Also known with the scientific name Curcuma longa, turmeric is a rhizomatous herb and perennial plant of the ginger family Zingiberaceae. The plant is usually collected for the rhizomes and propagated from those in the succeeding season. In addition, it is typically used as a spice in dishes, such as Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi, among others. Aside from being a spice, turmeric is also packed with several health benefits.
Turmeric can manage inflammatory processes in the body. According to the journal Oncogene, as cited by Draxe, a study found out that curcumin in turmeric topped various anti-inflammatory compounds, along with results suggesting that aspirin and ibuprofen are least effective. Such findings are assumed to be beneficial to people, since inflammation is usually linked to common body ailments like pain, arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and cancer.
In line with inflammation, turmeric is also linked to pain reduction in conditions like arthritis. A study aimed to compare the benefits of turmeric to arthritis medications like diclofenac sodium, since the disorder predispose people to the development of heart and genitourinary tract diseases. It involved 45 patients who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, a condition caused by the beta streptococcus, which can also lead to heart diseases.
The study findings revealed that the participants who took turmeric showed the highest improvement percentage when compared to those who took diclofenac sodium. In addition, it was found that turmeric was safe and did not lead to any adverse events.
Anti-Diabetes and Anti-Heart Disease
Turmeric can prevent the occurrence of diabetes mellitus and heart diseases. According to Top 10 Home Remedies, turmeric can bring insulin levels to moderate and improve glucose control. In addition, it can aid in the reduction of insulin resistance; thus, it can also prevent the onset of the type 2 diabetes mellitus, which is associated to poor lifestyle. While turmeric can also boost the action of diabetic medications, it can cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar; thus, it is a good practice to seek medical advice first before taking turmeric capsules.
Along with its anti-diabetic function, turmeric can also reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood. Being able to regulate blood cholesterol levels means boosted chances of not developing heart diseases.
Anti-Oxidant and Anti-Cancer
Turmeric benefits the body with its anti-oxidant properties. According to Authority Nutrition, curcumin serves as a potent antioxidant, which can help the body get rid of free radicals and other harmful elements. In addition, it also promotes the function of the antioxidant enzymes that are naturally produced by the body. This way, turmeric can block toxic substances while activating the body’s natural antioxidant mechanisms at the same time.
With its anti-oxidant properties, turmeric is also linked to cancer prevention and management. Studies are being done to determine the potency of turmeric when it comes to cancer treatment, as it promises some functions that can influence growth, development, and metastasis (spread) of cancer cells. In a study, which involved 44 men with colon lesions, the researchers found that four grams of curcumin everyday times 30 days led to the reduction of the number of lesions by 40 percent.
It is further revealed by several study findings that turmeric can decrease cancer cell growth and inhibit tumor growth in during animal testing; however, efforts are yet to be done on whether high-dose curcumin can positively impact cancer treatment in humans.
Turmeric Milk is the sample recipe for the healthy spice. As per All Recipe, the ingredients include one and a half piece turmeric root, half piece ginger root, a tablespoon of honey, a cu of unsweetened almond milk, a pinch of ground turmeric and a pinch of ground cinnamon.
To prepare, the turmeric root, honey, and ginger root are combined in a bowl, with emphasis on crushing the ginger and turmeric. Then, the almond milk is heated in a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Heat is reduced to low when small bubbles start to form around the edges. Next, two tablespoons of milk are transferred to turmeric mixture to let it soften and get a paste-like consistency. After that, the turmeric paste is mixed into milk, raising the temperature to medium-low, stirring continuously until fully combined. Then, the resulting mixture is blended for a smooth consistency. Finally, the turmeric tea is poured into a mug and is topped with ground turmeric and cinnamon.
Overall, turmeric spices up one’s health with its array of health benefits. Thus, its inclusion in various meal recipes is logical and healthy at the same time.