If there was a safe, natural food that could slash inflammation, boost brain health and help cut your cancer risk all at the same time, you’d want to know its name, right?
Well, chances are you already do. Because we’re talking about turmeric, the pungent spice that gives many Indian dishes and mustards their gorgeous, golden-yellow glow.
The active ingredient in turmeric, called curcumin, is the key to the spice’s health protecting powers. (More on those in a moment.) And you can start reaping the health benefits of curcumin right away by getting a little creative in the kitchen.
For example turmeric is terrific in scrambled eggs, omelets, soups, rice, greens and roasted veggies. But since the curcumin content in turmeric isn’t very high you might want to think about taking a supplement too. You’ll find curcumin in any store that sells supplements, as well as online.
Curcumin delivers a one two punch against disease
Curcumin targets disease from two different directions.
When you have inflammation in response to an injury or infection it is your body’s way of healing itself. But chronic all-over inflammation can attack your own tissues. Most folks have no idea they have it. But it’s been linked to most of the major health problems we face today from Alzheimer’s to heart disease.
However, it turns out curcumin may be able to help. Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory. In fact, research has shown it can be just as effective as some drugs at lowering damaging inflammation. And a regular dose of curcumin can help fight that sickening inflammation at the molecular level, keeping it under wraps so it never has a chance to grow out of control and make you sick.
Fights free radicals:
Curcumin is packed with free-radical-fighting antioxidants. Which means it can help you stay healthy and disease free by protecting your cells from damage.
But curcumin’s antioxidant benefits go even further. Research has revealed the spice extract could also boost the activity of your body’s own antioxidant enzymes, making them even more effective.
4 devastating diseases 1 simple solution
Now let’s take a closer look at how curcumin could help you tackle four different health concerns.
Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects make it a natural choice for fighting arthritis. Studies have shown it can effectively tackle painful osteoarthritis symptoms. And when it comes to rheumatoid arthritis curcumin could be even more effective than NSAIDs, according to a study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research.
2. Brain health:
Curcumin could also be the key to keeping your brain firing on all cylinders. In fact, experts say the extract’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions may even help put up a fight against age-related memory loss and common brain problems such as depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
According to research, curcumin naturally boosts your levels of an important hormone called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, or BDNF. BDNF is a growth hormone that researchers say helps your body produce more neurons. Plus research, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, found curcumin may help fight the Alzheimer’s linked plaques that can build up in our brains.
Exciting emerging research has revealed that curcumin could lend us a hand in our fight against cancer too. Both lab and animal studies have shown the extract can help halt the growth and spread of tumors. It does this by curbing the tumor’s ability to grow new blood vessels, while killing off cancer cells at the same time.
And while more research needs to be done before we can say for sure that those same tumor-fighting benefits transfer to humans, there’s still a lot to be excited about. For example, a study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research. It hints that curcumin could have the ability to help head off cancer before it can get its claws into you. When a group of guys with the kind of lesions that often turn into colon cancer were given curcumin for a month, the extract slashed the number of lesions by 40 percent.
4. Heart health:
Curcumin could also help keep your future heart-disease free. To start with there’s curcumin’s ability to reduce inflammation and fight off free radical damage, both of which are critical for heart health. But the benefits don’t end there. Curcumin could also improve the function of your blood vessels, fighting off the narrowing and hardening of arteries, which can eventually lead to high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke.
Going to give turmeric a try? Keep in mind that your body doesn’t do the best job absorbing curcumin into your bloodstream. To give it a helping hand always use black pepper in your dishes too. Or look for a curcumin supplement that contains piperine, the ingredient in black pepper that aids with absorption.