Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow/ orange color. The eye catching color of turmeric isn't the only thing this amazing spice has to offer! Below are the top 5 great benefits of turmeric, and why it should be incorporated into your diet.
1: Turmeric has an amazing anti inflammatory property:
It helps your body fight foreign invaders and also has a role in repairing damage. Curcumin ( the active ingredient in turmeric) is strongly anti-inflammatory. In fact, it’s so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs. t blocks NF-kB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of your cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. NF-kB is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases.
2: Turmeric Dramatically Increases the Antioxidant Capacity of our Body:
It involves free radicals, highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons. Free radicals tend to react with important organic substances, such as fatty acids, proteins or DNA. The main reason antioxidants are so beneficial is that they protect your body from free radicals. Curcumin is a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure (15, 16). In addition, curcumin boosts the activity of your body's own antioxidant enzymes (17, 18, 19). In that way, curcumin delivers a one-two punch against free radicals. It blocks them directly, then stimulates your body's own antioxidant defenses.
3: Pain relief:
Turmeric is thought of as a pain reliever. The spice is reputed to relieve arthritis pain as well. Studies seem to support turmeric for pain relief, with one study noting that it seemed to work as well as ibuprofen (Advil) in people with arthritis in their knees. Though dosing recommendations seem to vary, those who participated in the study took 800 mg of turmeric in capsule form each day.
Turmeric can also play an important role in digesting food. The spice can contribute to healthy digestion as a result of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a digestive healing agent. Western medicine has now begun to study how turmeric can help with gut inflammation and gut permeability, two measures of digestive efficiency.
5: Reduce Depression Symptoms:
Although few studies have been conducted on humans, dozens of research trials have proven that turmeric benefits include being especially effective in reducing depression symptoms in laboratory animals. (9, 10, 11, 12) These results seem to be connected to the way curcumin impacts neurotransmitter function through the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). (13)
To address this issue, the journal Phytotherapy Research published the results of an amazing, innovative study in 2014. The study took 60 volunteers diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) and split the group to determine how patients treated by curcumin fared against fluoxetine(PROZAC®) and a combination of the two. (14)
Not only was it discovered that all patients tolerated curcumin well, but they discovered curcumin was equally effective as fluoxetine in managing depression by the six-week mark. Combining fluoxetine with curcumin resulted in a slightly higher improvement, but it was not considered statistically significant.
According to the authors, “This study provides first clinical evidence [emphasis added] that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe therapy for treatment in patients with mild depression.”
Since that breakthrough trial, at least two other studies have observed the impact of turmeric’s major compound, curcumin, in patients with depression. The first involved 56 individuals (male and female), and the second involved 108 male participants. Both used a placebo but did not compare curcumin to any antidepressant, and both studies found that curcumin effectively reduced depression symptoms more than placebo. (15, 16)