Turmeric originates from southeastern India and its most popular form and purpose is of course as a spice also finding its way as a component in the making of curry. Because of its warm and bitter flavor, it`s often mixed with butter, cheese, mustards and powders for the purpose of giving them some color and quite a special taste.
However, apart from its use in cooking, turmeric continues to amaze researchers regarding its wide plethora of health benefits. Although once concentrated on anti-inflammatory properties, support of detoxification, and reduced cancer risk, studies done on turmeric now show that it can be also used to treat heartburn, stomach pain, intestinal gas, bloating, diarrhea, gallbladder disorders, colds, wounds, headaches, bruising, arthritis, and many more.
While researchers once believed that in order to reap its benefits you have to take about 1-2 grams on a daily basis, as people in India do, studies now exhibit possible benefits at lower amounts. Sometimes, even 50 mg daily over the course of a few months have been associated with the same health benefits.
Top Five Reasons to Add Turmeric to Your Diet
1. Fat Blocker / Liver Detoxifier
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, acts as fat blocker, while boosting liver function. It works by suppressing blood vessels used in the formation of fat tissue. It also produces enzymes which break down toxins in the system, which in turn detoxifies the liver.
2. Boosts Immune System
Turmeric contains lipopolysaccharide, a substance which is known to stimulate the immune system. It also possesses antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties, which boost immunity and protect from various ailments. This is why turmeric is an amazing addition to your daily routine, particularly during stressful times and when you`re feeling unwell.
3. Reduces Inflammation
The volatile oil content of turmeric has exhibited notable anti-inflammatory activity in many different experimental models. Curcumin is even more powerful than its volatile oil, which has been found to be comparable to powerful drugs like hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone, and over-the-counter inflammatory agents like Motrin. While OTC or prescription drugs are linked to various toxic effects, turmeric produces no toxicity. It is also worth mentioning that curcumin has been found to work against inflammatory diseases like arthritis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
4. Reduces Cholesterol Levels
Curcumin acts as messaging molecule that communicates with genes in the liver, stimulating the production of mRNA that control the formation of receptors of LDL cholesterol. With more of these receptors, liver cells are capable of clearing out more LDL-cholesterol from the body. In brief, turmeric possesses powerful cholesterol-lowering properties.
5. Cancer Prevention
Due to its antioxidant properties, curcumin protects colon cells from free radicals which may damage cellular DNA. It also inhibits the spread of cancer cells through the body by destroying the mutated cancerous cells. It has been scientifically shown that turmeric is potent enough to stop the growth of already existing cancer and kill off cancer cells. As a matter of fact, many researchers believe that turmeric is one of the most powerful protective agents against radiation-induced tumors.
Top Five Ways to add Turmeric to Your Diet:
Turmeric and eggs go well together, so try adding more of this spice to your hard-boiled, over-easy, scrambled, omelet, or poached eggs.
Add turmeric to your veggies just like you normally do with salt and pepper. It goes great on cooked greens, broccoli, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes.
3. Yellow Mustard
Turmeric gives a unique, yellow color to mustard. Use it as condiment and add to salad dressings along with vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
To make a turmeric tea, boil water and add 2 ½ teaspoons of turmeric, raw honey, and fresh lemon juice. Feel free to use other delicious additions, such as black pepper, ginger, or cinnamon.
Simply add half a teaspoon or teaspoon of turmeric to your favorite smoothie. A tasty combination to try out is 1 cup frozen mango, 1 cup frozen pineapple, a couple handfuls of spinach or kale, 2 cups of coconut or almond milk, and a bit of ginger.