We are now entering the second week of our talk about inflammation. This week I would like to touch on the spice Turmeric. This spice is commonly used in Indian food and in American mustard to make it yellow. Evidence is piling up to show that this spice has an abundance of possible health benefits. Most widely proven now is its positive effect on inflammation.
Turmeric’s active ingredient is curcumin which acts as a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are good for our body because they chase down and destroy free radicals. Free radicals are molecules in our bodies that can damage cells, tissue and sometimes destroy our DNA. Curcumin also lowers the amount of enzymes in our body that cause inflammation. So on a microscopic level this spice helps to inhibit the bad molecules and promotes a healthy environment for all the good molecules to live in.
Research is showing that this microscopic change in the bodies environment leads to decrease in inflammation and arthritis in joints, healthy digestive tract, stimulates healthy bile production from the gall bladder, prevents build up of plaque in your arteries that leads to heart disease, helps in the immune system response to infections and may help slow down neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Multiple Sclerosis. Turmeric has been used for hundreds of years as an herbal medicine and there are no negative side effects for using this as a supplement or additive in your food. Turmeric as a supplement may interact with some medications so always check with your doctor before starting.
This as a supplement is definitely something to consider adding to your daily regimen especially if you suffer with achy joints, arthritis, or just wide spread inflammation. Remember this is not meant to be used on its own. Diet changes, exercise, water intake, and lots more also play a hand in inflammation. We will be touching on all of these in the weeks to come. So remember these are suggestions for a lifestyle change not a quick fix. If you do want to add this to your regimen you can pick up turmeric at any health food store or online health food stores. Remember to do your own research for a good quality brand. Sometimes we “save money” with the cheaper brands but you pee or poop most of your supplement out, wasting money in the end.
Tune in next week for another tip on inflammation!
Yours in Health, Dr. Jessica