Amazing benefits of Turmeric
The spice with which all of us are familiar, the one taken for granted but used by almost all the households across the country – turmeric, is a power house of health benefits.
Recent studies have started endorsing what we Indians believed and practiced all along – that turmeric contains powerful medicinal properties. From using it on a cut or wound to prevent infections, to using it as an integral part of auspicious occasions – turmeric has always been a part of our daily lives. The brilliance of our ancestors was to make its use simple and easy by making it a part of our daily cooking.
Turmeric has been known to fight infections, impact brain health, improve immunity and is a powerful anti-oxidant among various other benefits. The main active ingredient in turmeric is a compound called curcumin which is thought to impart the major benefits.
Cancer: Studies show that some forms of cancers are affected by regular consumption of turmeric. Curcumin can impact the growth and development of cancer cells at a very fundamental level. Studies have also shown that it contributes towards the death of cancer cells. Its anti-oxidant property is what helps in fighting the free radicals present in the body.
Arthritis: Curcumin has very strong anti – inflammatory properties. Research has shown the benefit of regular turmeric consumption in reducing the pain that is associated with arthritis. In fact a study has shown curcumin to be more effective than an anti-inflammatory drug.
Brain health: Curcumin has the ability to increase the production of a growth hormone in the brain. The decrease in the levels of this hormone known as BDNF or Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor has been linked to diseases like depression, Alzheimer’s and memory decline. Since, turmeric intake has the ability to boost the levels of this hormone, it may be effective in delaying or even reversing these diseases.
Heart disease: Curcumin plays an important role in improving the function of the lining of the heart blood vessels thereby positively impacting the regulation of blood pressure, blood clotting etc. Also since it’s a potent anti-inflammatory and an anti-oxidant, it helps keep the heart function normal.
Liver health: Regular consumption of turmeric helps in optimizing the health of the liver by releasing the toxins from the system.
Diabetes: a study review has shown that the use of turmeric can treat diabetes related complications like microangiopathy, nephropathy and retinopathy. It can help stabilize blood sugar and make the body insulin sensitive. Few studies have shown that turmeric has the ability to help the pancreatic cells that produce insulin to repair themselves as well as function faster and more efficiently.
Apart from the above mentioned benefits, turmeric has the ability to improve your immunity, it has also been known to be beneficial for smoker’s lung, digestion, irritable bowel syndrome, improving the hydration levels of the body, to heal bruises and aches, fight acne and skin brightening apart from many more.
Our grandmas always knew the scores of benefits provided in a humble glass of “haldiwaladoodh”, be it a case of cold and congestion, pain or bruising or even severe constipation. In the US its fast gaining popularity as “Golden Milk “or “Turmeric Latte”. The incredible part is they are trying to patent it!
My advice – to reap it’s many benefits, just like our dadi’s and nani’s insisted, make it your bedtime nightcap!
(The writer is a gold medalist in Food & Nutrition with more than 12 years experience. She manages various ailments through lifestyle and dietary modifications and specializes in weight loss & management. She practices at 102, Crystal Center, Raheja Vihar, Powai or Smile Craft, 23, Annapurna Industrial estate, Opp. CCD, Ghatkopar East. For appointments: 022 2857 6