your skin. So stay beautiful with some turmeric.
Stress is terrible for us, and can lead to a plethora of health issues. Adaptogens are natural substances that essentially help the body with stress. They literally help you adapt to stress and be more resilient to stressful difficulties that you encounter. And guess what? the curcumin in turmeric is a well-known and powerful adaptogen, and can help decrease the secretion of stress hormones that infiltrate your body. Stress sucks. Turmeric helps it suck less.
Get your turmeric fix
There you have it. anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, adaptogen. The three A’s of turmeric benefits. Now that you know the benefits, it’s time to discuss how to implement the spice into your life. Some people swear by what is either called Turmeric Lattes or Golden Milk. It is essentially mixing milk with some turmeric. I tried it. Not a fan. If you can stomach it then by all means go for it.
I myself prefer putting in in my eggs. I find it is the easiest way and gives some nice seasoning. Scrambled, omelettes, whatever your go-to egg is, throw some turmeric in there. I also will season chicken with it. Sometimes just by itself or in a nice stir-fry dish. Additionally I’ll sprinkle some on my rice, mix it into some soup, or put it in hummus. All of these are easy ways to get some health benefits while slightly changing the seasoning of basic foods you most likely eat weekly, if not daily.
Try it out. I have been implementing turmeric in my diet for almost a year now and while I don’t immediately feel like it is changing my life, I don’t really have any inflammation issues, my skin seems to be doing pretty well, and I haven’t picked up any heart diseases. But my words can only carry so much weight, so I encourage you to try it. You may find that you’re very into the actual seasoning itself, not just the benefits.
Let me know what you think and if you like this article hopefully you’ll be curcumin back for more! I’m sorry.