Turmeric is pretty hot and that’s not just because it’s spicy. Turmeric has a slightly bitter but peppery taste, which contributes to the flavor of the curry powder we all know of. But turmeric is not just another tasty way to make food more flavorful, it also has some phenomenal health benefits that impact the body in different ways. It’s not the turmeric itself that contributes to health, but the active constituent curcumin, inside of the turmeric that boasts these powerful benefits.
Curcumin: The Best Part of Turmeric
Curcumin is the most active and effective component of turmeric. It has a wide range of health benefits. For one, it is a noted anti-inflammatory. Chronic inflammation is very dangerous and associated with many long-term diseases that can occur in all individuals, young and old. We are referring to diseases such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, to name a few.
Curcumin has powerful antioxidant properties, shown through various studies to be more effective than some prescription medications that exist on the market today. Not only does it have protective and preventative properties, but it actively increases the antioxidant response in the body. In football, that would be like the lineman also being the cheerleader. Imagine a 300 pound lineman cheering the other teammates on to protect the quarterback from all the dangerous free radicals.
Curcumin’s Impact on Cancer and Obesity
Curcumin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and along with that, it is also amazing at fighting cancer. Inflammation is linked with tumor growth, so as an anti-inflammatory, curcumin plays a large part in battling cancer cells. In addition, it is also believed that curcumin has preventative effects in the initial stages of cancer growth, where it is able to inhibit certain activity that transforms healthy cells into cancerous cells.
Curcumin has been shown to interact with cells in a way that reduces certain responses connected with insulin resistance and high blood sugar. These interactions support healthy cell responses that lower obesity related symptoms. With obesity and type 2 diabetes, immune cells secrete proteins that can cause inflammation and contribute to insulin resistance. Curcumin is able to counteract by increasing antioxidant enzymes and reducing oxidative stress.
While curcumin is the unique substance that is in turmeric, the content of curcumin in turmeric is fairly low. To get the full benefit of curcumin, it is best taken with piperine (black pepper extract), as a dietary supplement. If you prefer to eat it, it can be mixed in with coconut oil or blended into whole eggs, to enhance the absorption and utilization of it.
Eat curry, stay healthy…