Turmeric is a wonder spice. All Indian dishes get their yellow hue because of the Turmeric present in them. It has been used in India as a primary spice for thousands of years. People have always understood Turmeric to have inherent medicinal properties. It is only up until recently that this fact was proven on the basis of studies.
What does Turmeric contain for it to be considered so beneficial?
Turmeric contains compounds known as curcuminoids. The most vital of these compounds is curcumin. Curcumin has highly effective anti-inflammatory properties and is also a powerful antioxidant. Although Curcumin is the most beneficial part of Turmeric, it is also absorbed poorly into the bloodstream.
For this absorption to be efficient, Turmeric is consumed along with freshly ground black pepper.
Black pepper contains piperine which is a natural substance that enhances the absorption of Curcumin by more than 1900%
Keeping in mind all known benefits of Turmeric, here are 5 of the most vital ones-
1)Prevents the onset of Cancer
Turmeric is known to contain a powerful compound called Curcumin that interferes with cancer aiding agents on a molecular level. It has been understood that once curcumin is absorbed properly in the bloodstream, its benefits become even more effective. Curcumin, at a molecular level contributes to the death of cancer cells and reduces the growth of new blood vessels within tumours. This helps limit the spread of cancer.
To be specific, some cancers of the digestive system (colorectal cancer) have a higher chance of being prevented from developing into malignant ones. For example, 44 men with lesions in the colon took part in a 30-day study. They were administered 4 grams of curcumin per day. This helped in reducing the number of lesions by 40%.
2) Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Curcumin that is present in Turmeric contains properties that fight the development of major diseases like metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and some degenerative conditions. For example, NF-kB is a molecule that enters your blood cells to activate genes which are responsible for inflammation. The Curcumin molecule is studied to have blocked NF-kB’s actions.
One should also keep in mind that a small amount of inflammation is important for the body as well. This is because Inflammation helps in fighting foreign particles that enter your body. At the same time, a lot of it can have adverse effects.
3) Curcumin in Turmeric is Antioxidant
One big reason why antioxidants are beneficial is that they protect you from foreign radicals. The problem with such radicals is that they interfere with naturally occurring organic structures of your body. These are fatty acids, DNA or protein.
Curcumin also helps increase the activity of your body’s antioxidant enzymes. This way, Curcumin proves to solve two major issues individually.
4) Can prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most infamous of neurodegenerative disease and is also considered to be the leading cause of Dementia.
Apart from Curcumin, another lesser known compound present in Turmeric is ar-Turmerone. It is known that this compound promotes repair in the stem cells of the brain. These very cells are responsible for healing neurodegenerative disorders which lead to strokes and Alzheimer’s.
Curcumin itself is known to have beneficial effects on the oxidative and inflammatory damage that Alzheimer’s does. It is not known whether Curcumin can cure Alzheimer’s but it can surely prevent it.
5) Reduces the intensity of Arthritis
As stated earlier, Curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties. Arthritis is a degenerative disease which involves inflammation of various joints. Studies have shown, in particular to rheumatoid arthritis that Curcumin proved to be more effective than some anti-inflammatory drugs.
Please keep in mind that consuming a high quantity of Curcumin in any form can work in adverse ways for you. Curcumin, if consumed in large amounts can lead to the thinning of blood.
6) Curcumin can help delay Age-related Complications
Oxidation and inflammation are a part of aging. Curcumin would, therefore play a major role in preventing aging problems. This is simply because the two main properties of Curcumin are anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidizing in nature.
All of this also translates into Curcumin’s ability to battle major cardiovascular and neurodegenerative complications.
7) Curcumin improves Brain health
Curcumin is known to improve levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor or BDFN. This is a growth hormone in your brain.
Increased levels of BDFN can lead to the birth of new neuron connections which is linked to faster mental processing and intelligence.
Also, decreased levels of this hormone are also related to disorders like Alzheimer’s.
Since Curcumin can act as a positive catalyst in this case, it is safe to deduce that Turmeric is good for your grey matter.