From the ginger family, turmeric is a common spice used in Asian cuisine. Known for its bright orange-yellow color, turmeric has been used in the Indian culture for centuries, and not just for cooking. In addition to its robust flavor, this unique spice has a variety of medicinal effects that are beneficial to our bodies. Although it’s been around for thousands of years, this tasty spice has recently gained traction thanks to endless social media trends. Consumers have been able to find countless ways to incorporate turmeric in their daily routine--whether it be for a facemask, teeth whitener, or a tasty additive to a smoothie or meal.
The Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric is grown throughout India and parts of Asia and plays a significant role in Ayurvedic medicine--one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems. A primary ingredient in Turmeric--Curcumin--is believed to help fight against inflammation.
With known anti-inflammatory benefits, Turmeric is a spice that you definitely want to incorporate into your diet or in your skincare regime. In support of this claim, Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, states, “All diseases basically start with inflammation, from gingivitis in your mouth to heart disease, so the idea of having a teaspoon a day turmeric may be a good thing” (source). With that being said, let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits turmeric has on the body.
Here are 5 things you didn’t know about turmeric:
1. Turmeric is great for oral health.
Aside from the delicious oral benefits, turmeric can help improve oral health. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidizing, and antimicrobial and it is these properties that make it ideal for treating: periodontitis, gingivitis, and bleeding gums. Turmeric is also a natural cure for bad breath and studies have shown that turmeric possesses anti-cancer properties.
2. It may help to improve your memory
Research conducted in Asian markets found that those who ate more curry or foods with turmeric spice scored higher scores on cognitive function tests--memory, attention span, etc.). To back up this finding, a study conducted in March of 2018 found that those who took a 90 mg curcumin supplement twice a day for 18 months showed a boost in memory compared to those who were given the placebo. Though more research is still underway, scientists believe that it’s the anti-inflammatory effects of the curcumin that could be protecting the brain from a variety of memory-related diseases.
3.Turmeric may keep heart disease at bay
Since turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it could help to prevent certain heart diseases. In concurrence with a 2017 review in the Pharmacological Research journal, these heart conditions could include diabetic cardiomyopathy, arrhythmia, and more.
4. It may help fight off certain cancers
According to a review published in the journal Molecules, curcumin could potentially have the ability to fight off certain cancers. During this research, it was noted that curcumin has shown to slow down and even prevent the growth activity of tumor cells--especially in skin and digestive cancers.
5. Turmeric can help ease osteoarthritis pain
In a 2016 research review, studies found that consuming curcumin for 4 weeks helped to relieve osteoarthritis pain. This is actually an effect that can be compared to the effects of NSAIDs or glucosamine.
6. Makes healthy food taste delicious
Of course, we can’t forget the tasty touch it adds to many different dishes. Turmeric is so flavorful that it even adds the extra boost that’s desperately needed in healthy smoothies and drinks. A popular turmeric drink that’s beloved by many is ‘golden milk’--all you need is a teaspoon of turmeric, a glass of milk (or plant-based milk), a dash of black pepper, and a touch of honey.
Try Alka-White With Turmeric
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