Turmeric is known as the spice which gives curry its yellow color. However, this seemingly ordinary spice has long been used for both culinary and medicinal properties. Sciences has recently started to back up what ancient medical practitioners have known; it really contains compounds with potent medicinal properties. These compounds are called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin.
Curcumin is a substance with extremely powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. To learn more about its benefits, read on.
Acute, short-term inflammation is beneficial, but it can become a serious problem when it becomes chronic and it starts to attack body`s own tissues. Scientists link chronic inflammation to almost every chronic, Western disease, such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer`s, and more.
Curcumin is a strong anti-inflammatory agent whose effectiveness matches the one of some anti-inflammatory drugs, without the side effects.
Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant which has the ability to neutralize free radicals thanks to its chemical structure. It also boosts the activity against the body`s own antioxidant enzymes.
- Lowers the risk of heart disease
Curcumin positively affects various factors which are known to play an important role in heart disease. It is a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and it improves the function of the endothelium.
- Cancer prevention
Curcumin has been shown to lead to several changes on molecular level which may be of great help when it comes to cancer prevention.
- Alzheimer`s prevention/ treatment
Curcumin has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and lead to improvements in pathological process of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Arthritis treatment
Arthritis is characterized by inflammation of the joints. Multiple studies have proven that curcumin can treat the symptoms of this disorder, sometimes even more effectively than anti-inflammatory drugs.
The list of health benefits of turmeric doesn’t stop here, as it is quite extended. This spice and its active compound are known to help treat depression, delay aging and fight age-related diseases, lower the risk of brain diseases, and more.
Inflammation, Depression, and The Brain
Inflammation negatively affects brain function, and this is a well-known fact. As explained by Robert J.Hedaya, MD, a psychiatrist and clinical professor of psychiatry at the Georgetown University Medical Center,
Inflammation affects hormones and other neurotransmitters in your brain (and) drives down the level of serotonin, which can lead to feelings of depression or anxiety, and problems with memory. (Inflammation) causes dopamine levels to rise, which contributes to insomnia, and feelings of anxiety and agitation. The excitatory neurotransmitter, glutamine, goes up … Over time or with excessive levels of glutamate, anxiety can result.
Curcumin and Depression
“Curcumin’s positive antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects are likely due to its ability to normalize specific physiological pathways. It appears to elevate neurotransmitters such as serotonin while lowering stress hormones.” – Adrian Lopesti, Ph.D., Murdoch University
Turmeric Lemonade to Relieve Depression and Stress
- 5 cups of water
- 4 tablespoons of freshly ground turmeric root
- 2 teaspoons of grated ginger
- 3 tablespoons of honey
- ½ cup of orange juice
- ½ cup of fresh lemon juice
- Put the turmeric root and grated ginger in a glass jar
- Boil the water and pour it in the jar
- Let the mixture steep for ten minutes
- Add the honey, orange juice, and lemon juice
- Sip and enjoy!