Top 10 Health Benefits of Turmeric

What is turmeric?

Turmeric is a flowering plant called Turmeric longa from the ginger family and it is native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.

Its root is bright orange-yellow in color and has been used in cooking, medicine and as a dye for millennia.

Additionally, curcumin, the antioxidant found in turmeric, has been shown to have a wide range of therapeutic effects.

Read on to find out all the amazing health benefits of turmeric and why you should add it to your diet today.

What are the top 10 health benefits of turmeric?

1. Turmeric contains a super powerful antioxidant called curcumin

One of the main reasons people promote the health benefits of turmeric is that it contains an antioxidant called curcumin, which also has great anti-inflammatory properties.

Its antioxidant capacity means it deactivates those pesky free radicals that can damage your cells, DNA, and other molecules and contribute to disease.

2. Curcumin prepares your immune system to be more efficient

Turmeric boosts your body’s defenses (white blood cells) and antioxidant compounds, making them more effective.1 It makes your immune system stronger and sharper!

3. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory

Thanks to curcumin, which blocks certain inflammatory reactions in your body and suppresses existing inflammation, turmeric can be useful in the prevention of certain diseases, such as cancer or heart disease, but also in the treatment of inflammatory conditions, such as asthma.1.2

4. Golden Seal Relief

Turmeric can help in the treatment of arthritis, a painful joint condition that affects people from a young age.

Studies have shown that curcumin significantly reduces pain, swelling and stiffness associated with the two main types of arthritis – rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.

The daily dose that provided relief in these studies was around 1,000 milligrams of curcumin.3

Keep in mind that curcumin takes a while to work, so don’t expect instant miracles. In fact, you may not start to feel noticeable improvements until after five or six weeks.

5. Turmeric May Help Soothe Irritable Bowel Disease

Adding turmeric to your diet may be beneficial in helping relieve symptoms of bowel diseases such as IBS or ulcerative colitis.4, 5

Curcumin extracts have been used successfully to relieve symptoms in several studies. Scientists explain that this is mainly due to the anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric.

6. Curcumin in Turmeric May Help Prevent Cancer

Turmeric could help prevent cancer in two ways: the first is that it protects our DNA from damage and prevents it from mutating into cancerous cells.

The second is that even if cancer cells start to grow, curcumin seems to be able to limit or even stop their growth.6

Cancer cells don’t have a natural expiration date like other cells and can continue to grow and multiply unless curcumin comes along.

It is able to trigger an expiration date in at least some cancer cells so that they die naturally.

However, turmeric is not magic, so eating it daily cannot guarantee that you will be 100% cancer free forever or a cure for cancer.

It can definitely help you be healthier and support treatment, but it won’t make you bulletproof.

Find out more about the incredible power of plants here:

7. Turmeric protects your heart and blood vessels

Consuming turmeric can help reduce blood fat levels, including harmful cholesterol, and thus helps reduce your risk of heart disease.7

Of course, a healthy diet is crucial for a healthy heart, but turmeric can offer some extra help.

Studies also suggest that curcumin may improve the health of our blood vessels, making them better able to regulate blood flow and reduce inflammation in blood vessel walls.8

8. Curcumin May Help Relieve Depression and Anxiety

Several studies have shown that taking curcumin supplements significantly reduces symptoms in people with depression and anxiety.9

It’s unclear how curcumin helps, but it’s definitely effective in treating depression.

9. Turmeric May Help Protect Your Cognitive Health

Another benefit that curcumin brings to the table is that it can help protect your memory and prevent the cognitive decline that can occur with age.ten

Scientists are studying how to use it effectively to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

10. Turmeric Extract Supports Liver Health

Curcumin doesn’t just boost liver function and support liver enzyme activity, it can actually help people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease recover.11

How to incorporate turmeric into the diet

Turmeric is usually sold as a fresh root or as a dried powder. It can be said that it is easier to use the powder because the root must first be peeled and grated and also stains your fingers when working with it.

However, fresh turmeric is more nutritious and therefore more potent in its health effects.

To get the most out of turmeric, it’s important to make sure you can absorb its most potent compound, curcumin.

There is a simple trick to achieve this: always combine it with black pepper. Black pepper contains piperine, which increases our absorption of curcumin by up to 2000%!

Many turmeric supplements contain piperine, but it’s also good to follow this rule in the kitchen.

Turmeric is an essential ingredient in curries but don’t be afraid to use it in other stews, soups, risottos, sweet baked goods, smoothies.

And, of course, there’s the Golden Milk – turmeric, pepper, cinnamon and ginger soaked in plant-based, lightly sweetened milk.

Turmeric adds both color and health benefits to your life, so enjoy it liberally whenever you can!

Looking for tasty turmeric recipes now that you know all about the health benefits of turmeric?

Make this turmeric tofu recipe with wild rice.