Health Benefits of Turmeric

If you have ever spilled turmeric powder in the kitchen, you can be all too familiar with its properties as a food coloring. Apart from lending a beautiful color to curries and stews, however, turmeric a plethora of impressive health benefits ranging from reducing inflammation to prevent and treat a variety of conditions.

Nutritional Benefits

Turmeric has relatively high concentrations of micro-nutrient iron, copper, manganese and potassium. Iron is found in every cell in the human body and are working together with copper to produce healthy blood cells. Manganese encourages healthy brain and nerve function and blood sugar control, proper metabolism and connective tissue formation. Including more potassium in your diet can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease and glucose intolerance.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

The compound that gives turmeric its signature hue, curcumin, a key addition to many anti-inflammatory drugs Specifically, curcumin, can reduce the amount of two types of enzymes in the human body as causing inflammation. Curcumin may help relieve basic wound or injury swelling and more severe inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. According to the National Institutes of Health, turmeric can also be as effective as ibuprofen to relieve pain caused by osteoarthritis.

Possible Cancer Prevention

Curcumin also have antioxidant properties, which is a possible explanation for turmeric may help prevent some types of cancer, such as pancreatic cancer and skin ulcers associated with cancer, even without the help of chemotherapy. According to the American Cancer Society, curcumin has demonstrated the ability to kill cancer cells and slow the surviving cancer cell growth in a variety of laboratory tests. We need more human research, but before there is conclusive evidence to support turmeric anti-cancer properties.

Other benefits

In 2007, the journal Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology published a research that turmeric is curcumin has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties. The results of several studies compiled by the University of Maryland Medical Center also suggests that turmeric may improve or prevent indigestion, heart disease and eye infection uveitis. Historically, turmeric has been used to treat respiratory problems, stomach problems and skin problems as well.

Using Turmeric

Turmeric is safe for most people and will not cause any side effects in small quantities. It adds color and health benefits of warm milk or chai tea, and it is also an important component in many curries and stews. Complementary turmeric are likely to have fewer negative side effects than over-the-counter pain relievers, the most common side effects include nausea, dizziness and diarrhea. Before self-diagnose health problems or use turmeric to treat a condition, talk to your doctor.