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5 Benefits of Turmeric

Posted by Five Seasons Family Sports Club on 5/18/17 9:00 AM

If you're a fan of South Asian cuisine, you're probably very familiar with turmeric, the golden yellow herb that is the main spice in curry. While this immensely popular herb has carved out an indelible niche in the culinary world, it is also regarded as one of the most powerful herbs on the planet in terms of its ability to fight and reverse disease. Just to give you a small example of what this amazing herb is capable of, below are five major health benefits of adding turmeric to your diet.

1. Antioxidant Properties

In South Asian culture, the medicinal qualities of this potent spice have been recognized for thousands of years. Turmeric contains a bioactive compound known as curcumin, which has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This powerful natural agent assists the body in fighting foreign invaders such as various pathogens (e.g., bacteria, viruses, etc.) that can lead to disease.

As an antioxidant, turmeric helps to fortify the cells against free radical damage, which contributes to suppressed immune function and premature aging. As an anti-inflammatory agent, the curcumin found in turmeric can actually fight inflammation at the molecular level. According to several studies, curcumin offers a potency that rivals that of anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs, but without the potentially harmful side effects. 

2. Anticoagulant Properties

Millions of people currently use prescription medications to block or slow blood clotting, but unfortunately, these drugs often come with unnerving side effects such as excessive bleeding, back pain, headaches, and even difficulty breathing. Fortunately, turmeric provides these same anticoagulant properties, but with virtually zero known side effects unless taken in extremely excessive quantities. In fact, according to several studies performed over the past 30 years, turmeric is a top choice to help treat individuals suffering from vascular thrombosis. 

3. Improved Brain Function

For a long time, it was believed that the human brain was not capable of forming new neural connections after a certain point in early childhood. Now, however, it is a well-documented fact that the brain can continue developing new connections at practically any stage in life.

One of the primary drivers behind this development process is a growth hormone known as Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). Interestingly enough, the curcumin in turmeric has been shown to increase levels of BDNF in the brain, which can not only boost brain function, but it can also suppress and even reverse the development certain age-related brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and dementia. 

4. Cancer-Fighting Agent

According to Cancer Research UK, several laboratory tests performed on cancer cells show that turmeric has significant anti-carcinogenic (cancer-fighting) properties. Not only has the curcumin in turmeric demonstrated the ability to kill cancer cells, but it can also prevent new cancer cells from forming. Studies cited by the American Cancer Society also revealed that curcumin interferes with the development of cancer-causing enzymes, and it has been shown to reduce the size of tumors as well. 

5. Fights Diabetes

According to a study published by Auburn University, turmeric supplementation has been linked to the reversal of various symptoms of diabetes. The study revealed that the curcumin in turmeric is 400 times more powerful than Metformin (a popular drug used to treat diabetes) in its ability to activate AMPK, a key enzyme that regulates energy management in the body. This helps to improve insulin sensitivity and can reverse many of the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes. 

The above points should give you plenty of reason to begin adding some form of turmeric to your daily diet. Whether you want to use it as a culinary spice or take it strictly as a supplement, it only makes sense to start experiencing the outstanding health benefits of this powerful herb!

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Topics: Healthy Living

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