Turmeric is an increasingly popular spice that is native to India and Southeast Asia. It’s been shown to have immense benefits for your health, and in fact, research has shown that turmeric can positively impact over 581 diseases, including cancer.
Entire books could be written about this miraculous spice, but to keep things simple — and to impress upon you why you should consider including more turmeric in your diet (be it in the actual spice, or via supplementation), I’m going to stick to what I consider the “big 3” benefits of turmeric.
Please also note that Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric that is the source of most of the herb’s health benefits, and is what I will be referencing in this article.
1. Curcumin Turmeric’s Active Ingredient Is A Natural Anti-Inflammatory
One of the biggest underlying causes of almost every chronic, western disease is is chronic, low-level inflammation. This includes cancer, heart disease, alzheimer’s, and other conditions.
So, if you’re looking to prevent these kind of problems – focusing on foods and supplements that are anti inflammatory can be massively beneficial in that goal.
As it turns out, curcumin is a VERY strong anti inflammatory and even has been shown be as effective (if not more effective, considering it does not have the side effects) as certain pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory drugs.
It fights inflammation at a molecular level – and has even been shown to reduce pain in those suffering from inflammatory issues, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
2. Curcumin Can Improve Brain Function & Help With Depression
Curcumin has been shown to increase something called “Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor”, which is a growth hormone that functions in the brain.
Taking curcumin can actually increase levels of this hormone, which has been shown to potentially delay or reverse brain diseases, or age related issues with decreasing brain function. Deficiencies in BDNF have been linked to depression and alzheimer’s, so it’s a safe bet to say that by increasing BDNF, you can help treat depression.
In fact, a study showed that it was as effective as prozac in treating depression.
3. Curcumin Can Prevent And Help Treat Cancer
More and more research has shown that Curcumin can help treat multiple types of cancer, and, when supplemented/eaten on a regular basis, can prevent it from even happening in the first place.
Curcumin helps fight cancer in a multitude of ways — from reducing the growth of new blood vessels in tumors, to slowing down metastasis (which is the actual spread of cancer), to even actually killing the cancer cells.
One very important thing to note, of course, is that if you do have cancer, please talk to your doctor first before adding this spice to your diet, as it can conflict with some chemotherapy treatments.
I hope these benefits got your attention – and you may be wondering, “Well, okay, how do I get more of this amazing spice in my diet?”
My best recommendation would be to try a turmeric supplement. Regular turmeric, while it still has the benefits above, is only 2-6% circumin – so to get the full benefits you would need to eat a TON of turmeric.
It is much more effective to take a turmeric supplement. If you do decide to go this route, make sure to take a look at my checklist below:
What To Look For In A Turmeric Supplement?
If you plan on supplementing with turmeric, here’s a quick checklist to follow:
1. Make sure it’s certified organic – and is produced by a certified organic manufacturer.
2. Make sure that it avoids adding questionable extra ingredients.
3. Make sure that your turmeric extract has at least 95% curcuminoids.
4. Make sure it includes (or make sure you get separately) black pepper extract (bioperine), as that will dramatically help your body actually absorb the turmeric (and its active ingredient, circumin).
It’s also recommended that if you do take a turmeric supplement, you take it with some olive oil (or coconut oil), as that will also help absorption.
I would also mention that I prefer the capsule version of the supplement to the liquid version…purely for taste preferences.
So, have you tried turmeric? Have you seen any benefits from it? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!