Tumeric – Your Golden Ticket to Health – by Robert Ball, BA
Most people are familiar with turmeric being used as a spice or additive in their favorite cuisines. Did you know that there is a plethora of health advantages to be found when consuming turmeric on a daily basis? Evidence of its use as a medicine dates back over 4,000 years, with origins in India and surrounding areas. Studies have found turmeric aids in the relief of joint inflammation, supports the cardiovascular system, as well as improving gut health and digestion. It also contains powerful antioxidant properties.
Curcumin is a key element of turmeric. This powerhouse component is responsible for most of the anti-inflammatory benefits. Although the percentage of curcumin in turmeric by weight is small (about 2%), it is highly effective. Curcumin is not absorbed well by the body on its own. To increase bioavailability and gain the full effect, it should be consumed with a minute dose of black pepper. Piperine, which is contained in the pepper, is a bioactive alkaloid compound similar to those found in cayenne pepper and chili powder. Piperine has been shown to help relieve nausea, headaches, poor digestion and also has anti-inflammatory properties. Its most significant benefit is the ability to boost the absorption of curcumin into the system.
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Help for Inflammation
Inflammation comes in many forms such as joint pain and muscle discomfort. Areas like blood vessels where we might not necessarily recognize there is a problem can also be a concern when it comes to irritated internal tissue. A study done at the University of Texas https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15489888 concluded that curcumin is just as effective, if not more effective, as aspirin and ibuprofen are at reducing inflammation in the body. Its effect on blood vessel maintenance is fascinating due to how it promotes the improvement of the internal lining of vessels, known as endothelium. When this tissue is damaged or deteriorated, it cannot properly regulate blood pressure and clotting. This leads to heart disease, the largest cause of death among men and women. Curcumin helps maintain a robust lining in the vessels, which promotes healthy, normal blood circulation.
The intestinal benefits gleaned from adding turmeric to a daily regimen are also quite notable. Again, curcumin comes to the rescue by stimulating the gallbladder in the bile production process, aiding in breaking down food and improving digestion. It has the ability to reduce gas and bloating symptoms for those that live with indigestion problems. Research has also suggested that curcumin can even help with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease that leads to pain in the digestive tract. A steady intake of turmeric can also create bacterial diversity in the gut, ensuring positive and efficient interaction with nutrients that are consumed.
Processed foods are the bane of a healthy digestive system, but another perk of curcumin is that it is a powerful antioxidant. The free radicals that are prevalent in junk food can lead to cancer, neurodegenerative disease, and a host of undesirable conditions. Not only does curcumin help eradicate toxins, but it has also been shown to boost other antioxidant enzymes in the body.
Turmeric, when taken at recommended doses, is an exceptional, all-natural replacement for over-the-counter remedies.
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Traci Baxendale Ball, LMSW, CAADC is the founder of Vibrant Health Company LLC
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