Turmeric is the golden spice that gives curry its beautiful color. It originated in India nearly 4,000 years ago and is well known for its anti-inflammatory effects and of course, delicious flavor. Besides its culinary use, it has also been used in religious ceremonies and as a medicinal spice for centuries. Our own journey with turmeric started from a desire to reduce inflammation and lead a healthier lifestyle. Here we explore 5 powerful benefits of this magical golden spice.
1. Turmeric is naturally anti-inflammatory
As we mentioned above, turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Some inflammation is good, like when fighting off foreign invaders or repairing damaged tissue in your body. However, if it is a chronic condition, it can start to attack your body’s own tissue. This can lead to a myriad of health conditions and needs to be addressed immediately. Curcumin is the compound in turmeric that holds the key anti-inflammatory benefits and can help ease chronic inflammation in the body when taken or consumed on a regular basis.
2. Turmeric is an antioxidant
Antioxidants protect your body from free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms that are missing some electrons. They then go in search of healthy molecules to replace their missing electrons. The curcumin found in turmeric can neutralize free radicals thanks to its chemical structure. Turmeric's antioxidant effects can play a part in preventing cardiovascular disease and may even help regulate blood pressure.
3. Turmeric can help alleviate depression
Clinical trials have shown that turmeric is an effective antidepressant. In a trial with control groups taking Prozac, curcumin, and one that took both – the curcumin group showed similar results to the group taking Prozac. The group that took both actually came out with the best results. There are also some small studies that show turmeric can boost the "happy chemicals", serotonin and dopamine, in the brain.
4. Turmeric may help ease Arthritis
Arthritis is an extremely common problem, especially in the west. It involves inflammation of the joints and can be very painful. Several studies show that turmeric can ease symptoms of Arthritis thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. In some cases, turmeric, or more specifically curcumin, has shown to be more effective than some anti-inflammatory drugs.
5. Turmeric may give you longevity
The war against aging rages on. One key to looking and feeling younger is controlling inflammation in the body. As we know by now, turmeric can be a powerful aid in fighting inflammation and therefore can help with the aging process and protect against diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, and heart disease.
Turmeric has shown some promising effects in clinical studies, but we still need more information to really understand its positive effects on the body. We are hopeful that more studies will be conducted confirming the effects we feel on a daily basis from drinking our favorite beverage.