Turmeric has earned its title as a superfood, and here’s why
There’s been a lot of hype surrounding this spice in the health world of late, but do you actually know what it is? Turmeric is a root (similar to ginger) that has been used in India for thousands of years for its medicinal properties, as well as its taste. This yellow wellness winner’s main ingredient is a compound called curcumin, which is a strong antioxidant, but is poorly absorbed by our bodies. To gain the most from this super herb, consume it with black pepper – this contains piperine, which naturally increases absorption by 2,000 percent. We took a look at some of its benefits to find out if it’s worth its salt…
It gives your heart a boost
There are lots of ways turmeric can improve your ticker. It provides 90 percent of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin B6, which helps to stop damage to your cell walls – this is important, as weakened walls can cause a number of heart complications. Additionally, curcumin balances cholesterol levels by eliminating excess from your arteries. This means the hero spice can also reduce your risk of heart disease, which is one of the biggest killers in the world.
It can help you lose weight
This herb can accelerate your metabolism rate, which lets your body burn more calories. Curcumin also fights inflammation for your body, meaning that it can focus on shifting the pounds instead. While small amounts of inflammation can be good as it fights infection, it can become a problem if it’s chronic. In fact, turmeric is as effective of some anti-inflammatory drugs. For this reason, the herb is also good at alleviating arthritic pain, gout, and muscle pain, including DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) after a workout!
It can reduce period pain
They may come round once a month for half the population, but that doesn’t make periods any easier. Luckily, this is where turmeric comes in – not only can it combat pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), which comprises everything from mood swings to bloating, it can also lower the pain of cramps, as curcumin acts as a painkiller. Turmeric helps to treat irregular menstruation as well, including conditions such as endometriosis, and uterine fibroids. Why not make a cup of turmeric tea to feel the effects for yourself?
It can combat signs of ageing
Turmeric’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties fight free-radical damage, keeping your skin youthful. You can take supplements or use it topically – a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that applying creams containing turmeric twice a day for eight weeks drastically minimised the appearance of wrinkles, and dark spots were reduced by 15 percent. Sounds good to us!