There’s a lot of buzz out there about turmeric. Read this guide to learn about the top health benefits of turmeric.
Curious to know about that orangey-yellow spice known as turmeric? It adds a bold flavor to dishes like curry and is constantly used in Indian cuisine.
But unbeknownst to some, this spice has been around for centuries—dating back 4,000 years to be exact. It has an extensive history of being used for medicinal purposes, only now has modern medicine recognized.
Thanks to this discovery, over 3,000 publications mentioning turmeric has come out within the last 25 years.
All this information probably has you questioning the benefits of turmeric, right? To find out what they are, keep reading!
What Is Turmeric?
Before we get into the benefits section, let’s go over exactly what this spice is. For starters, it belongs to the ginger family. It even looks similar to the ginger root—except the inside is a bright orange color.
Turmeric as a powder is more commonly known. To create turmeric powder, the stems are dried and then ground.
It can be used as a spice in dishes or as an ingredient for DIY beauty treatments. There are even turmeric supplements you can take.
Turmeric gets its healing powers from compounds called curcuminoids. From these compounds are the spice’s active ingredient—curcumin, which possesses all the benefits.
Now that we went over a rundown of this brightly colored spice, it’s time to move on to the benefits.
What Are the Benefits of Turmeric?
Who knew something that adds so much flavor and intensity to cuisine could also yield so many benefits? To know what they are, check out our list below!
Boosts Stress Tolerance
As the day goes on, stress gets to us more and more. We’re no longer able to control our emotions which leads to elevated stress levels.
Because turmeric contains curcumin, also known as an adaptogen, it’s able to decrease stress hormones in the body. This results in better adaptability to stressful situations.
When our diets consist of processed foods, lots of sugar and alcohol, it leads to chronic inflammation. This results in swelling, redness, even pain. Sometimes it’s so severe it can lead to heart disease and obesity.
To combat our body’s inflammation, consume turmeric either as a spice in dishes or as a supplement. For some, it’s more effective than aspirin in relieving swelling and pain.
Improves Liver Function
Thanks to turmeric’s antioxidant capabilities, it appears to stop your liver from further damage. Toxins, poor diet and alcohol consumption are all guilty of leaving our livers in deplorable conditions.
Turmeric acts as a superhero, protecting our liver from harmful villains. However, it’s best to consult your doctor before relying solely on turmeric as the only answer for your liver.
Are you wondering why turmeric makes for a great ingredient in food? Because it helps the digestion of said food!
A healthy digestive tract leads to less bloat and gas which leads to fewer stomach issues and a slimmer figure. Not only does turmeric encourage healthier digestion, but it also helps relieve gut inflammation and improves intestinal permeability.
While more research is needed, turmeric can be used as a treatment for those with IBS or irritable bowel syndrome.
Increases Antioxidant Capacity
Free radicals, scientifically speaking, are uncharged molecules paired with valence electrons. This makes them highly reactive.
These atoms are associated with diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. They’re also responsible for aging and oxidative stress—damage to living cells and tissue.
With the help of turmeric and its antioxidant properties, it works to neutralize free radicals. Even so, curcumin increases the activity of the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.
One small study showed the effects that turmeric has on depression. The result? It worked as an antidepressant.
Depression is caused by reduced levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF. Curcumin increases BDNF levels along with serotonin and dopamine (brain neurotransmitters).
Improves Joint Health
Since turmeric is anti-inflammatory, it can help improve joint function. It does this by preventing the joints from becoming swollen and inflamed.
It especially works efficiently on those with arthritis and osteoarthritis.
As a preventative measure, taking turmeric before joint damage occurs offsets these medical conditions. For this, you’ll want turmeric in supplement form.
Supports Weight Loss
When we’re constantly dealing with stress, it becomes apparent in our weight. When the stress hormone cortisol is overstimulated, that causes an increase in fat around our stomach.
Consuming turmeric keeps your hormones balanced while also keeping your weight in check. While taking turmeric regularly, it’s also shown to reduce the number of fat cells.
You’ll be on your way to a slimmer waistline thanks to this miracle spice!
Maintains Cognitive Function
Remember BDNF levels we mentioned earlier? Turns out, this type of protein also helps the brain grow.
As we get older, our brain doesn’t work like it used to. This could cause reduced cognitive function and memory problems.
Turmeric solves this by maintaining our brain health and working memory. With those BDNF levels higher, good-for-you neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine can travel through the brain better.
Free radicals, especially those caused by pollution, constantly attack our skin, creating wrinkles and a dull appearance. Instead of using dozens of creams, serums, and over-the-counter drugs, turn to turmeric instead.
It yields anti-aging properties which encourages a more vibrant, youthful appearance. You can take it in supplement form or use the powder to make DIY beauty masks.
When combined with other skin healthy ingredients, wrinkles will be the last thing on your mind.
As for your teeth, you can use turmeric as a natural toothpaste to achieve bright, pearly whites.
Time for Turmeric
Whether you incorporate it in a dish or take supplements, the benefits of turmeric are ones you can’t ignore. This spice is what’ll help you achieve a healthier you, inside and out.
Why not try turmeric in a smoothie? Check out our smoothie selection along with our tune-up options!