By Alyssa St-Jean (LowFatLowCarb.com)
Turmeric is simply amazing! It has to be one of the most nutritional spices out there. Native to India and South Asia, this super seasoning possesses a bright yellow color with a very warm and bitter taste. You may recognize this ingredient as the main spice in curry, Indian powders and mustard. Turmeric has been used for thousands of years, not only for its distinctive flavour but for its many medicinal uses as well. Here’s why:
1. Natural anti-Inflammatory
Turmeric is an excellent bio-active substance that can help fight inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s response to a cellular injury. Curcumin, a property found in turmeric, has been known to enter these injured cells and give a little discipline! This allows the cell membranes to regain control of the substances that flow in and out of the cell. Therefore increasing protection against malicious infections!
2. Tame heartburn and relieve an upset stomach
Heartburn and upset stomachs can arise from various sources. It has been proven by some studies that turmeric can perhaps help out with these discomforts due to its ability to stimulate the gallbladder and production of bile. Bile aids in digestion therefore relieving an upset stomach or heartburn! Turmeric can also benefits those suffering from gastrointestinal disorders, indigestion, IBS and Crohn’s disease.
3. Reduce pain caused by osteoarthritis & rheumatoid arthritis
According to certain studies, turmeric has been proven to be as effective as ibuprofen on joint pain caused by various types of arthritis. You see, turmeric possesses anti-oxidant effects, which means that it has the ability to neutralize free radicals (Chemicals that hurt good cells). Free radicals can create very painful joint inflammation and in the long run can create great damage.
4. Lowers cholesterol levels
Turmeric attacks and lowers LDL cholesterol, which is the “bad” cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. It also has the ability to prevent LDL from oxidizing so, therefore decreases the formation of atherosclerosis (serious disease in which plaque is built up in the arteries).
5. Increases cardiovascular protection
Heart diseases are very complicated to understand. What is not complicated to understand is that it is the biggest killer in the world… By taking turmeric regularly, one could improve the lining of their blood vessels (commonly known as the endothelium function). The endothelium is what regulates blood pressure and controls blood clots. By simply adding some turmeric to your daily meals you could reduce the risk of heart attacks! Interesting…
6. Alleviates symptoms of depression
Those who suffer from depression have lower levels of brain-derived neurotropic factors (BNDF). Luckily, curcumin can help boost the body’s BNDF. Curcumin can even boost the brain’s neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. Some have even said that turmeric is as effective as Prozac!