10 Turmeric Benefits Backed By Science
Turmeric is quite the buzz word these days but are you aware of the benefits of turmeric? Turmeric root is a famous Eastern plant that goes by the scientific name “Curcuma longa”. This unique plant is a rhizomous root from the Ginger family (Zingiberaceae), originating in southern and eastern Asia. It has many common uses, from coloring yellow curry to being used as a bright orange dye for many foods, garments, and makeup. This unassuming root is an important ingredient in many medicinal practices in Asia, India, and many other Eastern cultures. Many traditional medicine healers have even claimed that Turmeric is the spice of life – a miracle root – but it certainly doesn't look like it. Many of these healers claim that it eases joint pain, reduces heart troubles and helps one think more clearly.
Luckily for us, this root has stolen the interest of many researchers and scientists so we have the word of modern science to back up or disprove these claims.
The culinary use of Turmeric has spread worldwide too, thanks to both its miracle medicinal claims and it's uniquely bright orange coloration. The fresh root is often used in curries and meat dishes, becoming a staple of many famous cuisines that are known for utilizing many taste factors in one meal such as Thai, Asian, Indian, and Persian dishes.
But there's one problem. All of this leaves you wondering about the more important details of Turmeric, like what to look for, and what science actually has to say about its health benefits. What about Turmeric's supposed medical properties, like its anti-carcinogenic, antioxidant, antifungal, and antibacterial properties? After all, the implications of these medicinal properties is a tall order for one root to live up to.
Don't worry – we'll cover all of that.
In this definitive guide to Turmeric, you'll learn the answers to those questions and more. By the time you finish reading this article, you'll be ready to make your own choice about whether or not Turmeric root is the natural health supplement you've been looking for – or if it's just another over-marketed, unremarkable holistic remedy that promises the moon and the stars.
What Type Of Turmeric Should I Look For?
With so many companies out there who are willing to sacrifice your health to get your money, it can be tough to choose what products really will help you and which fall short. Many companies who promise to sell you the real deal either sell cut their supplements, don't tell you the whole truth, or even sell proprietary blends thinking they can get away with their sneaky ways of making an extra couple of dollars off of your misinformation – and the scary part about it is: they can, and are.
You see people purchasing proprietary blends every day. I guarantee if you hang out around the supplement aisle of your most popular grocer for a day, you'll see the shelves full of proprietary blends get picked over and need restocking by the time the store closes.
There's rarely any argument: the best way to decide for yourself is to look at the facts yourself.
When you're trying to decide what type of Turmeric to look for, the first essential piece of information you'll need to know is this:
You're not looking for Turmeric.
It risks sounding contradictory, but the component in Turmeric root that benefits your body so much isn't the Turmeric itself, but a compound inside of the root called Curcumin. This Curcumin, also referred to as a group of curcuminoids, is a powerful compound that helps relieve joint pain and arthritis thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. This compound has been shown to help clear brain fog, protect your cells against aging, and even potentially protect your body against cancer.
But here's the catch: the Turmeric powder you get in your grocery store spice aisle isn't going to do all these wonders for your body. Turmeric root powder contains a mere 2-3% curcuminoids, and your body only absorbs between 1-3% of it. The reason Turmeric was so beneficial for Eastern cultures is both due to the sheer amount that they consumed in their everyday diet, as well as how fresh their roots were. When you go pick a well-aged root from your backyard and immediately make your curry with it, it will be far more beneficial than something that has been picked improperly, processed, and then sat on a shelf for 6-8 months.
If you are purchasing bottles of Turmeric root powder at $10-$15 per jar, the average value for what your body absorbs is around 11 cents. You don't need a mathematician or an accountant to tell you what a terrible value return that is for your hard earned money.
You might be asking what the point of Turmeric is at this point. Luckily, there are many Curcumin extracts that are available in today's market, and while your body might absorb 1-3% of the 2-3% available curcuminoids found in Turmeric, scientists have found that piperine, the active component of black pepper, actually increases how much your body absorbs by an incredible 2000%.
This incredible news has spurred a new extract to life – one that combines Curcumin and Piperine (also referred to as Bioperine) to help aid your body in absorbing the extract. Research has shown that the best ratio for absorption and desired effect is a 1,000-milligram supplement that contains 95% Curcumin and 5% Bioperine.
Another important consideration to make when you're looking for your Curcumin and black pepper extract, is to make sure your retailer or manufacturer has a Certificate of Analysis (COA). This COA is the official certificate provided to manufacturers with a quality product, lab tested and scientifically certified.
With each batch the manufacturer produces of any product, they are required to send three to four bottles of each batch to a lab for independent scientific testing, where the batch is then either approved and certified or rejected and sent back to the manufacturer. This is the best way to ensure you are purchasing a quality product that provides 100% of the value you bought it for.
Top Ten Benefits of Turmeric Curcumin Extract
Now, we've talked about the differences between Turmeric and Curcumin. We've talked about what you should look for and what to avoid. So, without further delay, let's dive into the juicy parts: what are the biggest benefits of Turmeric Curcumin extract?
Read on and we'll explain 10 of the top benefits you can experience with daily (or at least regular) use of Curcumin extract. These benefits have been proven through scientific research and show promising, conclusive results.
1. Anti-Inflammatory Properties Help Reduce Joint Pain and Arthritis
Whether you're suffering from osteoarthritis or mild to moderate joint pain, people who use turmeric have shown a huge success in combating their chronic pain. In fact, there are many benefits that turmeric can have for your chronic joint pain or arthritis thanks to Curcumin's anti-inflammatory properties, which rival that of modern NSAID medications like Aspirin or Ibuprofen. The fact that there is an alternative type of pain medication available for chronic pain is especially important due to the fact that the FDA has recently announced they are tightening their previous warnings against NSAIDs.
2. Boosts Your Immune System with Powerful Antioxidant Properties
Turmeric – or rather, the curcuminoids in Turmeric – has commonly been used to stimulate and strengthen the immune system. What does that mean, though? Curcumin extract won't only help prevent you from catching a cold, but it will also help you recover if you do catch one. Many people who take Curcumin on a regular basis report that their colds have been shortened by taking Curcumin extract.
3. Reduces Your Risk for Alzheimer's and Cognitive Decline
Researchers understand very little about Alzheimer's and other neuro-degenerative diseases, largely due to a lack of understanding of our own brains. What we do understand, however, people make their careers studying and in attempting to find some kind of conclusive results that will provide a cure.
While Curcumin has not yet cured Alzheimer's, there are promising results for treatment.
Long-term use of Curcumin has been shown to start repairing affected brain connections in lab mice. Curcumin has also been shown to fight against free radicals and cell oxidation. In what we understand of Alzheimer's, these two factors play a major role in how early Alzheimer's sets in, as well as the progression of the disease. Curcumin extract inhibits both of these, showing promise for delaying and even potentially providing a cure for Alzheimer's down the road.
4. Boosts Your Mood and Fights Symptoms of Depression
In the modern day, one thing is for sure: too many people are stressed and depressed. The rates of individuals who consider themselves depressed are higher today than they were 20 years ago, and the age range of these individuals is broadening as well. Now, we're not here to argue statistics or possible reasons why this is happening, but to discuss a possible remedy.
Curcumin extract has been proven to alleviate stress levels through regulating and balancing our hormones. It makes sense that since high stress levels can aggravate depression, anxiety, and other health conditions, that Curcumin would also help regulate your brain's hormones. Some people even attest that Curcumin is potentially even stronger than prescription medications like Prozac.
5. Reduces Brain Fog and Helps You Maintain Mental Clarity
Let's face it. No one likes the experience of brain fog, whether it's just been a long day or you can seem to get out of the mental fuzz. This is a frustrating example of temporary mental decline, when answers come to you slower, it's harder to think on your feet and you can feel the wheels turning but not all of them have been properly greased.
A lot of things can cause this decline in mental function even temporarily, whether it's high levels of stress, trauma, or even medications. There is hope for the foggy path, however: Curcumin extract has been shown to improve your cognitive function and reduce your risk of future cognitive decline when taken on a regular basis.
6. Fights Oxidative Stress and Other Causes of Premature Aging
We covered how oxidative stress and free radical cells are potential causes of Alzheimer's and other neuro-degenerative diseases earlier, and how Curcumin extract is showing great potential for reducing the symptoms of Alzheimer's, and potentially acting as a cure further down the road.
Oxidative stress and free radicals can be caused by a variety of lifelong habits, from improper diet and nutrition to consistently high stress levels. What many people don't know is that oxidative stress and free radical cells are also a large factor in symptoms of premature aging.
Now, aging is inevitable. Science is nowhere near finding the solution to providing immortality. What isn't inevitable, however, is how early you show signs of aging.
Studies on Curcumin extract has shown evidence that it actively fights these free radicals and repairs oxidative stress, helping prevent and even potentially repair signs of premature aging and age-related cell trauma.
7. Helps Reduce Your Risk of (and Potentially Treat) Cancer Growth
Science has a grand discovery in the making, and all it has to do is pass extended clinical trials. There have been multiple studies on Curcumin's potential anti-carcinogenic benefits and the current verdict is that Curcumin is able to inhibit the further growth of cancer cells, lower the risk of these cells from mutating, and even potentially fight and reduce the number of mutated cells present in your body.
In other words: Curcumin can potentially help reduce your risk of cancer. If cancer cells are already present, very premature evidence has suggested that it can even potentially treat cancer in combination with current medical practices.
8. Reduces Your Risk of Heart Attack and Other Cardiovascular Diseases
Heart disease and other cardiovascular troubles are a very real threat, especially if you're at a high risk or maintain a stressful lifestyle with poor nutrition. Luckily, however, Curcumin extract has shown to have cardiovascular protective qualities, meaning it will help your heart (and surrounding organs and tissue) stay resilient to damage.
Now, that doesn't mean you can do whatever you want – you still need to take action to keep your heart in good health. For example, one study took two groups of postmenopausal women and studied their heart health before and after aerobic exercises. One group took Curcumin extract and the other didn't. The study concluded that the group of women who took the Curcumin extract had significantly stronger outlying organ tissues (including around the heart) than those who didn't.
9. Helps Control Diabetes Through Moderation of Insulin
Researchers have found great news when it comes to Curcumin's relationship with Type II Diabetes. Many studies have concluded that Curcumin extract is very effective in controlling Diabetes, particularly by helping your body moderate and absorb the levels of insulin present. Curcumin has been shown to not only aid glucose control but also increase the effectiveness of many diabetes medications.
10. Natural Antiseptic Properties Helps Expedite Wound Healing
The Curcumin content in Turmeric powder has the incredible power to help expedite wound healing. It seems like an amazing feat, but when you get to the science of it all, it starts to make sense.
When it comes to topical wound healing, some of us seem to heal quicker than others. Curcumin has natural antiseptic properties that help your skin's collagen content find and repair broken tissue, helps your skin form strong bonds between the new and old skin, and overall, helps keep it in place while the wound contracts.
In addition to all of this, curcuminoids also contain antibacterial properties that can help keep your wound clear of many different forms of bacteria. This doesn't mean you shouldn't clean your wound – after all, modern medical practices are medical practices for a reason. What it does mean, however, is that Curcumin can potentially help your skin heal at a faster rate than without it.