Medical researchers are swiftly moving toward a consensus that inflammation underpins most of the chronic diseases that plague us, everything from IBD and rheumatoid arthritis, to cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric may help prevent all of them. New studies even point to the effectiveness of turmeric in keeping type 2 diabetes at bay. Since turmeric is also inexpensive, has no toxicity, and makes food taste amazing, why shouldn’t we all be using it and reaping the benefits?
What makes Tumeric so healthy?
Most of the health benefits of turmeric derive from curcumin, the compound that also gives turmeric its bright orange color. Curcumin only constitutes a few percent of the weight of turmeric, but it is a nutritional powerhouse. Curcumin is a superb antioxidant and also possesses extraordinary anti-inflammatory powers. Because so many diseases are caused, or worsened, by inflammation, curcumin’s effect on restoring health and function can be profound.
What are some of the primary medicinal uses for Tumeric and Curcumin?
Curcumin has been studied for its effectiveness in:
- Improving symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
- Preventing colon, pancreatic, and lung cancers
- Lowering cholesterol and homocysteine levels
- Protecting against Alzheimer’s disease (AD)
- Blocking type 2 diabetes
Turmeric’s anticancerous properties
In some individuals with an inherited form of the disease, colon cancer begins with the proliferation of colorectal adenomas — polyps — that eventually become cancerous. When a moderate dose of curcumin is given to these individuals, the number of polyps is decreased, and disease progression slowed. The benefits are even greater when curcumin is combined with quercetin, a flavonoid found in onions.
Curcumin also has proven effective against prostate cancer. Epidemiological studies of prostate cancer worldwide reveal that it is rare in populations using more turmeric. In India, for example, prostate cancer is a very rare diagnosis. However, traditional Indian cooking not only uses curry, which has lots of turmeric, but also brassica (cruciferous) vegetables. The combination of the brassicas’ isothiocyanates and turmeric’s curcumin is lethal to prostate cancer cells and blocks the spread of established tumors.
Turmeric could help prevent heart disease
Curcumin blocks the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, an important step in atherosclerosis. Also, turmeric has significant vitamin B6, so it also helps reduce homocysteine while increasing HDL cholesterol. When you add it all up, that’s a lot of vital protection for your arteries.
Turmeric’s benefits for diabetes patients
Curcumin powerfully reduces blood glucose and helps cure insulin resistance, which in turn improves liver and pancreas health. Consequently, overall health, especially immune health, is also improved.
Turmeric as an herbal remedy for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)
Once again, epidemiological evidence suggests that in populations using the most turmeric, AD is rare. Apparently, curcumin works in several ways to combat AD:
- Inhibiting formation of amyloid plaque.
- Blocking proteins that degrade the myelin sheath of nerve cells
- Turning on genes that protect the brain from oxidative damage.
With so many good reasons to add turmeric to your recipes — not to mention that it’s delicious. Why wait? Vibrant health awaits you.
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