Did you know that turmeric has other properties aside from the anti-inflammatory ones?
We all know that turmeric is a spice that has very well-known anti-inflammatory properties, and people have been raving about them for quite a while. What people don’t know, however, is that this spice can also help with other conditions or have other health benefits that aren’t really connected with the anti-inflammatory side of the spice. Not to mention, it apparently has some beauty benefits too. So it sounds like this yellow powder is more powerful than we thought.
Unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of studies about the added health benefits of turmeric, and while we have done our due diligence of research before bringing you this information, it’s good to mention that not a lot of studies have been conducted. However, there are health experts and some studies that single out the fact that the spice has some added health benefits if you add it to your diet, and, if used properly and regularly, you’ll be able to see some improvements in your life pretty soon after using it.
That’s why we have gathered some of the most unknown health benefits of turmeric and what they can do to make your life better! Let us know if you knew about them before or if any of these pieces of information surprised you!
#1 Turmeric is an amazing mood booster
Turmeric (also known as curcumin) is known to fight against inflammation in your body, which is one of the best-known health benefits of spices. However, due to this property, it has been discovered that it could also play a role in helping fight depression. It has been discovered through studies that inflammation may have a hand in making symptoms of depression worse, which is why the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin may help with mood swings.
A study and a meta-analysis made about the link between depression and curcumin have shown that there is a link between the two and that turmeric may indeed help reduce the depressive symptoms we may experience. However, it seemed to be most effective for those who were already using antidepressants. This doesn’t stop you from trying to drink a turmeric latte or adding the spice to your dishes when you’re feeling under the weather to test this out.
#2 It may have anti-cancer properties
This one is also tied to their anti-inflammatory properties, but it is also tied to the fact that turmeric has some very notable antioxidant properties. In some of the early animal research, experts have found that there is some connection between cancer and curcumin’s inflammation-calming properties!
It has been shown that it may end up decreasing swelling, and even though the results that it has on animals cannot always translate to humans, it is a positive and very encouraging result. Not to mention, this has also given the green light for more studies on how curcumin impacts cancer. In such a study back in 2019, we found out that the spice actually interferes with some cancer cells that have been grown in a lab, and then it has been investigated in some clinical trials as well.
This isn’t to say that the spice is for sure anti-cancer, but research has shown us that there is a high chance that it could be used to help combat the disease. Yet, only with time and additional clinical trials and studies will we be able to see for sure.
#3 Looking to lower cholesterol levels? Turmeric might be your aid
While some experts are a bit skeptical due to the fact that results are a bit inconclusive, others still believe in the potential that turmeric may be very effective in how we deal with cholesterol. This is because the spice has been observed to lower the levels of triglycerides, which are a type of blood fat cell! These cells form in your blood when you end up eating more calories than you are burning, and over time, they can cause some pretty bad problems.
In tandem with the bad cholesterol LDL, the duo of these fat cells can harden your artery walls, which can lead to the chance of cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and even heart attack. Research published recently has shown that people who have been taking turmeric showed lower levels of LDL cholesterol, and their triglyceride levels were also quite low when compared to people who did not. However, there is a need for more research on this topic.
#4 IBS and colitis? It may help with the effects
There are many more people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome than you may think, and they have to battle symptoms every day. Everything from bloating, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and a lot of other intestinal issues. This is why a lot of them are looking to adapt their diets and change things so they don’t irritate their stomachs further.
This is where turmeric comes in, as it has been found that it has the potential to calm down the abdominal pain and discomfort that people who suffer from it feel. Much like IBS, people who have ulcerative colitis (a serious inflammatory disease that causes ulcers in the intestines and the whole digestive apparatus because of an autoimmune disease) also found that curcumin is better for reducing discomfort and symptoms than the placebo drug they were given during a clinical trial for another drug.
There are some signs that it may help, but while there isn’t a lot of research on it, it could still be worth a try.
#5 Lose weight with turmeric
This spice might be just what you were looking for in order to give your weight loss efforts a boost! Research conducted in the European Union has shown that turmeric has close ties to the reduction of BMI and can aid with weight loss. However, this doesn’t mean that you should end up adding more curcumin to your diet, but rather that the addition of it can help fight against the inflammation that is caused by the extra weight and give your body a boost when it comes to fat burning.
This can be achieved both by eating foods that have curcumin in them (such as curry, golden milk, or even turmeric lattes), but also by taking supplements. Yet, you have to be careful when introducing any type of supplements into your diet as they can interfere with other medications you are taking. So always check in with your physician before starting to take them.
#6 It may keep dangerous molecules away
Yes, you read that right. And while we don’t know a lot about the beneficial effects of turmeric, we do know that the air contains some unstable, harmful oxygen molecules that are known as free radicals. These free radicals are missing part of them, an electron to be exact, and in their quest to replace it, they damage other molecules they interfere with.
These molecules are the prime reason why we are aging, along with being linked to tumor growth and artery damage. Antioxidants are known to shield us from free radicals, and turmeric is known to be full of such benefits! So even if you’re not the biggest fan of the spice, know that it can help you be protected from free radicals!
#7 It may help relieve arthritis pain
The reason why the spice is known to be an antioxidant is that it contains a polyphenol that contributes to turmeric having anti-inflammatory properties. Not only is it generally beneficial to your health to add curcumin to your diet, but research and studies have shown that it has the ability to reduce the swelling in joints, pain, and also the stiffness that comes along with having arthritis.
Even the Arthritis Foundation recommended that people with severe arthritis take curcumin extract capsules (not to be confused with whole turmeric, which can be contaminated with lead, so be careful what you buy). Yet, the dose they recommend, which is two 500mg capsules a day, is not as safe as it may seem at first glance. The spice can inhibit iron absorption, which is bad news for people who are anemic or have iron deficiency.
Not to mention that if you end up taking these supplements, you should take them with black pepper so your body can absorb the substance properly. While it could be very beneficial in relieving pain for people who have arthritis, you should be cautious before trying it, especially since high doses can upset the stomach.
As we mentioned earlier, you should always consult your doctor before you start taking any sort of supplements, and this case isn’t any different.
And if you’re wondering which other foods you should be adding to your diet, read all about alkaline ones here!