Turmeric is gaining popularity and there are lots of reasons why. Curcumin is considered one of the most beneficial compounds from turmeric. The benefits are incredible.
You may have heard about curcumin's benefits but newly published data keeps showing up touting it's many benefits. Chinese and Indian medicine have used the spice turmeric since ancient times because that is where it typically grows but modern science is now revealing that curcumin (the active part of the spice turmeric) can have a drastic impact on neurodegenerative diseases and cancer.
Researchers have discovered that curcumin has the ability to prevent some of the underlying processes that cause Alzheimer's disease and significantly reduce it's development. Due to the fact that it is able to cross over the blood brain barrier it has a neuroprotective effect. Curcumin fights the underlying causes of Alzheimers disease by binding to toxic beta amyloid proteins preventing the formation of dangerous plaque.
Studies are beginning to show that curcumin has the ability to slow tumor growth when it occurs and also sensitizes cancer cells to existing chemotherapy drugs.
- Protects against oxidative damage even better than Vitamin E making it a powerful antioxidant
- Protects against liver damage
- Lowers cholesterol
- Prevents DNA damage by toxins, radiation and other environmental factors
- Prevent heart attacks
- Prevent of significantly delay onset of diabetes by balancing blood sugar levels
- Lowers inflammation thus helping to treat sprained muscles, joint pain and speed up wound healing
- Reduces systemic inflammation in obese people
- Antimicrobial activity
- As effective as Prozac in patients with depression
- Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties making it an incredible anti-aging supplement
- Useful for auto-immune diseases such as psoriasis, eczema,
I personally love fresh turmeric root (looks similar to ginger root). I purchase it at my local Earth Fare store. It can be used minced, diced, grated, juiced or however you like. Of course, I always keep it powdered as well. (Be warned, turmeric can stain hands, clothing and cutting boards!)
Ideas for using Turmeric in cooking
- Add powdered turmeric to scrambled eggs with a pinch of black pepper. When using turmeric in cooking it is best to pair it with black pepper because it boosts the absorption rate.
- Add fresh or powdered turmeric to vegetables cooked in healthy fat like coconut oil since many of the nutrients contained in turmeric are fat soluble. Use it with green beans in a recipe like this one, but use coconut oil or butter because olive oil should not be used for cooking as heating it creates oxidative damage. (2)
- Stir powdered turmeric into soups like Cream of Sweet Stuff Soup
- Blend it into smoothies. I modified this Mango Turmeric smoothie by leaving out the banana and adding Pristine Protein Powder.
- Make it into a tea (here's 7 different tea recipes)
- Goes great in rice dishes, like this Beauty Rice.
- Juice. Try this concoction instead of Advil next time you have a headache or muscle sprain.
Store dry turmeric in a cool dark place, store fresh turmeric in the fridge for up to two weeks (1)
Curcumin can also be taken in supplement form. According to Dr. Mercola, it is best to:
Locate a high quality turmeric extract that contains 100 percent certified organic ingredients, with at least 95 percent curcuminoids. The formula should be free of fillers, additives, and excipients (a substance added to the supplement as a processing or stability aid), and the manufacturer should use safe production practices at all stages: planting, cultivation, selective harvesting, and then producing and packaging the final product. Typical anticancer doses are up to three grams of good bioavailable curcumin extract, three to four times daily.(3)
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Curcumin is extremely safe. In fact, no toxicity issues have been reported for the compound, even when used in dosages as high as 10 grams or more daily. While there is much research to be done, enhanced forms of curcumin may also provide even further benefits, making curcumin therapy a very realistic option for almost any condition. Of course, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting any kind of supplements. (4)