If you’re like me, you’ve heard that turmeric has some AMAZING health benefits for you! Seriously, just google it and you’ll find lots of images like this….
So what IS turmeric exactly? Well, it’s an ancient spice popular in India and Asia as far back as 2,000 BC. The spice belongs in the ginger family and has been highly prized in the culinary traditions of these cultures. Turmeric imparts a vibrant yellowish hue to curry dishes, and the spice is also used as a natural dyeing agent for cloths. In Persia, turmeric comes from the word saffron and is closely related to the spice.
Now, for those of you that like the “science talk” read this…..
The main phytochemicals that gives turmeric its most impressive and wide-ranging health benefits are curcuminoids. Amazingly, over 9,000 medical and clinical research studies have been conducted on this amazing spice and curcumin in recent years, with most noting significant benefits. There are 3 primary phytochemicals in the curcuminoid family that produce the health benefits: diferuloylmethane (or curcumin, the primary curcuminoid responsible for turmeric’s vibrant yellowish color), demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. In addition to these three chemicals, turmerone is another of the potent volatile oils found in the root. Research has proven these curcuminoids exert powerful health-promoting effects via 160 mechanisms and pathways in the body such as antioxidant, neuroprotective, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, epigenetic, and adaptogenic properties.  
This chart graphically details the %DV that a serving of Turmeric provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. (source)
Here are 5 benefits to adding turmeric to your daily diet:
- Natural Anti-Inflammatory Compound
- Chronic inflammation is known to be a contributor to many common Western diseases. Turmeric can inhibit many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation.
- Increases The Antioxidant Capacity of The Body
- Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Most studies used turmeric extracts that are standardized to include large amounts of curcumin. 
- Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
- Curcumin has beneficial effects on several factors known to play a role in heart disease. It improves the function of the endothelium and is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant. 
- Benefits Against Depression
- A study in 60 depressed patients showed that curcumin was as effective as prozac in alleviating the symptoms of depression. 
- Help Arthritis
- Arthritis is a common disorder characterized by joint inflammation. Many studies show that curcumin can help treat symptoms of arthritis and is in some cases more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs. 
Basically this stuff is pretty awesome, but isn’t that just the way most natural food sources are?! Love it. Don’t forget to take it with some fat like coconut oil / ghee and some pepper to enhance absorption! Here is how I’ve been getting turmeric in to my diet!
- 1 Cup Almond/Coconut Milk
- 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp Ghee/Grass-Fed Butter/Coconut Oil
- Pinch of Ginger
- Dash of Pepper
- Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until frothy.
- Pour liquid in small sauce pan and heat for 2-4 minutes until hot.
- Sip & Enjoy!
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- Sahdeo Prasad and Bharat B. Aggarwal. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. Turmeric, the Golden Spice From Traditional Medicine to Modern Medicine. 2nd edition. Ch 13.
- Zhou H, Beevers CS, Huang S. The targets of curcumin. Curr Drug Target. 2011 Mar 1;12(3):332-47.
- Marín YE1, Wall BA, Wang S. Curcumin downregulates the constitutive activity of NF-kappaB and induces apoptosis in novel mouse melanoma cells. Melanoma Res. 2007 Oct;17(5):274-83.
- Monika Nagpal and Shaveta Sood. Role of curcumin in systemic and oral health: An overview. J Nat Sci Biol Med. 2013 Jan-Jun; 4(1): 3–7.
- Wongcharoen W1, Phrommintikul A. The protective role of curcumin in cardiovascular diseases. Int J Cardiol. 2009 Apr 3;133(2):145-51. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2009.01.073. Epub 2009 Feb 23.
- Sanmukhani J, Satodia V, Trivedi J. Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial. Phytother Res. 2014 Apr;28(4):579-85. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5025. Epub 2013 Jul 6.
- Chandran B1, Goel A. A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. Phytother Res. 2012 Nov;26(11):1719-25. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4639. Epub 2012 Mar 9.