Turmeric, which contains a powerful bioactive compound known as curcumin, does quite a bit more than spice up our favorite dishes. At PurMEDICA, we also know that turmeric is a powerful agent against myriad different ailments, from heart disease to arthritis to gout. Here are nine of the best health benefits of Turmeric.
1. Curb Heartburn
Thanks to the spice’s ability to reduce inflammation, turmeric has shown to fight the symptoms of indigestion. One study found that turmeric was significantly more effective at treating heartburn than a placebo group in the same study. If you feel a bad case of heartburn coming on, try treating it with a good dose of turmeric.
2. Treat IBD
Besides an upset stomach, new research suggests that turmeric may also help to ease irritable bowels. This includes common conditions like IBD as well as serious conditions like Crohn’s and colitis. One study with mice found that those that ate turmeric significantly reduced their signs of colitis, including less weight loss, better intestinal cell function, and less thickening of the intestinal wall.
3. Lower Your Chance of Heart Attack
The spice’s health benefits go way beyond the ability to soothe an upset digestive system. Thanks to its high curcumin contents, turmeric has shown to reduce the risk of heart attack especially in bypass patients. One study showed that 30% of bypass patients who took placebo pills experienced heart attacks while only 13% of those who took turmeric capsules had heart attacks. This is thought to be due to the strong antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory properties of the spice. These nutrients can lower the risk of heart attack, specifically in bypass patients, by as much as 65%.
4. Delay the Onset of Diabetes
If you are at risk for diabetes or are even in the stages of prediabetes, turmeric may help delay the onset of the disease. In 2012, research showed that people with prediabetes who ingested turmeric capsules daily over the course of nine months were much less likely to be diagnosed with the disease than those who took placebos over the same period of time. In fact, by the end of the study 16% of those who took placebos were diagnosed with diabetes while no one from the turmeric group was. That’s pretty impressive!
5. Fights Cancer
Research is just beginning to show how promising turmeric may be at fighting cancer. Curcumin is at it again; it interferes with the molecular pathways needed to foster the development of cancer. In lab settings the spice was even found to kill cancer cells, shrink tumors, and enhance the effects of chemotherapy in animals.
6. Promote Brain Health
Another compound in turmeric, known as turmerone or ar-turmerone, helps promote a strong brain. The compound assists with stem cell repair in the brain. While studies are still in early stages, the findings suggest that ar-turmerone could be used to treat serious neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s as stem cell repair is needed for recovery.
7. Ease Those Aches and Pains
As mentioned before, turmeric is rich in anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, it has the ability not just to ease aches and pains from joint inflammation, but even offset the effects of serious conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Research shows that turmeric was just as effective as curbing joint pain as ibuprofen in patients with osteoarthritis.
8. Improve Liver Function
Newer research shows that the antioxidant compounds in turmeric may boost the detoxification systems of the liver. One study with rats showed that those that consumed turmeric significantly elevated their liver detoxification enzymes, including UDP glucuronyl transferase and glutathione-S-transferase. The rats also experienced significantly less free radical damage than the control group.
9. Offset Effects of Depression
Studies are beginning to show that turmeric may hold promise as a natural reliever of depression. While the research is fairly new, one small study looked at depression patients and compared those who took Prozac with those who took turmeric, and those who took both. After six weeks, the group that took both reduced their symptoms the most, with turmeric alone showing the same improvements as Prozac alone. Turmeric has also shown to boost brain-derived neurotrophic factors, serotonin, and dopamine, which are typically reduced or imbalanced in depression patients.
Whether you’re looking to ease an upset stomach or give your heart a helping hand, try adding a daily dose of turmeric to your diet. For more information on turmeric and other health tips, feel free to contact us at PurMEDICA.