BodyManual Ingredient Spotlight: Turmeric
Turmeric is a whole lot more than just an ingredient in curry. It’s a wonder-spice.
Credit really goes to its active ingredient – curcumin – because that’s what provides the majority of the health benefit when you eat turmeric.
Some Basics About Turmeric’s Powers
Turmeric is a colorful root that’s been used in India for thousands of years for its medicinal and healing properties. Aside from being a powerful antioxidant, turmeric has been shown to be an effective natural treatment for certain cancers. It’s powerful stuff.
Even better, turmeric is anti-inflammatory, so it can aid in things like weight loss, improving heart health, and helping to calm down autoimmune conditions.
That’s why I included turmeric in my product Autoimmune Calm.
But wait, there’s more…
Turmeric For Pain Relief
Research has shown that curcumin in turmeric has a similar pain-relieving effect to certain over-the-counter pain relief drugs. So, you might want to consider turmeric before popping things like aspirin or ibuprofen. Wouldn’t it be nice to get some pain relief without some of the side-effects and unintended consequences that always seem to go along with pharmaceutical drugs?
Turmeric and Mental Health
Curcumin from turmeric has neuro-protective benefits, meaning it helps to protect the structure and function of your brain. This is important if you’re suffering from depression, anxiety, or memory loss. It’s equally good if you have, or feel like you have, normal brain function now, because you can use it to help preserve your mental health.
Also check over a comprehensive 2018 study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. That study gave curcumin to adults who had mild cognitive impairment. The participants displayed significant improvement in long-term memory recall, in visual memory, and in their attention. The study included before and after brain scans that showed the subjects who took curcumin had a significant decrease in abnormally folded proteins in their brains. Those abnormal proteins are an indicator for Alzheimer’s disease.
It’s also interesting to note that people in India, where turmeric is widely used, have a much lower rate of Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive issues than western nations. Looking at the study I mentioned, it might make sense.
Absorbing Curcumin From Turmeric
The only issue with turmeric is that the active ingredient, curcumin, is not easily absorbed by your body. The turmeric that you might spice your food with contains only about 3% curcumin, so you’d have to eat a tremendous amount of it in order to get any real health benefit. You want to make sure that you’re absorbing as much as possible when you do eat it.
Some Ways To Increase Your Curcumin Absorption
First, always add black pepper to turmeric. Black pepper contains a compound called piperine, which increases the bioavailability of curcumin. Piperine does this by inhibiting an enzyme in your body that breaks down curcumin.
Second, you’ll absorb curcumin from turmeric more readily by consuming the spice with a healthy fat, like coconut oil or almond butter.
Third, the nutrients quercetin and resveratrol increase your absorption of curcumin. You can get these nutrients from onions, peppers, or dark chocolate. (Just don’t go overboard with the dark chocolate.)
Another Way To Get More Turmeric
Because turmeric has been associated with improved brain function, I included turmeric extract in my brain support formula called Super Memory Boost. Check out all 17 brain-enhancing ingredients and how they improve brain function.
So, remember, turmeric is much more than just something to give flavor and color to a curry. Get plenty in your diet and watch for my other health tips and videos about nutrition for your body’s great health.
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