Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Amazing Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice that is used quite extensively in different cuisines around the world, and research is showing that it may have the potential to help the body in numerous ways. It’s always nice when science backs up what some cultures have known for centuries, as it gives it some added clout that it actually works.

There are generally two ways to get turmeric into your body, you can use it in its powdered form as a spice in your cooking, or you can find it as a supplement in extract form. The latter will provide a stronger dose and is more practical in some instances when you’ll need to consume more than is feasible by eating it as a food.

While there are many claims made on the benefits of turmeric, the following list contains those benefits that have shown promising clinical research to back them up.

1. Helps to Prevent Cancer

Perhaps the most convincing reason to start incorporating turmeric into your life is the way it helps the body fend off cancer formation and growth. It has been shown to help with a number of different cancers, stopping the spread throughout the body and the growth of the tumor in question.

It’s not too often that science backs up claims that a food item can have anti-cancer benefits, but turmeric is currently being heavily researched, and the findings suggest that it really does work to help prevent cancer and keep it from getting worse.

To get this benefit you can simply start consuming more turmeric, or you can use a turmeric supplement if it doesn’t seem likely that you will cook more with it.

Use turmeric in conjunction with other anti-cancer foods in a healthy lifestyle designed for optimal health and longevity.

2. Eases Arthritis Symptoms

If you suffer from arthritis pain you may want to consider adding more turmeric to your daily diet, as it has been shown to help ease the pain associated from arthritis thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Since the regular course of treatment for arthritis is focused around pain management with prescription medication, it’s good to use as many all-natural remedies as you can, especially those that are backed up by clinical studies.

To use turmeric for arthritis you’ll want to ingest it, as it doesn’t work as a topical treatment, but rather from the inside to help soothe inflammation and bring the body back to its more natural state.

While there is no cure for arthritis, when taken regularly turmeric can help reduce the symptoms associated with it, and is best used as part of an overall arthritis management strategy.

3. Soothes Upset Stomach

Turmeric has long been used as a quick and effective cure for an upset stomach. This is one of those benefits that has been known for generations, but only recently has science come along to back it up.

Because turmeric acts as an anti-inflammatory, it helps to keep stomach acid from getting out of control, and has been shown to soothe heartburn as well as general stomach upset.

Taking too much turmeric can actually cause an upset stomach, so it’s all about taking the right amount of it, and not overdoing it. Too much of a good thing can make it a bad thing, so be sure to test what your tolerance level is and find the right dosage level.

Turmeric can be used to help calm digestive trouble and get your stomach feeling good again.

4. Helps Prevent Prostate Cancer

We’ve already discussed how turmeric is helpful with cancer in general, but there is very promising research showing that it can go a long way in the fight against prostate cancer. Since prostate cancer will affect many men, it’s perhaps one of the most convincing reasons to get more turmeric in your life.

To get these benefits you’ll need to use turmeric frequently, and combine it with cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and kale. While it’s possible to simply use more turmeric in your cooking, many find it easier to take it in supplement form to take away the guesswork.

There are a number of foods that have been shown to help with prostate cancer, so be sure to eat more of those as well, and not rely on turmeric alone. These foods include green tea, broccoli, and pomegranate.

Turmeric has been shown to help prevent prostate cancer, the most common cancer for men other than skin cancer.

5. Helps the Heart Stay Healthy

Your heart is vital to your everyday health and longevity, and it’s important to keep it functioning at the best of its abilities. Turmeric can help in several ways, including preventing strokes and heart attacks.

Turmeric helps to break up the cholesterol that’s responsible for blocking your arteries, and this alone makes it worth using on a regular basis. Heart attacks and strokes are the leading forms of fatal heart disease, so eating right, being fit, and taking supplements like turmeric and other all-natural herbs can help you avoid them.

There is no magic bullet when it comes to taking care of your heart, so don’t leave it up to one type of food or spice or supplement. Take a multi-tiered approach to a healthy heart and you'll reap the benefits for years to come.

Keep your heart healthy with a regular dose of turmeric for less arterial plaque and a healthier cardiovascular system in general.

6. It’s a Natural Fat Burner

One of the more widely known benefits of turmeric is its ability to help the body burn fat. That’s why it’s being recommended more and more as a dietary aid when trying to lose weight.

The best part of adding more turmeric to your diet in order to lose fat is that it helps to flavor up most any dish, and it’s all natural so you won’t have to turn to dangerous fat loss pills or crash diets.

Tip: When trying to lose weight, it’s best to focus on fat loss and not overall body weight. Invest in a scale that also shows you your Body Fat Percentage and decide on a healthy BFP rather than a healthy weight. Many diets have you losing water weight or muscle mass, which is counterproductive.

Turmeric can help to boost the body’s metabolism, helping to break down fat even when you're sleeping.

7. Helps in Preventing Alzheimer’s

It’s amazing to think that an herb or spice can have an effect on the functioning of your brain, but research has shown that debilitating conditions such as Alzheimer’s can be prevented, and treated, with turmeric.

In order to get these benefits you’ll need to take turmeric supplements, as it is unlikely that you’d get enough curcumin through dietary means alone. Consult with your doctor for the best dosage for your needs, and before starting any herbal supplementation.

The best part about turmeric in regards to Alzheimer’s is that it works to help treat it once it’s been diagnosed, in addition to helping prevent it in the first place. You can use this as a way to make sure you don’t get it, or as a way to reverse it if you show signs already.

Use turmeric as part of a long-term approach to preventing Alzheimer’s, or as a way to help improve a preexisting condition.

8. Treats Depression

Curcumin, the anti-oxidant that makes turmeric so fascinating as a spice, has been shown to work very similar to an antidepressant. This is good news for those looking to treat their depression using natural methods, as well as those that simply want the best mental health they can have.

It’s important to point out that much of the research regarding turmeric and depression has been conducted using laboratory animals such as mice.

Clinical depression is a serious medical condition that requires a doctor’s expert opinion and a course of treatment. Using all-natural substances like turmeric should have your doctor’s approval and be in line with their recommendations.

Those susceptible to the signs and symptoms of depression may find that they feel better with regular usage of a turmeric supplement.

9. Helps to Lower Cholesterol

High cholesterol is a precursor to several heart conditions, which is why it’s so important to keep it at healthy levels. There are several ways to help get your cholesterol levels down, but adding a simple spice to your cooking can go a long way.

Turmeric helps to lower cholesterol levels thanks to the cucurmin it contains, which encourages the liver to help get rid of more of the bad cholesterol in the body.

Always consult your doctor before going off of any medications for cholesterol. Inform them that you would like to take a more all-natural approach to lowering your cholesterol with a mix of dietary changes, exercise, and supplementation, and work with them to make it happen.

If you're battling with high cholesterol levels, give turmeric a try as an all-natural way to help bring them down.

10. Helps the Skin

Turmeric can help the skin in many ways, from reducing redness to fighting the signs of aging. These skin treatments involve using turmeric powder topically rather than ingesting it.

There are a few properties of turmeric that give it its healing nature when applied to the skin. The first is that it’s anti-inflammatory, which helps soothe many different skin problems. The second is its antiseptic ability, which helps rid the skin of impurities.

Many of the most popular skin care products on the market contain chemicals and additives that you wouldn’t want to rub onto your skin. Using an all natural item like turmeric helps to heal the skin without these largely unknown ingredients.

As a topical treatment for skin it has been shown to help with everything from acne to stretch marks to wrinkles.

11. Helps with Diabetes

Turmeric has made a lot of news for its ability to help prevent and manage diabetes. It has a positive effect on blood glucose levels, helping to get them lower or keep them low.

There is clinical evidence for the effectiveness of turmeric on blood sugar levels, so this is one natural remedy that you can feel good about using in conjunction with your other preventive or management efforts.

You should consult with your doctor before starting to use more turmeric or taking turmeric supplements. If you’re already using insulin or medication to manage your blood glucose levels the addition of turmeric could lower them too far, causing additional problems in the form of hypoglycemia.

If you are at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes or already have diabetes and are looking for natural ways to lower your blood glucose levels, try supplementing with turmeric.

12. Protects Against Free Radical Damage

Curcumin found in turmeric is a powerful antioxidant, which will help protect the body against free radical damage, which helps it stay healthy and vital and prevents several diseases.

The antioxidant power of turmeric is what makes it so effective and gives it many of the other benefits listed here. Antioxidants have been shown to prevent cancer and heart disease, and help with a myriad of conditions that are either caused by, or worsened by, free radical damage.

Many foods are known for their antioxidant value, including blueberries, green tea, and tomatoes, but it’s not too often that you find a spice that is loaded with as much antioxidant value as turmeric.

Turmeric can become a part of your daily intake of foods containing antioxidants to fight the daily battle against free radical damage.

13. Works as an Antiseptic

While you may never find yourself using turmeric to clean a wound, it’s helpful to know that it does show antiseptic properties when used in this manner.

Turmeric has been used for centuries as a way to clean wounds and kill off microbes that would otherwise cause an infection.

Today we have plenty of pharmaceutical antiseptics that are very effective at cleaning wound and preventing infection, but for those that want to stick to more all-natural remedies, turmeric is a suitable stand-in.

If you find yourself without a conventional antiseptic when cleaning a wound, you can use turmeric paste to get many of the same benefits.

14. Helps Bowel Disorders

If you’ve been known to have trouble with various bowel disorders, turmeric may be able to help improve the situation. It’s been shown to help with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and Crohn’s disease.

The anti inflammatory nature of turmeric is what helps the bowels return to their natural state of wellbeing. Because bowel disorders range greatly in their severity, the amount of relief you experience will depend on a large number of factors.

Using turmeric alone might not be enough to fully recover from a specific bowel disorder. It takes a cumulative effort of dietary and lifestyle changes, and perhaps medication. Consult with your doctor for a plan of action on how to best treat your specific condition.

Turmeric has a soothing effect on the bowels, helping to calm them down and get them to function as they should.

15. Headache Remedy

Turmeric can be used as an effective headache remedy for headaches, and as long as you don't overdo it, there aren't any reported side effects with taking turmeric.

Turmeric will work best on headaches caused by tension, and a turmeric supplement will provide better and faster relief than trying to eat it to cure a headache. It is the anti-inflammatory property of turmeric that helps with headaches.

Many things can cause a headache, so it’s best to find out what is giving you the headaches, rather than trying to come up with ways to get rid of them. If you know what is triggering your headaches you can do your best to avoid those triggers, and use natural remedies like turmeric only after you’ve come down with one.

If you suffer from regular headaches you can use turmeric as an all natural remedy.

16. Detoxes the Liver

The liver plays a big part in helping detox the body, so it only makes sense to help it out by detoxing the liver, and turmeric can help.

Turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic practices for centuries as a way to help cleanse the liver as well as the digestive system. Both need to be functioning well in order to eliminate toxins from the body.

The reason it’s so crucial to treat the liver well is that so many things are taxing to the it. Overconsumption of alcohol, not enough water intake, and an improper diet can really take a toll on the liver. Luckily it is a resilient organ designed to heal quickly when treated right.

The liver is vital to the proper functioning of all of your other organs. Treat it right and you’ll experience trickle-down benefits in your important systems.

17. Acts as an Anti-Inflammatory

Turmeric, or rather the curcumin it contains, has anti-inflammatory properties that will help relieve symptoms from conditions caused by inflammation. This can be of real value if you’re currently suffering from one of these conditions, or you are trying to prevent the onset of a specific disease.

Several sources state that inflammation is responsible at least in some part to nearly every major disease, so it’s key to keep this in mind and take action to prevent an inflammatory state.

Over-inflammation can cause or worsen several conditions, which is why it’s a good idea to eat a diet rich in foods that have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Turmeric can play its part, but be sure to combine it with other anti-inflammatory foods.

It’s important to keep the body free from an inflammatory state. Turmeric can help bring balance to the body and ease the symptoms from several inflammatory conditions.

18. Boosts the Immune System

Turmeric has been shown repeatedly to be a big boost to the immune system, which results in better overall health and well being, and less likelihood of getting sick or coming down with a disease.

A poor diet can result in a depressed immune system, which is why it’s essential to eat well and get regular exercise along with supplementing your diet with natural foods and spices like turmeric for an improved immune system and better health.

Your immune system is the cornerstone to your health and longevity, so any amount of time spent on improving it is a good investment. Since several factors determine the health of your immune system, you’ll want to keep the bigger picture in mind and do everything you can for a healthy immune system.

Using turmeric regularly can help your immune system stay strong, increasing the chance of maintaining or establishing good health, and decreasing the chance of an illness such as the flu or more serious diseases.

19. Lowers Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can eventually lead to more severe heart conditions, and treating it is very important for your overall cardiovascular health. For this to occur you’ll need to take higher doses of turmeric in supplement form, rather than eating massive amounts of it.

Turmeric acts as a natural blood thinner, so you’ll want to make sure that your doctor knows about its use before you start taking it, as it could affect other medications you’re on.

You should always consult with your doctor before supplementing with any herbal remedy, and definitely before ceasing or reducing any blood pressure medication you’re currently on. It’s good to try to treat your high blood pressure naturally, but you want to do it with the help of your doctor.

Turmeric can play its part in your approach to lowering your blood pressure naturally through dietary changes and lifestyle adjustments.

20. Lowers Cortisol Levels

You may have heard of cortisol because many of the most popular diet pills on the planet say that they work by reducing the amount of cortisol in the body. This in turn helps to reduce belly fat, as cortisol is a stress hormone that causes the body to retain fat.

Cortisol has been dubbed “the stress hormone” and has been linked to things like sleep problems and even blood sugar levels. Rather than subject yourself to these often dangerous weight loss pills, you can use turmeric as a natural way to bring down your cortisol and stress less.

Other foods to help you lower your cortisol level are spinach, dark chocolate, and beans. It’s always best to use whole foods like these rather than a proprietary blend of ingredients in a pill or supplement.

You can use turmeric as a natural way to reduce the amount of cortisol in the body, thereby helping to find a natural weight.

21. Provides Pain Relief

Pain relievers are a multi-billion dollar a year industry, and that’s just for over-the-counter medications. Finding natural ways to get this same sort of relief without having to resort to medicine is a big part of living a more natural lifestyle.

Anti-inflammatory benefits provided by turmeric will help with conditions like arthritis, but many of the top-selling OTC pain relievers act as anti-inflammatories as well. The main takeaway is that less inflammation equals less pain all else being equal.

You can use turmeric in two different ways to get pain relief benefits. You can either use more of it in your cooking, or start taking turmeric supplements for a more potent amount of the curumin it contains.

Add turmeric to your daily diet and start getting the benefits of pain relief. If you don't notice any change, try using turmeric supplements for higher doses.

Thanks for reading,
Laurel ♥

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