Turmeric has been dubbed the “Queen of Spices.” She boldly protects her subjects, bestowing many blessings. When you ingest this golden root, its powers quickly go to work. Following are 10 ways of eating a teaspoon of turmeric every day can get you glowing.
Turmeric is native to Asia and a member of the ginger family. The root supplies the spice, which is ground into powder or formed as a paste. If turmeric sounds foreign to you, think of the bright yellow hue of curry and mustard. That’s turmeric. It’s also what gives these condiments their kick. It infuses food with vibrant flavor.
The pigment curcumin is the main active compound in turmeric. It has potent anti-inflammatory effects. It’s also a strong antioxidant, a micronutrient that blocks harmful chemical reactions. It has five times the protective power of Vitamins C and E. Turmeric has high concentrations of iron, manganese, and potassium. It’s also a good source of Vitamin B6 and fiber.
The Queen of Spices:
1. Relieves Joint Pain
Do you suffer from arthritis? Turmeric relieves the symptoms of joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. It also improves mobility. Studies have found curcumin to be as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This class of medications includes aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and Celebrex. However, curcumin sidesteps the harmful effects of long-term NSAID use, such as internal bleeding, ulcers, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, and liver damage.
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2. Protects the Brain
You can prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease with turmeric. These cognitive disorders are caused by plaques and tangles in the brain. Plaques are clumps of sticky proteins. With age, they accumulate between nerve cells and hamper communication. Tangles are twisted protein fibers that block nutrients from entering brain cells. Plaques and tangles impair brain function and memory. However, turmeric helps dissolve these damaging proteins. It also promotes cell regeneration.
3. Supports Cardiovascular Health
Curcumin reduces cholesterol and triglycerides. High cholesterol hardens and narrows arteries. This hinders blood circulation, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Triglycerides are blood fats derived from food. Your body uses them for energy. However, high levels of thickening artery walls, increasing the risk of heart disease. Curcumin delivers a one-two punch against cholesterol and triglycerides, protecting against cardiovascular injury. Turmeric counters the formation of blood clots by keeping platelets from sticking together.
The Vitamin B6 in turmeric lowers homocysteine. This amino acid is a byproduct of protein metabolism. High homocysteine levels irritate and thicken blood vessel walls. Vitamin B6 averts this process.
4. Balances Blood Sugar
Turmeric moderates insulin. This hormone helps the body use glucose from food. By balancing blood sugar, turmeric enhances the effectiveness of diabetic drugs. It also lowers insulin resistance.
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5. Spurs Weight Loss
Turmeric shrinks fatty tissue density by lowering cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, and liver fat. It slows the growth of fat cells. It also speeds thermogenesis. This is the process of burning fat to regulate body temperature. Turmeric decreases the level of the stress hormone cortisol. This chemical causes the body to retain fat. Reducing cortisol promotes weight loss.
6. Improves Digestion
Curcumin prompts the gallbladder to release bile and break down fat. In Germany, turmeric is commonly prescribed to treat digestive problems. It reduces the frequency of colitis flares by calming intestinal inflammation. It also soothes heartburn by neutralizing stomach acid.
7. Treats Depression
A 2013 study revealed turmeric’s ability to ward off depression. It raises the levels of the mood-boosting chemicals dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Dopamine heightens pleasure. Serotonin improves memory and mindset. Norepinephrine enhances alertness, learning, and sleeping.
8. Reduces Blood Pressure
Turmeric is a natural diuretic, ridding the body of excess fluid and sodium. Its blood-thinning effect also relieves hypertension. Lowering cholesterol and maintaining healthy arteries normalizes blood pressure. Curcumin dilates blood vessels, improving circulation and easing the workload on the heart.
9. Boosts Immunity
The lipopolysaccharide in turmeric arms the immune system against germs. It kills bacteria, viruses, and fungi. If you feel a cold coming on, chase away symptoms with the liquid gold of turmeric tea.
10. Combats Cancer
A 2014 review of 700 clinical trials showed curcumin to be as effective as drugs in treating cancer of the breast, colon, esophagus, liver, lung, and prostate. It destroys cancer cells and keeps them from spreading. It shuts down blood vessels that feed tumors. Turmeric also prevents cancer by suppressing the synthesis of a protein involved in tumor formation. University of Texas researchers is currently exploring turmeric’s efficacy in thwarting oral, skin, and pancreatic cancer.
Turmeric is available as a ground spice, capsule, tincture, and extract. Following are the therapeutic doses recommended by the University of Maryland Medical Center:
- spice – 1/2 teaspoon added to food, brewed as tea, or prepared as a paste
- standardized curcumin capsules – 500 mg, 3 times per day
- tincture – 15 to 30 drops, 4 times per day
- fluid extract – 30 to 90 drops per day
Of note is that curcumin is not readily absorbed. However, black pepper boosts assimilation by 2,000 percent. So pair your turmeric with 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. You can further increase effectiveness by adding 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Since curcumin dissolves in fat, the oil quickly ferries the compound into the bloodstream.
If you choose to take a supplement, look for one that’s standardized to 95 percent curcuminoids and also contains piperine or black pepper extract.
SUPERCHARGE YOUR FOOD
Add the potent trio of turmeric, black pepper, and olive oil to:
- egg dishes
Before taking turmeric, consult with your doctor if you have:
- gallstones – the spice prevents gallstones by promoting bile flow. However, if you already have gallstones, the increased motility could cause them to lodge in the bile duct.
- diabetes – turmeric and diabetic medication must be balanced to avoid low blood sugar.
- upcoming surgery – discontinue use two weeks prior to an operation. Turmeric thins the blood. It can increase the risk of bleeding and the effects of anticoagulant drugs, such as Coumadin, Plavix, Pradaxa, and aspirin.
Receive the Queen’s blessings to:
1. Relieve joint pain
2. Protect your brain
3. Promote heart health
4. Balance blood sugar
5. Lose weight
6. Improve digestion
7. Ward off depression
8. Reduce blood pressure
9. Boost immunity
10. Combat cancer
Champion your health with turmeric. Go for the gold!