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Amazing Health Benefits Series: Turmeric

Remember your new year resolutions? How are you doing in keeping to them? If they included taking care of yourself by eating better, then read on.

Today’s blog is the fourth and final one in my  four-part series on the amazing benefits some easy-to-find foods that are found all around us. I want to bring greater awareness of the intrinsic properties these foods possess that support our health and well-being.  This blog focuses on the health benefits of turmeric.

Turmeric is a flowing plant from the ginger or Zingiberaceae family. The roots are used in cooking. This perennial is native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It needs a lot of rainfall to grow. It’s used in the cuisine of many Asian cultures, and for dying fabric. Turmeric powder has a warm, bitter, black-pepper like flavor and earthy, mustard-like scent.  For centuries, Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines utilize turmeric to clear infections and inflammations on the inside and outside of the body. Western medical practitioners have only recently come on board acknowledging the health benefits of turmeric. How does turmeric benefit our health?

Turmeric helps block cancers

  • Curcumin, the main component in turmeric, blocks an enzyme that promotes the growth of head and neck cancer. Studies revealed that by taking 1,000 mg. of curcumin the cancer-promoting enzymes in the patients’ mouths were inhibited and thus prevented from advancing the spread of the malignant cells. Other studies have indicated that curcumin may help prevent or treat other types of cancer including prostate, skin and colon.

Turmeric helps lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease

  • Studies show curcumin improves memory and mood swings in people who suffer from mild cases of memory loss. While the exact reason why turmeric can improve memory isn’t known, researchers believe it’s because the spice has anti-inflammatory properties, therefore reducing brain inflammation, linked to both Alzheimer’s disease and depression.

Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory

  • Turmeric is a potent natural anti-inflammatory. Using turmeric for pre-existing rheumatoid arthritis has a significant reduction in its symptoms.  Some research shows that curcumin might ease symptoms of uveitis, an inflammation in the middle layer of the eye. Other research shows that taking turmeric daily for several months may improve kidney function for people with kidney inflammation.

Turmeric helps osteoarthritis pain relief

  • Turmeric may also be helpful to ease the pain of osteoarthritis. Turmeric worked about as well as ibuprofen for relieving osteoarthritis pain.

Now, go get some turmeric!

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