health benefits of turmeric

Turmeric and its history-

Turmeric is a plant of the ginger family or Zingiberaceae family. It scientific name is Curcuma longa. The plant is native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Its rhizomes, as well as leaves, have long been used in traditional Indian and Chinese medicines for their demonstrated anti-inflammatory (painkiller), antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties.It is called the Golden Spice or Indian saffron, turmeric is a plant with a long history of medicinal use, dating back nearly 4,000 years. Ground turmeric root has been used in Indian and Chinese cooking, and its medicinal benefits are as well-prized as its unique flavor.Turmeric benefits and usage and has spread recently around the world to contribute to the healing and preventative medicinal applications of countless conditions. Around c.e. 700, the turmeric plant is thought to have arrived in China. The earliest record of the plant is in one of the first Ayurvedic scientific and medical documents, the Sanskrit text Compendium of Caraka (written between the fourth century b.c.e. and the second century c.e.), which recommended turmeric as an efficient remedy for food poisoning.Although long used in ayurvedic medicine, where it is also known as “haridra”.

turmeric plant
Turmeric became a integral part of the culture and cuisine of India, where they used it for flavor or color curry powders, mustards, butters, and cheeses. The root of turmeric is also used widely to make medicine. It contains a yellow-colored chemical called curcumin, which is often used to color foods and cosmetics. People in India became such devout believers in the root’s healing and protective powers that they became planters and suppliers; India now produces more than 80 percent of the world’s turmeric root. With more than 3,000 studies published in peer-reviewed journals in the last twenty-five years showing the amazing health benefits of turmeric, turmeric has made quite an entrance into the Western medicinal world.

turmeric root

Turmeric root features dark brown skin on the exterior and deep orange-yellow flesh internally. Its leaves, as well as the rhizome, features unique flavor and fragrance. Its taste is described as mild peppery to warm and bitter while its fragrance is sweet and pleasant, slightly reminiscent of a mix of orange zest, and ginger to which it is related. Once harvested, the root is boiled, dried, and ground to prepare distinctive bright yellow spice powder.

turmeric powder

Turmeric contains more than 100 chemical compounds that contribute to its ability to help treat conditions from stomachaches to respiratory illness. These chemical compounds are what make turmeric unique. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is a polyphenol. Polyphenols are organic chemicals that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin is what gives turmeric root its beautiful yellow-orange color.

Turmeric Nutrition and facts-

Turmeric (Curcuma longa), Nutritive Value per 100 g.

(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

Principle

Nutrient Value

Percentage of RDA

Energy

354 Kcal

17%

Carbohydrates

64.9 g

50%

Protein

7.83 g

14%

Total Fat

9.88 g

33%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Dietary Fiber

21 g

52.5%

Vitamins

   

Folates

39 µg

10%

Niacin

5.140 mg

32%

Pyridoxine

1.80 mg

138%

Riboflavin

0.233 mg

18%

Vitamin A

0 IU

0%

Vitamin C

25.9 mg

43%

Vitamin E

3.10 mg

21%

Vitamin K

13.4 µg

11%

Electrolytes

   

Sodium

38 mg

2.5%

Potassium

2525 mg

54%

Minerals

   

Calcium

183 mg

18%

Copper

603 µg

67%

Iron

41.42 mg

517%

Magnesium

193 mg

48%

Manganese

7.83 mg

340%

Phosphorus

268 mg

38%

Zinc

4.35 mg

39.5%



Health benefits of turmeric-

Turmeric is Anti-Inflammatory:

The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory that helps maintain healthy inflammation responses.

Turmeric for Arthritis and Osteoarthritis:

It is beneficial in promoting overall joint health and mobility.As the curcumin in turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, it can benefit the joints and help keep them from getting inflamed and swollen.

Cancer:

Research shows curcumin can influence the natural treatment of several cancers including colon, stomach, lung, breast, and skin cancers.

Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders:

Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory benefits can support people with GI disorders including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.

Turmeric for Brain health:

Helps maintain healthy cognitive function and working memory.Curcumin has the amazing ability to boost a protein in the brain called BDNF . This important protein - brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is responsible for helping the brain grow.Oxidative stress and inflammation play a role in many neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease.

Turmeric Promotes Heart Health:

Curcumin has beneficial effects on several factors known to play a role in heart disease. It support the overall health of the cardiovascular system.One of the most interesting benefits of curcumin is how it can improve the lining of blood vessels (known as the endothelium). When the endothelium isn’t working properly, it can’t properly regulate blood pressure and clotting, which can lead to heart disease.

Promotes Fat Loss:

The body requires specific nutrients to perform each function involved in fat burning. These functions include:-

  1. Increasing metabolism (improving calorie burn).
  2. Regulating blood sugar levels and minimizing insulin resistance.
  3. Regulating hormone production and levels (ensuring cortisol and other fat-retaining hormones are kept in check).
  4. Improving the communication between the digestive system and the brain via neurotransmitters to ensure feelings of satiety are experienced appropriately.

If you add turmeric to your daily diet, whether it’s a turmeric supplement that contains curcumin or powered turmeric root, the essentials required for each of these processes are delivered to the proper organs via the bloodstream, promoting the successful functioning of each system.

Depression.

Most available research shows that taking curcumin, a chemical found in turmeric, reduces depression symptoms in people already using an antidepressant.

Anxiety:

Animal studies also show curcumin can positively impact the behavioral symptoms associated with anxiety.

Cholesterol levels:

As little as 500 mg of curcumin for one week can improve your lipid profile including total cholesterol and HDL (your “good” cholesterol) levels.

Liver health:

Research shows curcumin’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits can prevent the progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Cystic fibrosis:

Curcumin’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can also aid in the treatment of cystic fibrosis, characterized by chronic respiratory infections and inflammation.

Turmeric is used in treatment of other diseases such as heartburn (dyspepsia), stomach pain, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, bypass surgery, hemorrhage, diarrhea, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, jaundice, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), liver problems, stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gallbladder disorders, high cholesterol, a skin condition called lichen planus, skin inflammation from radiation treatment, and fatigue, headaches, bronchitis, colds, lung infections, hay fever, leprosy, fever, menstrual problems, itchy skin, recovery after surgery. Other uses include depression, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, water retention, worms, tuberculosis, urinary bladder inflammation, and kidney problems etc.

Side Effects of turmeric-

Turmeric is safe ingredient and supplement. However, talk with your doctor before beginning any routine that includes it. Here are some specific situations that require extra attention before using turmeric:-

  • Eating turmeric in foods is safe during pregnancy, but turmeric supplements may not be.
  • who have gallbladder problems might find that turmeric exacerbates them.
  • Turmeric might slow blood clotting, so those with bleeding problems or an upcoming surgery should be cautious.
  • Curcumin might decrease blood sugar in diabetics.
  • High amounts of turmeric might affect iron absorption.
  • Turmeric might decrease testosterone levels and sperm movement, which could affect fertility.
  • High levels of turmeric might increase the production of stomach acid, which could be problematic for those with reflux or ulcers.

Easy ways to add turmeric to your diet:

1. Brew Turmeric tea: Bring 1 cup of water to a boil and then stir in ¼ teaspoon of organic ground turmeric, fresh grated turmeric. You can stir in honey or fresh lemon juice for added flavor.

2. Mix up a curry powder: A basic curry powder can be made with 8 parts ground coriander, 4 parts ground cumin and 1 part each of ground turmeric and cayenne or paprika. You can decrease the cayenne and use paprika instead if you don’t want it spicy, and store this in a glass container in your pantry for up to 6 months.

3. Blend it into a smoothie: Add organic turmeric powder, grated root, or uncoated turmeric tablets to a flavorful smoothie and you won’t even taste it! Granted… it may change the color of your smoothie, since it’s got such a strong pigment.

4. Juice it: When making fresh pressed green juice, add in up to 1″ of organic fresh turmeric to your juicer (per serving). 

5. Season roasted veggies: Toss some fresh vegetables (like diced potatoes, cauliflower, or brussel sprouts) with a dash of olive oil and ground turmeric, along with any other seasonings you like. Roast at 400 degrees, tossing once until done, usually about 30-40 minutes. 




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