PLEASE CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL BEFORE MAKING ANY DIETARY CHANGES TO DETERMINE IF IT IS RIGHT FOR YOUR NEEDS.
Turmeric is a superfood that I became familiar with after being prescribed ibuprofen for issues related to a car accident. When ibuprofen is taken for long periods of time, it can cause kidney issues. The prescription was not working that well anyway, so I needed to find an alternative. This research brought me to turmeric. It is also known as Curcuma Longa, it is rich in a compound known as curcumin, which is responsible for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and other medicinal properties. Many high-quality studies show that it has major benefits for your body and brain. Chinese Medicine uses turmeric to treat a number of conditions and scientists believe that curcumin is one of the reasons why turmeric is so powerful.
Here are 3 evidence-based health benefits of turmeric
Short-term inflammation is important because it is the body's response to injury and it works to heal wounds. The issue is when people experience chronic, low-level inflammation. Curcumin fights inflammation on the molecular level and suppresses the molecules known to cause issues and various degenerative conditions in the body. This makes it just as effective as many anti-inflammatory drugs that tend to cause health issues when used long-term. There have also been studies that show it can ease arthritis pain.
2. Linked to Improved Brain Function and a Lowers Risk of Brain Diseases
Turmeric has the ability to boost brain power while also reducing the chances of cancer growth, cancer development, Alzheimer's, and depression. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a type of growth hormone that functions in your brain, is one of the main drivers of neurons being able to form new connections, multiply, and increase in number. Decreased levels of this neuron have been linked to depression, Alzheimer's, and other common brain disorders. Curcumin has also been beneficial in killing cancerous cells.
Believed to have the capability of preventing the development of free radicals, turmeric is a great antioxidant. Research has connected free radicals to several human diseases including cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's. These free radicals are all around us and can be found in the food we eat, medicine, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. Tumeric is 5 to 8 times stronger than the well-known antioxidant, vitamin E, fights and reduces free radicals, and increases the number of antioxidant enzymes in the body.
How to incorporate turmeric into your diet
There are many ways to get turmeric in your diet without having to make crazy changes to your diet. My favorite is adding it to smoothies. You can find several other ideas listed below.
Mango Banana Smoothie
3/4 cup mango cubes I use frozen (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 small banana
1/2 thumb-sized turmeric, peeled or 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
8 oz cup unsweetened coconut milk (or the milk of your choice)
3-4 ice cubes (if using fresh mango)
Honey to taste
1 cup Water
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Raw Honey
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
This is good for the flu season as well
You can also cook with turmeric and always remember that it’s a good idea to mix it with black pepper or oil (or both) because this increases the absorption of curcumin so that your body can use it.
Chicken curry, soup, roasted vegetables, sauteed greens (kale, cabbage, and collards), and even adding it to your eggs are great option to consider.
No matter how you choose to consume turmeric, there is no doubt that you will find some benefits from using it. Fresh turmeric is best when available, but ground also works. Just make sure you find quality turmeric powder if you go that route.