Turmeric – the wonderful spice that gives the food it’s added to their bright yellow hue and aromatic smell – is part of the ginger family, and is predominantly used for adding flavor and color to popular Asian dishes.
But this spice also has incredible health benefits, many of which are not widely known. Here are some of the ways that adding just a dash of turmeric to your daily diet can help boost your health.
Benefits of Turmeric
- Prevents Cancer
One of the biggest health benefits of turmeric is its role in helping to prevent certain types of cancer, including prostate cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, and leukemia. If cancer cells do exist already, turmeric can help inhibit their growth, and even destroy them. Studies have shown that the active properties in turmeric make it an excellent defender against many cancer tumors that are stimulated by exposure to radiation.
- Boosts the Immune System
Lipopolysaccharide is present in turmeric, which has been shown to help strengthen the body’s immune system. Turmeric also has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agents that also help to boost the immune system. When immunity is high, the body is better able to fight off viruses and bacterial infections. If you feel a cough or cold coming on, take one teaspoon of turmeric powder a day until you feel better. You can mix it in milk, juice, or sprinkle it over salads, soups, meat, and fish.
- Helps Fight Diabetes
Turmeric helps to moderate insulin levels, which is crucial to treating diabetes. It also helps increase the efficacy of medications that treat the disease and improves overall glucose control. Not only that, the risk of developing Type-2 diabetes can be reduced by turmeric’s ability to lower insulin resistance. If you have diabetes and are currently taking medication to control it, consult with your doctor first before adding turmeric to your diet, as this spice can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
- Lowers Cholesterol
Studies have shown that a sprinkle of the spice here and there can lower levels of serum cholesterol. High cholesterol in the blood is linked to all sorts of serious medical issues, including high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.
- Manages Body Weight
If you’re trying to lose weight or maintain your current weight, add some to your diet. Curcumin, the key active component, helps to increase the flow of bile, which is important for breaking down dietary fat. One teaspoon with every meal can help with weight loss.
- Improves Digestion
Many components of turmeric, including curcumin, stimulate the gallbladder to release bile, which improves digestion and lowers symptoms of bloating or gas. It also helps in treating many types of inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
However, if you suffer from gallbladder disease, you shouldn’t take this supplement because it might actually make your condition worse. In this case, it’s best to ingest the raw form if you’ve got digestive issues. As always, talk to your doctor before adding supplements to your diet.
Turmeric is chock-full of protein, fiber, niacin, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, zinc, potassium, calcium, and iron. With so many wonderful properties that it has, adding a little bit of this aromatic spice to your daily diet can have a positive impact on your overall health.