Natural Health Benefits of Tumeric (Curcumin)Our body depends on our circulatory system to deliver oxygen to all of the organs and tissues. It is through this transfer that oxygen-rich blood nourishes all of the organs we need to function on a day to day basis. From the brain which is needed to help us process information and carry out instructions to our liver which helps filter out toxins and keep our body healthy. Western foods and our environment are often filled with harmful toxins, pesticides and heavy metals which we unknowingly absorb (consume) and which stay in our body, silently causing us harm.
For centuries, many cultures have known about the use of tumeric and the many health benefits this spice provides. Eastern families have been cooking with tumeric for centuries. It is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory component, and as we know anti-oxidants are very helpful in keeping our body healthy. The active ingredient in tumeric is curcumin, which can help with a variety of health conditions.
Antioxidants are helpful in reducing free radicals in your body and to help you slow down the signs of normal aging. Oxidation by free radicals can damage cells and organs. Antioxidants are good in supporting your memory function, hearth health, immune system and is good for skin health and protecting you from cellular stress.
As with everything in Western medicine, more human test studies will need to be conducted, but Asian and Indian cultures have been using this spice for over 4,000 years and have lower rates of various illness (such as cancer) compared to the U.S.A. Some stories even indicate tumeric was used over 10,000 years ago! Seven potential health benefits of using tumeric:
1. Help Control Alzheimer's Disease
Studies are currently underway at the University of California to determine the role curcumin plays in feeding more oxygen to the brain. It is believed that the strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin may be able to break down the amyloid plaques in the brain.
2. Curcumin to Prevent Cancer
Jonny Bowden, author of " The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth) sites at least 30 studies that show curcumin is likely to have an anti-tumor effect. He states either the tumor had been reduced in size or that the percentage of animals who developed them diminished.
A New Jersey study found that curcumin inhibited the growth of colon cancer when combined with vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. It is even believed to help prostate cancer.
There are no concrete tests yet to prove curcumin will prevent and cure cancer but there are preliminary indications that when used in combination with a good diet it can be helpful in preventing breast, skin and pancreatic cancer as well as leukaemia and multiple myeloma.
3. Reduce Risk of Heart Attacks and Strokes
Curcumin has a good effect on cholesterol, lowering the bad cholesterol and preventing the build up of bad cholesterol. By this method, curcumin would also stop the build-up of plaque the blocks arteries which are responsible for heart attacks and strokes.
4. Treats Inflammatory Disease
Tumeric has a natural anti-inflammatory quality and may be comparable to many anti-inflammatory medications - without the side effects! Some research has indicated it can help with eye inflammation, inflammatory bowel diseas (ulcerative colitis) and multiple sclerosis.
It is also used to treat joint pain and for muscle pain.
5. Tumeric Can Help Fight Cold and Flu
Early studies have shown than tumeric can help with cold and flu illnesses and reduce the severity of the symptoms.
6. Curcumin for Weight Loss and Digestive Aid
One of the main reasons this spice has often been added to food dishes is it's ability to stimulate the gallbladder and produce bile. We need bile to digest fat and curcumin does this. It also aids in digestion and reduces bloating and gas.
7. Tumeric Helps Control Blood Sugar Levels for Diabetics
Animal research has shown that tumeric caused blood sugar levels to drop. If you are diabetic you should be aware and consult your doctor if you plan on taking these as regular supplements. If your blood sugar drops too low you can suffer from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and if you already suffer from low blood sugar consult a doctor before taking these supplements.
Note: As with all health supplements you should always consultant your doctor or pharmacist, especially if you have underlying health problems or are currently taking other medications. This article is not meant to diagnose any medical problems or be a substitute for medical advice.