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Turmeric is a plant that belongs to the ginger family. The benefits of this plant are as many as the hairs in your head (except if you´re bald, in which case turmeric has more benefits than you have hairs). The root is a very common ingredient in Indian food. It can be processed as a bright, orange powder that turns yellow in small quantities.
It has a strong flavor; it is a wonderful spice for food. It can turn the dullest of meals into a festive explosion of flavor.
The Indian people have known the benefits of this amazing plant for thousands of years. Here, on the other side of the ocean we are slowly beginning to open our eyes to the grandiosity of turmeric.
Here are just a few of its benefits and qualities.
1- Prevents Cancer
Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant. It protects the colon cells from free radicals. Frequent use of turmeric has also been linked to lower rates of breast, prostate and lung cancer.
2- Inhibits the growth of cancer cells and Metastases
In a study conducted by the University of Texas, turmeric has shown to help prevent tumors from forming and even if cancer cells are already present, it can help slow the spread of cancer cells to other parts of the body.
The study was done on mice, but the mice that were given turmeric lived to die another day.
3- Happier Liver, happier body.
Turmeric has shown proof to increase the detoxification ability of our liver.
4- Heart Disease.
It prevents the oxidation of good cholesterol in our body, which prevents damage in blood vessels, and reduces the possibility of a heart attack or stroke.
5- Lowers BAD Cholesterol
Turmeric increases the creation of receptors for LDL (bad cholesterol) this helps the liver cells eliminate more LDL.
Growing evidence suggests that this marvelous plant may be able to protect us from neurodegenerative diseases. Elderly Indian population that ate more turmeric have shown a lower rate of Alzheimer’s Disease.
7- Indigestion or Dyspepsia
It reduces symptoms of bloating and gas in people suffering from indigestion. The German Commission has approved turmeric for digestive problems.
8- Ulcerative Colitis
In spite of this being a chronic disease of the digestive tract, turmeric may help people stay in remission for a longer period of time.
A study found that people using an Ayurvedic formula containing turmeric help patients reduce the pain associate to osteoarthritis, this could be thanks to its ability to reduce inflation.
10- Bacterial and Viral Infections
Turmeric is also considered a great anti-bacterial. Many Ayurvedic remedies to treat skin diseases show a significant improvement in people who were treated with turmeric. It may also kill viruses.
Preliminary studies have suggested that turmeric can be as effective as corticosteroids in treating uveitis.
12- Improves Brain Function
Turmeric increases brain levels of BDNF (a protein related to nerve growth).
Another study done on mice exposed that the ones that were given turmeric showed an improvement in memory.
In a study conducted on a group of human volunteers, turmeric showed improvements in patients with depression similar to those acquire by using Prozac.
There is proof that turmeric can also increase the brains neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.
HOW TO EAT TURMERIC
There are several different ways how you can get your daily intake of turmeric; below you can read a few tips.
- Sprinkle it on you peanut butter sandwich, I know it might not sound appealing but it actually gives it a nice kick.
- Cut a few pieces of turmeric root, boil it from six to ten minutes and enjoy. Is a strong flavor but an exotic one too.
- You can sprinkle it on your rice while cooking, it gives it a fantastic flavor.
- If you eat meat, spicing it with turmeric is great idea.
- Indian food. Turmeric is a key ingredient in Indian cuisine.
Gunnars, Kris. “10 Proven Health Benefits of turmeric and Curcumin”. http://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric/
“Turmeric.” University of Maryland Medical Center. Retrieved from: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/turmeric
“Turmeric”. The World´s Healthiest Foods. Retrieved from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=78