5 incredible health benefits of turmeric
Turmeric has been at the forefront of many health-focused discussions in recent years and it’s easy to see why. Renowned for its ability to combat a number of ailments, including hay fever, depression, gingivitis, PMT and high cholesterol, turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years and is a staple in Indian cuisine and healing remedies. It has since attained global status as a ‘superfood’, cropping up everywhere in wellness circles (turmeric latte anyone?) and for good reason. Here are five ways it can benefit your health(1)..
It’s a potent source of antioxidants
Part of the ginger family, turmeric is a spice derived from the roots of the turmeric plant. It’s known for its vivid yellow colour pigments, known as curcuminoids, as well as containing special essential oils called tumerones. These both work in tandem as antioxidants, which help protect cells in our body from free radicals (unstable molecules that attack healthy skin tissue).
It calms inflammation
Turmeric is highly prized as an anti-inflammatory. It blocks the body’s inflammatory pathways, so it works wonders for issues like heartburn and indigestion. It can also help with other ailments linked to inflammation like arthritis, and skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema – as well as acne. (In fact, many people use it to treat acne topically as a part of a home-made face mask).
It also regulates blood pressure
Blood pressure levels are key when it comes to good health, as if they’re too high it can put strain on the heart and arteries, leading to increased risk of heart disease and strokes. Growing research suggests turmeric helps to reduce blood pressure – thanks to the curcuminoids, which work to lower the excess platelet aggregation that occurs in sticky, clot-forming blood. By improving blood flow to the heart and through the liver, turmeric supports the body’s natural detoxification process, preventing our arteries getting clogged and significantly improving the quality of our skin in the process!
Our gut just loves it
Turmeric is renowned for maintaining a healthy gut; a lot of people tend to swear by it as a remedy for an upset stomach after a heavy night! It works to maintain a good balance of probiotics i.e. ‘friendly’ bacteria in the gut walls, which are directly responsible for keeping the immune system functioning at its best.
It can help boost the mood
As well as all the many physical benefits associated with turmeric, mounting evidence suggests it can work to help combat depression. Scientists have found that the curcuminoids in turmeric have an effect on several physiological systems that are implicated in the causes of depression. For example, its ability as an anti-inflammatory can help maintain healthy levels of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which are responsible for regulating our mood and staving off depression and anxiety.
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