If you need to add spices to your food to make them more flavorful, you have plenty to choose from. You want to be sure that the spices you add are healthy for you as well. There are a wide variety of spices that not only give your meals extra flavoring, but also add health benefits to your diet. One of those spices is called turmeric, otherwise known as Indian saffron, haldi, or curcuma.
Turmeric, a perennial plant that is found throughout China, India, and tropical Asia, is a part of the ginger family. The turmeric plant produces flowers which are a dull yellow color. Turmeric is a popular spice in Indian cuisine, but over 2,500 years ago, the people of India first used this spice as a dye. It wasn’t until later, that the medicinal properties of turmeric became known. The benefits of turmeric are vast, and cover a number of areas. What are the health benefits of turmeric?
Turmeric makes an excellent antibacterial. It is a natural antiseptic that can speed up the healing of wounds, and help to repair skin that has been damaged. Turmeric may also be able to treat inflammatory skin problems such as psoriasis. This spice might be able to prevent melanoma from forming, and may cause melanoma cells that already exist to die off.
Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and it very potent. The spice works just as well as many of the over the counter anti-inflammatory medications. A benefit to using turmeric instead of over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs, is that turmeric leaves so side effects. This makes it a great natural treatment for people with arthritis as well as rheumatoid arthritis. Turmeric is a cox-2 inhibitor (a form of NSAID), and is a natural pain killer.
When it comes to cancer, turmeric shows a great deal of promise. When combined with cauliflower, turmeric prevents prostate cancer and puts a stop to the growth of any prostate cancer that already exists. Studies performed on mice have shown that turmeric prevents breast cancer from moving into the lungs. There is also hope that turmeric will have positive results in pancreatic cancer. The spice has been proven to cease any growth of new blood vessels in tumors. Turmeric has the potential of lowering the risk of childhood leukemia. The formation of metastases in several types of cancer may be prevented if turmeric is consumed. The side effects of the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel are reduced when turmeric is taken. At the same time, the benefits of pacitaxel are enhanced.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that effects the function of the brain. Turmeric removes amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain, which may prevent or slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s. The spice also has the great potential to slow down the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
Other health benefits of turmeric include:
- It naturally detoxifies the liver.
- It may help with metabolizing fat and aid in weight management.
- The people of China have been using turmeric as a treatment for depression for a very long time.
- It soothes the stomach.
- It has heart and liver protecting effects.
- It has high amounts of anti-oxidants.
- It protects again strokes and heart attacks.
- It can help fight off bacterial infections
Since turmeric is not considered to be an essential nutrient, there is no recommended daily allowance (RDA) for this spice. It is suggested that the average adult can take 400 milligrams to 600 milligrams a day. Higher doses can result in an upset stomach or other gastrointestinal issues.
The next time you’re posed with the question “What are the health benefits of turmeric?”, you can look at this list and know the benefits are plentiful. Turmeric makes a great addition to anyone’s spice rack.
Photo by h-bomb