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5 Surprising Health Benefits of Turmeric

5 Surprising Health Benefits of Turmeric

Most people are familiar with this bright yellow superfood due to its anti-inflammatory effects. 

Turmeric, and more accurately, curcumin - the active ingredient in the root - is well known to offer incredible benefits towards fighting inflammation within the body. 

But what if you learned that this superfood does way more than just fight inflammation?

It is indeed a superfood, and turmeric has amazing health benefits in several aspects of bodily systems. 

In addition to fighting inflammation, here’s 5 surprising reasons you should be adding turmeric to your diet:

  • Reduce risk of Alzheimer’s development – Alzheimer’s is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world, leaving its victims with memory loss, compromised motor function, and eventually significant loss of brain function. While no specific cure has been found, research has shown that inflammation and oxidative damage play a role in the disease, and turmeric helps in both of these areas.  Of particular interest, is that curcumin is able to cross the blood brain barrier, a rarity for substances, in the interest of protecting the delicate brain tissue.  By being able to cross however, curcumin is able to elicit its powerful anti-inflammatory affects directly in the brain, promoting more precise targeting of Alzheimer’s compromised tissues.
  • Boosts immunity – The immune system is the main player responsible for fighting off colds and flu, and can be dramatically influenced by the presence of free radicals within the body. These free radicals target immune cells, compromising their function, and hence preventing the immune system from doing its job and being able to prevent us from getting sick.  Consuming turmeric, and getting regular intake of antioxidants through superfoods and our daily diet, gives the body the tools it needs to reduce the build up of free radicals and limit oxidative stress on the cells, hence encouraging better immune cell function and promoting better immunity.
  • Promotes better heart health - Recognized as one of the biggest killers in the world, heart disease can take on many forms, including stroke, heart attack, and blood vessel diseases, one of the common denominators among those affected is that the endothelium is compromised. The endothelium is the lining of the blood vessels, and it can be affected by overuse, underuse, build up of things like cholesterol or plaque, or simply blood clots, blocking proper flow of blood along the epithelial tissue.  Research has shown, that turmeric, and more specifically the curcumin within the popular root, can help boost the health of endothelial tissue, hence improving endothelial function and reducing the incidence of heart disease.
  • Boosts liver health – The liver is the main detoxifier of the body. It is responsible for breaking down and metabolizing fat in association with the gall bladder, it metabolizes drugs, detoxifies food and drink, metabolizes alcohol and has several other important and critical tasks.  A compensated liver has a negative affect on several areas of function within the body, including digestion and elimination, immunity, blood sugar regulation, kidney function and many more.  One of the risks of poor liver health is fatty liver disease, where the liver begins to carry several fatty deposits, which inhibit its function.   Consuming turmeric, helps reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood and hence the amount that is available to be deposited on the liver causing fatty liver disease.
  • Improves gut health – A key area of current research, is the relationship between the gut and several other inflictions such as mental health, brain function, energy production and mood. The gut is a very delicate biome, which functions optimally with a specific balance of good and bad bacteria.  The production of said bacteria is reliant on a healthy gut lining, which secretes enzymes that help digest and absorb food and allow the maintenance of the bacteria balance.  When the gut lining is inflamed however, due to things such as poor food choices, allergies, or overconsumption of processed foods, it is not able to produce proper enzymes or proper mucosal lining for digestion, leading to inadequate nutrient absorption and an imbalance in gut bacteria. With the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric, consuming this regularly can help reduce gut inflammation, encouraging proper enzyme production for digestion and helping to maintain good gut health.

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