Turmeric contains curcumin, the active ingredient with medicinal properties.However, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream hence consuming it with black pepper will naturally enhance the absorption of curcumin.
The medicinal spice is found in every Indian kitchen and is commonly used in food preparation. From ancient times turmeric has been a healing herb and has various medicinal properties. Turmeric contain a chemical known as curcumin.
Curcumin gives the yellow colour to this spice and is the key ingredient with medicinal properties. Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. To get the most out of a dash of turmeric in your food, consume it with black pepper. Black pepper contains piperine, which naturally enhances the absorption of curcumin into the bloodstream.
However, the curcumin content of turmeric is typically only around three percent by weight, which means one needs to consume at least one gm per day. Curcumin is also fat-soluble, so adding it to a fatty meal will be beneficial.
Here are eight benefits of consuming turmeric regularly
- Antioxidant properties – The main reason antioxidants are so beneficial is that they protect your body from free radicals. Curcumin has powerful antioxidant effects. It neutralizes free radicals on its own but also dramatically increases antioxidant capacity of the body.
- Improved brain functions – Many common brain disorders have been linked to decreased levels of this hormone, including depression and Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin boosts levels of the brain hormone BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor), this increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in your brain.
- Lowers risk of heart diseases – The main benefit of curcumin when it comes to heart disease is improving the function of the endothelium – the lining of your blood vessels. It regulates blood pressure, prevents blood clotting and various other factors. Curcumin reduces inflammation and oxidation, which play a role in heart disease.
- Prevent (as well as help treat) Cancer – Cancer is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth. Curcumin has been studied as a beneficial herb in cancer treatment and been found to affect cancer growth, development and spread at the molecular level. As curcumin leads to several changes on the molecular level, this may help prevent and perhaps even treat cancer.
- Relieve from Arthritis – Arthritis is common among seniors. There are several different types, most of which involve inflammation in the joints. Curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory compound that relieves from joint pain and discomfort.
- Prevent Diabetes – Curcumin may help prevent diabetes through its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and improve many of the factors that contribute to diabetes, including insulin resistance, high blood sugar, and hyperlipidemia (a medical term to describe elevated levels of fat in the blood – high level of (LDL) bad cholesterol).
- Ease Depression – Curcumin can aid depression management and recovery. It boosts levels of BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor) and works as an effective antidepressant. A study in 60 people with depression showed that curcumin was as effective as Prozac (antidepressant) in alleviating symptoms of the condition.
- Improves skin health – Turmeric may improve skin health. Its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties make turmeric and effective treatment for skin conditions – acne, eczema, photoaging and psoriasis.
Turmeric is an incredible spice with so many positive health benefits that may aid longevity and delay signs of ageing. Turmeric or curcumin supplements are in popular demand in the market, however, do consult with your doctor before taking any supplements to ensure they are safe for you to use.