The Amazing Health Benefits of Turmeric

The amazing health benefits of turmeric and curcumin include the ability to reduce inflammation, heal wounds, improve skin health, protect cognitive abilities, and ease menstrual difficulties. Turmeric also helps eliminate depression, alleviate pain, slow down aging, protect the digestive tract, may even help in preventing cancer.

Everywhere you turn these days, turmeric is being touted for its health benefits. Turmeric, an ingredient a variety of blend of spices, and is a great addition to tasty plant based recipes like the Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower (recipe below). It is commonly used in India and China and has developed a reputation around the world as a superfood. That’s because curcumin, a naturally occurring chemical contained within turmeric, is thought to provide pain relief, reduce inflammation, fight heart disease and provide a more natural way to fight chronic health conditions.

Here are four ways that health experts say turmeric contributes to better well-being:

1. It Provides Arthritis Relief

The Arthritis Foundation supports the use of curcumin in fighting joint inflammation as a proven method to relieve pain and swelling in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Its anti-inflammatory properties seem to modify the immune system response and help in preventing inflammation.

Many whole food plants are known for their ability to act as anti-inflammatory agents and recommended by professionals for those suffering from arthritis. Turmeric is a perfect companion spice when used with vegetables. Try even making a side like a coconut pumpkin soup with lime and turmeric for a healthy and flavorful warming dish.

2. It’s a Germ Fighter

The National Center for Biotechnology Information reviewed a study showing curcumin contains significant antibacterial properties. Along with proving itself to fight some bacterial infections, curcumin also provided patients within the study with relief from inflammation due to infections.

3. It Boosts Heart Health

Listing several ways in which turmeric can offer health benefits, the University of Maryland Medical Center indicates that turmeric could help reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Studies show the spice helps stop platelets from clumping together, thus preventing them from building up along arterial walls. There is also evidence that turmeric prevents plaque buildup, which could lead to a heart attack or stroke.

4. It May Speed Up Recovery

In an opinion piece written for TIME.com, physician Scott Haig describes the remarkable recovery of a patient who unexpectedly bounced back from surgery. The 73-year-old man used turmeric daily, and his quick recovery was accompanied by minimal pain. While there is not a proven correlation between his use of turmeric and his recovery, the physician viewed the connection as a positive sign of the spice’s superfood powers.

Why Not Give Turmeric a Try

With consensus among health-care professionals over turmeric’s health benefits, it’s worth adding to your diet either as a supplement (as a general rule of thumb, shoot for 500 milligrams each day for best results and look for a supplement with black pepper as it increased the effectiveness of the turmeric) and in plant based recipes.

TURMERIC ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower about 2 pounds

  • 4 medium garlic cloves

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

  2. Chop the cauliflower into florets. Peel and mince the garlic.

  3. In a large bowl, mix the cauliflower and garlic with the olive oil, cumin, paprika, turmeric, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper.

  4. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat, then place the cauliflower in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 25-35 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and browned, stirring once. Serve immediately.

Justine Divett