Known as the ‘golden spice’ of India, turmeric could just be one of the most effective and powerful nutritional supplements on the planet. There are literally dozens of high quality published studies showing it has incredible benefits for the brain and body.
In case you didn’t already know, turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color and it has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb.
Turmeric contains compounds called curcuminoids. The most active form is called curcumin and as you’ll soon find out it has some very powerful anti-aging health benefits.
But first, a little history lesson.
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THE HISTORY OF THIS SUPER SPICE
The first instances of turmeric being utilized by humans dates all the way back 4000 years ago. It initially made its appearance to the Vedic culture in India where it was utilized as a culinary spice with religious significance.
By 700 A.D., it had made its way to China and East Africa started
using it just 100 years later. By 1200 A.D. West Africa also caught on—and soon it began spreading rapidly all over the world.
The initial allure of the spice was solely for its taste. But there are records showing that at around 250 B.C, turmeric was being used as an ointment to help relieve the negative symptoms from food poisoning.
People knew very early on that this was no ordinary spice… that it had several special healing properties.
Some fun facts you probably didn’t know about turmeric…
TURMERIC FUN FACTS
• India produces nearly all of the total turmeric available today and they also consume up to 80% of it
• Turmeric has to undergo an extensive process before it can be used. This involves boiling or steaming the turmeric to remove the raw odor, gelatinize the starch, and ensure the color is uniform.
• More than 100 components have been isolated from turmeric
• The turmeric plant looks very similar to the ginger plant and maintains a rhizome (underground stem)
• As previously mentioned, curcumin is the most active ingredient and it’s found in ginger, so when we talk about turmeric, we’re actually referring to curcumin
• Turmeric is very commonly used in dishes containing curry, which are the most popular Indian dishes
• In India, bride and grooms apply a turmeric based paste all over their skin, especially on their face and arms as it’s said to help beautify the complexion
Ok, now that you’re up to speed on its origin and uses, let’s take a closer look at why this powerful spice should be in your kitchen at all times.
AMAZING ANTI-AGING HEALTH BENEFITS OF TURMERIC
No matter what your current age, gender, health condition, or goals, turmeric can help you live longer and fight many of today’s deadly diseases through several different pathways.
Anti-Aging Benefit #1: Powerful Anti-Inflammatory
Inflammation is known as the root cause of today’s modern health challenges.
And no one is immune. Stress, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, toxins in the air we breath
and in the water we drink—all of them contribute to chronic inflammation.
This can eventually lead to heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and possibly even cancer.
But it’s not all doom and gloom thanks to mother nature’s miracle spice.
Studies now demonstrate that turmeric can help you combat inflammation that’s currently present as well as prevent it down the road. It works by targeting a variety of different steps in the inflammation pathway, which in turn decrease inflammation.
This, over the long haul, can help protect you from disease.
Furthermore, research is now showing that turmeric may actually be just as powerful in reducing inflammation as many of today’s over-the-counter medicines and prescriptions—WITHOUT the harmful side effects.
Anti-Aging Benefit#2: Amazing Antioxidant Power
Every day we’re exposed to free radicals that cause damage to the cells of our tissues.
Antioxidants help neutralize these free radicals preventing them from causing harm inside our bodies.
Turmeric is a very powerful source of antioxidants.
Research published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology found that curcumin helps improve the body’s antioxidant enzymes, helping boost your immune system.
If you prepare vegetables using turmeric for example, you’ll get the absolute best protection as you not only get the antioxidants from turmeric, but also from the vegetables as well. It’s a very powerful 1-2 punch that can improve your health.
Anti-Aging Benefit #3: Fights Against Alzheimer’s Disease
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, by the year 2050 almost 14 million people will be “losing their mind” from Alzheimer’s disease. Presently, it’s the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S.
In fact, over $148 billion is spent each year treating this disease and pharmaceutical options are currently failing miserably.
Whether you’re young, old, or middle-aged—preventing Alzheimer’s should be in the front of your mind.
Fortunately, there some easy diet and lifestyle modifications that can help you dramatically reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s. Adding turmeric to your daily regimen is one of those modifications.
Research published in the Journal of Neuroscience illustrated that curcumin was able to provide similar benefits as taking NSAIDs for reducing brain inflammation—without the unwanted side effects such as gastrointestinal, liver, and renal toxicity.
The researchers then went on to state that when patients consumed curcumin, many of the markers that show up when Alzheimer’s disease is present were significantly decreased.
Now that’s some food for thought. Literally!
Anti-Aging Benefit #4: Increases Mood & Combats Depression
If you’re stressed out or you suffer from bouts of depression turmeric should be a staple in your diet.
According to research published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, curcumin influences several positive biological mechanisms associated with major depression. In fact, is shows promise as an effective treatment of symptoms in individuals with a serious depressive disorder.
Many anti-depressants, which are prescribed far too often by medical professionals, come with a number of unwanted side effects included lowered libido levels and weight gain. Since turmeric is completely natural, you’ll side step those side effects and often see even greater benefits.
Turmeric may provide promise for those suffering from mild to even severe depression, so make sure you take this into consideration before going down the potentially dangerous pharmaceutical path.
Anti-Aging Benefit #5: Helps Prevent Heart Disease
Heart disease is currently one of the fastest growing killers of our time.
Smoking, eating processed foods, lack of exercising regularly… all of these lifestyle factors increase your risk.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are currently 28.4 million people who have been diagnosed with heart disease in the United States. This makes up around 11.7% of the total population in the country.
Turmeric can help offset this by improving the overall function of the endothelium, which lines the blood vessels that lead to the heart. When the endothelium is functioning at a higher level, this in turn helps to better control blood pressure levels and therefore, lowers your risk of heart disease.
An interesting study published in the American Journal of Cardiology showed that patients who were already in the hospital scheduled to undergo coronary artery bypass surgery supplemented with turmeric had a 65% decrease for having a heart attack compared to those who didn’t.
Researchers conducting the study theorized that this was thanks to the antioxidant and antiinflammatory benefits that turmeric provides, which can assist both those who are already suffering from heart disease as well as those who are looking to take preventative steps.
Anti-Aging Benefit #6: Decreases Cancer Risk
Cancer sucks. We all know that because it has affected almost every person on the planet in some form or fashion.
In one study, researchers looked at turmeric’s effect on males who were at greater risk of colon cancer from lesions running along their colon. After 30 days of supplementation they saw a decrease in those lesions by up to 40%, which lowered their risk of developing full-blown colon cancer.
In addition to this, research published in the Cancer Research Journal has also stated that consuming turmeric on a regular basis can reduce the growth of cancerous cells, reducing chances of getting this deadly disease.
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Anti-Aging Benefit #7: Relieves Arthritis
Arthritis, or Uncle Arthur, as my father likes to call it affects people of all ages in today’s modern world.
Arthritis and joint pain are directly linked to chronic inflammation. Because turmeric acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory inside the body it can decrease the amount of pain you are experiencing.
In one study published in the Phytotherapy Research Journal, researchers noted that turmeric may prove to be just as effective, if not more effective, than some of the anti-inflammatory drugs that are being used to treat those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.
Anti-Aging Benefit #8: Lowers Risk of Diabetes
Research published between 1998 to 2013 indicates the active polyphenol in turmeric (curcumin) may be an ideal intervention for type 2 diabetes by stabilizing elevated blood sugar and improving insulin sensitivity.
NOTE: People with diabetes should talk to their doctors before trying any type of turmeric supplement. Since it lowers blood sugar levels, taking it with diabetes medications could cause blood sugar levels to drop too low.
Now you’re probably thinking, “Ok, the therapeutic benefits of consuming turmeric sound amazing, but what about weight loss?”
I’m glad you asked.
HOW THIS SUPER SPICE HELPS YOU BURN MORE STUBBORN FAT
When you think of turmeric it’s usually not associated with weight loss, but there are several ways the anti-aging benefits we just covered can potentially help you burn more fat.
While each one on its own may not make a big difference, the synergistic effect could be a tipping point over time.
• For example, if you have less joint pain you’ll most likely be a lot more active, which means more calories burned on a daily basis.
• If depression is preventing you from exercising, the mood enhancing effects might just help you get moving again.
• If you have less inflammation you’ll recover faster from exercise and build more lean muscle.
• If you have extra anti-oxidant protection you’ll get sick less often, which can help you maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
• If your blood vessels are functioning at a higher level you’ll get more oxygen to working muscles, which equals increased exercise performance.
• If you’re keeping blood sugar stable it lowers insulin allowing your body to access fat cells as a fuel source.
Another very powerful benefit of turmeric is that it may help to decrease the overall level of fat accumulation you are experiencing.
Research published in the Journal of Nutrition has demonstrated that turmeric may help to inhibit the process of converting excess energy into body fat storage.
The study noted that when mice were supplemented with curcumin (the active compound in turmeric), it did not reduce how much they ate on a high fat diet plan, but it did reduce the total body weight gain, adiposity, and microvessel density in their adipose tissue, showing that this spice may be extremely powerful for acting as a fat loss agent.
Of course, eating healthy and exercising consistently will greatly increase nearly every potential benefit of this super spice.
PROS OF TURMERIC:
• Is an easy spice to incorporate into your meals
• Will help you enrich the taste of your favorite dishes without adding unwanted calories or sugar
• Is readily available and easy to use
• Is cost effective to buy
• Can help reduce the risk of a variety of diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, as well as depression
• Can reduce total body inflammation, which is a leading cause of today’s diseases
• Reduces joint pain medications, talk with your doctor before adding turmeric to your diet
• If you consume excessive amount of turmeric through supplementation, it can lead to dizziness, blurry vision, insomnia, dry eyes, as well as night sweats
• Is an excellent source of antioxidants
CONS OF TURMERIC:
• Difficult to absorb, unfortunately, most of the curcumin found in turmeric just passes through the digestive tract, unless it’s taken in a supplement form with a black pepper extract, also known as bioperine or piperine. This has been shown to enhance absorption of curcumin by 2000%
• Strong, Powerful Flavor that some people may not enjoy (but many others enjoy it)
• If you aren’t a fan of the taste of turmeric, it may be harder to add to your meals so you may want to consider supplementation
• Turmeric can also act like a blood thinner, so if you’re taking blood-thinning medications, talk with your doctor before adding turmeric to your diet.
• If you consume excessive amounts of turmeric through supplementation, it can lead to dizziness, blurry vision, insomnia, dry eyes, as well as night sweats.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE HEALTHIEST TYPE OF TURMERIC
When selecting your turmeric, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, avoid turmeric from large supermarket chains. You have no way of knowing how long this turmeric has been stored for and where it’s coming from. In many cases, it’s been stored for up to a year (or longer) and may have lost some of its health boosting properties.
Check out health food stores or search for an ethnic or local spice store in your area.
The turmeric here will often be fresher and of finer quality. You might even find different variations that will add more life into your cooking.
In addition to that, you may also seek out fresh turmeric root, which will be even better as it hasn’t been altered the way that powdered turmeric has been. Usually this can be found in the produce department next to other fresh herbs such as ginger root.
Finally, if you purchase ‘curry’ spice, you’re not getting a medicinal or efficacious dose of turmeric. While you will be taking in some turmeric, curry spice is a blend of a variety of different spices so the actual concentration of turmeric will be much lower.
You stand to gain far more benefits if you choose to purchase plain turmeric or invest in a high quality supplement instead.
If you are purchasing dried turmeric, you’ll want to store it in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark, dry area of the house. The spice rack in the pantry is the obvious choice.
If you are purchasing fresh turmeric, you’ll instead want to keep it in the fridge until using.
DELICIOUS ANTI-INFLAMMATORY TURMERIC RECIPES
Wondering how you can incorporate turmeric into your daily diet? Here are some delicious and healthy recipes to get you started. Try one of them today.
GINGER TURMERIC CAULIFLOWER STEAKS
Struggling to get your vegetable intake up? Try these delicious cauliflower steaks. Cauliflower is loaded with antioxidants and is a great way to boost your daily fiber intake. You’ll gobble these up!
• 1 large head cauliflower
• Salt and pepper
• 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
• 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
• Small handful of parsley, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Remove the leaves and trim the stem end of the cauliflower, leaving the core intact. Using a large knife, cut the cauliflower from top to base into three 3/4-inch-thick “steaks.” Season each steak with salt and pepper on both sides. (Reserve any loose florets for another use.)
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the cauliflower steaks until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Gently transfer the steaks to a baking sheet.
4. Whisk together the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, ginger, cumin, and turmeric. Brush or spoon the mixture onto the cauliflower steaks.
5. Roast in the oven until tender, about 15 minutes.
6. Garnish with parsley and serve.
SWEET POTATO CARROT SOUP
When most people think of soup, they tend to think of chicken noodle or tomato soup. This takes a unique twist on the classics and gives you sweet potato soup. With added carrots for even more nutrition, this soup is one that you’ll come back to time and time again. Add a protein on the side and you have yourself a complete meal.
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 small yellow onion, diced
• 1 large sweet potato, peeled and
• 6 medium carrots, peeled and diced
• 1 (13.6 oz.) can lite coconut milk
• 1 cup low-sodium vegetable stock
• ½ teaspoon chili powder
• ½ teaspoon cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon turmeric
• ½ teaspoon cumin
• ½ teaspoon paprika
1. Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Sautee onions, sweet potato, and carrots, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes (or until tender).
2. Add spices, coconut milk, and vegetable stock. Stir.
3. Using an immersion blender (or very carefully transferring to a regular blender), puree soup until smooth.
4. Serve immediately and enjoy! Can also be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 48 hours.
TURMERIC TOMATO SOUP
If you want a strong does of turmeric, this soup will give you just that. Loaded with lycopene,
this homemade version of tomato soup is far healthier than any commercially prepared variety you might buy and will ensure your health gets kicked up a notch.
• 5 oz. cherry tomatoes, rinsed and cut in halves
• 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes with their sauce
• ½ cup low-sodium vegetable stock
• 1 small onion, finely diced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 1 teaspoon coconut oil
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• black pepper (freshly ground)
• Mixed seeds and nuts, to garnish
1. Heat the coconut oil in a sauce pan and fry the onion and garlic for one minute.
2. Add turmeric and cherry tomatoes, and cook until the tomatoes softens and leave their juices.
3. Add the tomato can, vegetable stock, lemon juice and basil, bring to boil, cover with a lid and let simmer for five minutes.
4. Transfer into the blender and pulse to obtain a creamy liquid.
5. Season with salt and pepper and serve garnished with mixed seeds and nuts.
SPICY TOMATO TURMERIC EGGS
Looking for a new way to serve eggs? Try this spicy tomato egg recipe. Eggs are an incredibly versatile food and are a rich source of protein as well. They’re also a great source of choline, which is needed to help keep your brain functioning optimally. This recipe makes a great snack for any point during the day.
• 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• ½ large onion, small dice
• 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
• ½ green pepper, finely diced
• 1 tablespoon dried oregano
• ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
• ¼ teaspoon cumin
• ¼ teaspoon paprika
• ⅛ (a pinch or two) teaspoon ground red pepper
• ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
• ½ teaspoon kosher salt
• 15 ounces canned diced tomatoes (fire-roasted are delicious)
• 4 large eggs
• for garnish: fresh parsley or cilantro
1. Heat oil over medium heat in a 10-12-inch skillet.
2. Add onion and green pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion golden, about 4-5 minutes; add the garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes more.
3. Lower the heat to medium-low. Add oregano, turmeric, cumin, paprika, red pepper, black pepper and salt. Cook about 1 minute to toast spices.
4. Add tomatoes, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Using a potato masher or back of large spoon, crush the tomatoes a bit.
5. Crack the eggs into the sauce and cover. Simmer gently until the whites are set and the yolk is still runny.
6. Salt and pepper to taste. To serve spoon sauce and eggs into shallow bowls, top with fresh parsley or cilantro.
TAKING IT HOME
Although the extensive research studies on turmeric reveal some extremely promising benefits, nothing replaces a healthy diet and a consistent exercise plan.
Adding some high quality turmeric to the equation could just be the difference maker to maximize your results, while combating some of today’s most life-threatening diseases.
To upgrading your health!
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