By Elena Sheppard
If you’re a lover of curries, then odds are turmeric is already a part of your diet. But delicious flavoring and beautiful yellow color aside, studies show (and the history of Ayurvedic medicine indicates) that turmeric is loaded with health benefits. Much of these perks are thanks to the compound curcumin. Found in turmeric, curcumin is considered an anti-inflammatory, an anti-oxidant, and is also packed with other health perks. Here are just a few healthy reasons why adding more turmeric into your diet might lead to a healthier life.
While many of the studies about turmeric are still works in progress, one thing we do know for sure is that the spice helps to prevent blood clots. While there is no indication that consuming turmeric helps to dissolve existing clots, studies do indicate that consumption does help to slow the formation of new clots.
According to research out of the University of Maryland Medical Center, turmeric seems to help indigestion, and keep ulcerative colitis in remission. The curcumin within turmeric encourages the gallbladder to produce bile, which in turn seems to lead to indigestion relief.
In keeping with the blood clot prevention findings, research also indicates that turmeric helps prevent plaque buildup in arteries which can lead to heart attacks or strokes.
While studies on humans are still in their very early days, research does show that the compounds in curcumin do have anti-cancer effects. In brief, curcumin seems to work as cancer prevention as well as killing active cancer cells. According to Cancer Research UK, curcumin shows the best results on breast cancer, stomach cancer, bowel cancer, and skin cancer.
Aromatic turmerone, another compound in turmeric, seems to do great things for the brain. Studies show that the compound repairs stem cells in the brain, which in turn leads to recovery in certain neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke.
Of course, as with all things, turmeric should be consumed in moderation and with respect for underlying health issues. (You can read more about that here.) Additionally, if you’re deciding whether or not to add turmeric to your life in the form of a supplement, you should speak with your doctor. But adding more turmeric into your cooking and eating habits is a pretty good way to treat your body well. Did we mention, it is also delicious?