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Health and Fitness News

Spice Things Up with Turmeric

Reap powerful health benefits by eating more of this yellow spice.

A bright yellow spice found in curry powder that gives mustard its yellow color, turmeric is probably somewhere inside your spice cabinet. But it may be time to add it to your stash of supplements. Because turmeric provides more than flavor and color to your food.

Used in many Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern dishes, turmeric can provide a powerful boost to your health. In a single tablespoon of turmeric, you’ll find 29 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 1 gram of protein, and 6 grams of carbs. High in phosphorus, potassium, and manganese, the active ingredient in turmeric is the antioxidant curcumin. It’s this ingredient that makes turmeric a powerhouse in disease treatment, management, and prevention.

Since only a small percentage of curcumin is found in turmeric, you may find the best way to reap its benefits is to take a supplement. If you go the supplement route, go with one that contains piperine, an ingredient found in black pepper that helps your body absorb and use curcumin. Because curcumin is fat soluble, you’ll also absorb more of it if it’s eaten with a high-fat meal.

Unsure about turmeric? This should change your mind.

It Fights Inflammation

Short-term inflammation is a good thing when fighting off disease, but unwanted, chronic inflammation is a major cause of disease. Heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and arthritis are all associated with inflammation. If you can reduce unwanted inflammation in the body, you help prevent disease. Curcumin is known to naturally fight inflammation in the body at the molecular level. In fact, it may be as effective as some anti-inflammatory drugs and comes with no side effects.

It Improves Brain Function

The ability for your brain neurons to divide and multiply and form new connections is essential for brain health. While most of this development happens when you’re young with the help of a growth hormone, this hormone is still vital as you age. In fact, low levels are associated with Alzheimer’s and depression. Enter curcumin. This antioxidant boosts levels of this growth hormone, thus helping to prevent, delay, or reverse depression and age-related mental decline.

It Supports Antioxidant Power

Free radicals circulating in the body are linked to oxidative damage, a major cause of disease and aging. Antioxidants help stop the damage of free radicals, making them a powerful agent in the fight against disease. There are a lot of types of antioxidants, but curcumin is one of the most valuable. Not only does it fight free radicals, but it also helps support the body’s antioxidants.

It Prevents Cancer

While studies are ongoing, there is evidence that turmeric may help prevent cancer, especially cancer in the digestive system. Curcumin may also possibly treat cancer by killing cancer cells, limiting their growth, and reducing their spread.

It Reduces Risk of Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death around the world. If you could take steps to reduce your risk of this disease, would you? Exercise, a healthy diet, and quitting smoking do wonders to keep your heart healthy, and curcumin can take you a step further in protecting the health of your heart.

A complicated disease with many risk factors, heart disease may be caused in part by inflammation and the damage of free radicals, two things curcumin is known for fighting. But this valuable spice also supports the health of the lining of your blood vessels, which help regulate blood pressure and blood clotting.

Sold on turmeric yet? Then what are you waiting for? Enjoy some today and enjoy better health tomorrow!