Incredible health benefits of Turmeric
Used as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent in both Chinese and Indian medicine to treat a wide variety of stomach and liver ailments, Turmeric or “Indian saffron” is a member of the ginger family. Turmeric has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mild mustardy smell.
The main active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. It also exhibits antitumour, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiviral activities.
Curcumin is strongly anti-inflammatory, it is so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs, like hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents such as ibuprofen. However, unlike phamaceutical drugs, which are associated with significant toxic effects (ulcer formation, decreased white blood cell count, intestinal bleeding), curcumin produces no toxicity.
Curcumin is a bioactive substance that fights inflammation at the molecular level. Since chronic inflammation is known to be a contributor to many common Western diseases, adding curcumin can inhibit many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation. Curcumin may provide an effective, well tolerated treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. Because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, many people with joint disease like rheumatoid arthritis find relief using curcumin.
Turmeric is one of the most important herbs used to support and detoxify your liver. Turmeric, one of the most powerful foods for maintaining a healthy liver, has been shown to actively protect the liver against toxic damage, and even regenerate damaged liver cells. Turmeric also boosts the natural production of bile, shrinks engorged hepatic ducts, and improves overall function of the gallbladder, another body-purifying organ.
Curcumin has powerful antioxidant effects. It neutralizes free radicals on its own, then stimulates the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.
Curcumin boosts levels of the brain hormone Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in the brain. It may be useful in the treatment of depression and, because curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier, it may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers have also been studying curcumin as a beneficial herb in cancer treatment. It can affect cancer growth, development and spread at the molecular level, and thus may help prevent and perhaps even treat cancer.
Adding turmeric to your diet sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it! Here’s an easy and enjoyable way to reap the powerful antioxidant benefits from curcumin. Remember that turmeric has a slightly bitter taste. So blending turmeric with a sweet fruit, like bananas, mango and/or pineapple, means that you probably won’t even be able to taste it in your smoothie. This recipe is kid approved and so tasty and nutritious, you could have it daily. Enjoy for breakfast. Or any time you want an antioxidant boost!
Turmeric Smoothie Recipe
This recipe is best consumed in the morning on an empty stomach. Not only will it increase your energy for the first half of the day, but it will clear your mind and infuse your body with some of the most powerful antioxidants in the world. Now that’s a great breakfast idea!
1 cup coconut milk or homemade nut milk
1/2 cup diced organic pineapple
1/2 cup diced organic mango chunks
2-3 frozen bananas
2 tablespoon coconut oil (to boost the benefits of turmeric)
1/2 – 1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 – 1 teaspoon cinnamon (we love cinnamon too!)
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon maca (optional)
pinch or two of black pepper (to boost the benefits of turmeric)
Add all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. Serves 2-3.