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By on May 22, 2015


Turmeric is a little-known superfood that can provide health benefits to both the body and mind. Closely related to ginger, turmeric is a plant-based spice used prominently in India. Mildly fragrant with a warm, slightly peppery, bitter taste, turmeric can add both flavor and color to cuisine. Turmeric is the main spice used in curry and gives American mustard its bold yellow color. The turmeric plant contains certain beneficial properties; the most important of these is called curcumin. Curcumin is essentially the active ingredient in turmeric and is both a strong antioxidant and effective anti-inflammatory.

The Journal of the American Chemical Society makes the assertion that turmeric possesses antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anticarcinogenic (cancer preventative agent), and anti-inflammatory properties, among others. In 2007, renowned ethnobotanist James A. Dula, PhD published the most inclusive summary of turmeric studies to date. In his research, Dula reviewed over 700 studies to analyze turmeric’s effects against chronic diseases particularly Alzheimer’s disease, Arthritis, and Cancer.

• Alzheimer’s Disease: Turmeric can naturally block the formation of amyloid beta. In Alzheimer’s disease, amyloids are responsible for the plaques that slowly, and increasingly, impede cerebral function. Turmeric can remove this plaque build-up, which improves the flow of oxygen to the brain, essentially preventing or slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Interestingly, India, which uses large amounts of turmeric in cooking, has one of the lowest rates of Alzheimer’s disease among the elderly.

• Arthritis: Curcumin, the compound found within turmeric to have the most health benefits, is an adaptable anti-inflammatory agent and has demonstrated positive effects against arthritic symptoms. In addition, the antioxidant properties in turmeric destroy free radicals and provide joint pain relief for suffers of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

• Cancer: In animal trials, turmeric and curcumin have proven effective in the prevention and treatment of several types of cancer including cancers of the colon, prostate, esophagus, and breast. These animal models have seen positive results because turmeric can prevent, stop the growth of, and destroy cancer cells.

Besides treating the aforementioned chronic illnesses, turmeric can improve digestion, boost the immune system, reduce cholesterol, and prevent liver disease. Turmeric has also been known to aid in the treatment of the common cold, headaches, menstrual cramps, and depression. Healthy nutrients such as protein, fiber, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, and essential vitamins are also an added benefit of turmeric. More importantly, there are little to no known side effects to the consumption of turmeric. Below are some useful ways to incorporate turmeric and reap the benefits this superfood has to offer.

• Add to Food: As a spice, turmeric can be added to grilled foods, vegetables, soups, stews, and sauces. A pinch can be added to most any dish that is not meant to be sweet.

• Brew a Tea: Boil water or coconut milk, add desired amount of ground turmeric, simmer, strain, and add honey, lemon, or cinnamon to improve taste. This is good anytime, but especially before bedtime as it can improve sleep.

• Supplements: Take supplements in the form of tablets or capsules. Purchase these from health food stores and follow directions for appropriate dosage.

• Skin Treatment: Turmeric can be used on the skin to treat pain, ringworm, infected wounds, inflamed skin, eczema, and psoriasis. Make a paste with turmeric and water, honey, or aloe vera to soothe skin.
• Adding to Your Juices: Don’t forget to juice turmeric! By adding it to our already vitamin and nutrient dense juices, they become even more powerhouse for all the reasons already mentioned in this article.

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About Lionel Correia

Lionel is a fitness enthusiast, juicing advocate, and serial entrepreneur. He loves real estate, but is even more passionate about health, wellness and a positive mindset. He’s a graduate of the University of Arizona and prides himself on establishing great habits because great habits lead to great results. His favorite workouts include, yoga, spin class, sprints on the track and resistance training. He believes that if you desire a strong healthy body, you must first build mental toughness because a healthy body requires a disciplined mind and great habits.

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