‘Health is wealth’- is a very old proverb but the true importance of this saying is realized only when one fall sick. We all take our health for granted. Be it the food that we eat, our lifestyle and high-stress levels, we tend to ignore everything until our body gives up at some point in time. Health is defined as a state of mental, physical and social well being. Many people only take care of the physical aspect of health and forget about the mental and social well being.
There are many age-old spices which go a long way in helping us in keep good health. One of those spices which have been used for ages is turmeric. Turmeric is also known as the golden spice which has multi-health benefits and has been used in Ayurveda and Asian medicines for hundreds of years now.
Turmeric is derived from a plant which looks like ginger and the scientific name is Curcuma longa. This herb is dried and then pounded into powder form for daily use. It can also be used in the raw form.
Turmeric needs a very specific temperature and environment to grow in so it is not cultivated widely throughout the world but is exported due to its desirable qualities. According to the USDA, turmeric contains a good amount of vitamin C, protein, sodium, dietary fiber and approximately 24 calories in one tablespoon of turmeric powder. It also acts as a rich source of potassium, magnesium, manganese and vitamin B6.
Ever wondered what guns turmeric its medicinal properties? Turmeric has a phytochemical called curcumin in it which is responsible for all the good medicinal and health benefits.
Now let’s have a look at some of the health benefits of turmeric.
- Rich in antioxidants, curcumin which is present in turmeric is an amazing antioxidant agent which helps in many ways. It acts as a scavenger of free oxygen radicals that are produced in the body and these free radicals can cause dangerous diseases like cancer, arthritis and diabetes etc.
- Curcumin in turmeric is also a great anti inflammatory agent which reduces the high levels of inflammation in the body. Some inflammation is required by the body to fight off various types of infections but excess of inflammation can have a negative effect on the cells and various parts of the body.
- Turmeric acts as a natural pain reliever and has been proven to relieve the pain associated with arthritis.
- Curcumin in turmeric has been shown to have a great role to play in providing protection against cancers specially multiple myeloma, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer etc.
- Turmeric also helps to accelerate the rate of metabolism and lets the body burn calorie leading to easy weight loss. It also helps in reducing the fat mass and lowering the LDL or bad cholesterol levels.
- Turmeric and active organic compounds found in it are set to improve the functioning of the liver by reducing the toxicity levels in the body by stimulating the lymphatic system and removing the toxins efficiently. It is known to treat liver elements like fatty liver disease and liver cirrhosis.
- Heart health is very important for the overall well-being of a person. Turmeric which is rich in vitamin B6 and curcumin helps to improve the cardiovascular health by inhibiting the production of homocysteine that damages the cell walls of the heart. It also helps to prevent plaque build-up in the walls of the arteries and lowers the high blood pressure.
- Since turmeric is a great antioxidant herb, it helps to stimulate the activity of the brain, thus preventing degradation of cognitive functions which is often seen in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. As per many studies, turmeric is found to be efficient in clearing out amyloid plaque formation which is a major cause of Alzheimer’s disease. It is also seen to boost concentration and memory retention power in individuals. Turmeric also acts as a great antidepressant by having positive effect on the hormonal balance in the body.
- Turmeric not only adds flavour and colour to the food but also plays a great role in the proper digestion of food. It can help in better digestion because of the antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. It is also seen to be a great agent for providing relief from symptoms like irritable bowel syndrome or IBS.
- Turmeric also helps to keep the skin healthy in many ways by keeping pimples at bay,clearing the acne scars. It also fights the signs of aging like wrinkles and pigmentation by preventing the growth of free radicals. A skin salve of turmeric powder with water applied on cuts and wounds also accelerates the healing of the skin around it.
- Turmeric is also known to lower the blood sugar levels in the body does preventing the risk of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Make turmeric a vital part of your daily life soon and reap it’s benefits! You’ve got to use it to believe it!