Health Benefits Of Turmeric

Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that provides a wealth of health benefits. This common culinary spice has not just enhanced the flavour of many meals; it has been used for centuries as an anti-inflammatory agent by the Indians and Chinese. In addition, it is also an antioxidant and an antiseptic.

Traditionally called Indian saffron (as it is similar to saffron) it has been used throughout history as a condiment, textile dye and to heal. Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant.

Before getting into all the health benefits from the super-spice, let’s examine the nutrient content. Based on two teaspoons (or 4.40 grams), turmeric has:

  • Manganese - 17 percent of the daily value
  • Iron - 10 percent of the daily value
  • Vitamin B6 - 4 percent of the daily value
  • Fibre - 3.7 percent of the daily value
  • Potassium - 3.1 percent of the daily value

Turmeric Is A Safe Anti-Inflammatory

The yellow or orange pigment of turmeric is known as curcumin and the anti-inflammatory effects have been proven in numerous studies to be comparable to many pharmaceutical drugs. Most pharmaceutical drugs come with a long list of potential negative side effects; turmeric is known to have no negative side effects.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant and can neutralize free radicals. This is important in many diseases including arthritis where free radicals are the culprits for painful joint inflammation and damage to the joints.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Curcumin may be an effective treatment for inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's and ulcerative colitis according to recent research. While researchers are not yet sure exactly how curcumin achieves its protective effects, they are somewhat certain that its benefits are the result of not only antioxidant activity, but also inhibition of a major cellular inflammatory agent. Curcumin has been found to be safe in large doses.

Cancer Prevention

The antioxidant actions of turmeric have the ability to be a strong cancer preventative. Curcumin has been proven to protect the colon cells from free radicals. It also helps the body to destroy cancer cells that have mutated thus preventing them from spreading.

Frequent use of turmeric has been linked to lower rates of breast, prostate, colon and lung cancers. Lab tests have shown that curcumin can prevent tumours from even starting. Research at the University of Texas suggests that when breast cancer is present, curcumin slows the spread of breast cancer to the lungs (study was conducted on mice).

Here are some other quick looks at this powerful spice:

  • Can delay liver damage that eventually leads to cirrhosis.
  • Reduces the levels (up to 40 percent) of heterocyclic amines, the carcinogenic compounds that are formed when meats are fried, barbecued or boiled.
  • University of South Dakota researchers discovered that taking curcumin before chemo or radiotherapy makes cancer cells more vulnerable.
  • Many researchers believe that daily use of turmeric may prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
  • WHFoods reports that curcumin can correct the most common expression of the genetic defect that is the culprit for cystic fibrosis.

Turmeric is mild in taste and benefits almost every system in the body. This is a must-have spice as it is a powerful plant to add to your diet. When thinking of using turmeric as a method to help control arthritis or other joint pain, be sure to contact Chiro-Med Rehab Centre.

Chiro-Med Rehab Centre has a walk-in clinic conveniently located at 10144 Yonge Street, just north of Major MacKenzie Drive in the heart of Richmond Hill. Call 905-918-0419 for more information or to book a consultation.

March 10, 2014

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