You might have heard about the bright golden-yellow spice, i.e. turmeric, on social media, popular blogs or on websites of famous health and wellness brands.
Turmeric is extremely popular in the health and wellness community owing to its many health benefits.
But how many of these claims about improving brain function and reducing joint pain are backed by science?
Here are 7 scientifically proven health benefits of turmeric that you can count on.
Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory supplement.
The credit goes to a bioactive compound in turmeric, called curcumin, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Don’t get the wrong idea though. Inflammation is important since it’s part of our natural defence process against bacteria and pathogens that invade our bodies.
However, chronic inflammation is extremely bad for one's health because it increases the levels of the stress hormone cortisol and may cause a host of serious health problems.
These include DNA damage, tissue death, internal scarring and a multitude of fatal diseases such as cancers and heart illnesses.
Turmeric is a potent antioxidant. Don’t know what that means?
Here’s what you should be aware of.
Think of oxidation as a natural process of breakdown in our bodies, therefore causing ageing.
Oxidation is caused by molecules called ‘free radicals’ that are highly unstable on their own.
They need to attach themselves to one more molecule in order to stabilize themselves and prefer connecting with fatty acids, protein and DNA in our body.
As these free radicals join with other molecules inside our bodies to complete themselves, the ‘victim’ molecule becomes unstable and is left with no choice but to target another molecule to stabilise itself.
This kicks off a chain reaction and results in a breakdown inside our bodies.
Curcumin in turmeric has strong antioxidant properties. It not only combats these free radicals head-on but also enhances the body's natural antioxidant ability to fight free radicals and slow down ageing.
Continuing with the train of thought from above, turmeric can slow down the natural ageing process due to its strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
As we age, not only do our cells break down but they also stop dividing, resulting in a phenomenon called ‘cellular senescence’.
The curcumin in turmeric possesses the ability to activate certain proteins that help delay cellular senescence and therefore slow down the process of ageing.
The antioxidant potential of curcumin also implies that it helps with the breakdown of cells due to oxidation hence delaying the effects of ripening age (discussed in more detail above).
Depression is linked to have been caused by lower levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
The curcumin in turmeric helps boost BDNF levels and may even reverse some of the changes that happen in the brain due to depression.
Research has also suggested a connection between turmeric and chronic inflammation.
The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin mean that it can also help alleviate symptoms of depression by reducing inflammation inside the body.
Turmeric may help reduce joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
The reason being its strong anti-inflammatory properties (are you surprised, though?).
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition in which the body's immune system starts attacking healthy cells instead of targeting bacteria and other pathogens.
This causes inflammation in the body resulting in painful and swollen joints.
The anti-inflammatory abilities of curcumin in turmeric helps combat this inflammation by blocking certain enzymes and cytokines that cause inflammation.
We already discussed the ability of curcumin to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) to combat depression.
Increased levels of BDNF are also associated with improved mood and memory as well as enhanced cognitive function that could actually make you smarter.
Whereas reduced levels of BDNF are known to play a crucial role in developing brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and dementia.
Although more research is required on the subject, some studies show that curcumin can have a positive impact on combating diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
One of the main reasons being that curcumin is anti-inflammatory and reduces oxidative stress in the body.
Moreover, it is also believed that curcumin may prevent the formation, or might even break up, amyloid-beta plaques in the brain. These plaques are toxic proteins that build up inside the brain in Alzheimer’s disease.
The curcumin in turmeric has cardiovascular protective effects.
What this means is that curcumin helps reduce some of the risk factors associated with heart diseases, which are the number one cause of death worldwide.
Curcumin affects decreasing serum cholesterol levels which helps prevent clogged arteries, thereby reducing the chances of a stroke.
Curcumin also helps enhance the function of the endothelium, which is the lining inside the blood vessels.
A healthy endothelium helps regulate blood pressure and blood flow, prevents the clotting of the blood, and impacts some other factors directly related to heart health.
In addition to the above, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of curcumin also help eliminate some of the other risk factors associated with heart health.
Turmeric supplements are great in that they are expertly formulated to help with maximum absorption and bioavailability of turmeric and its compounds such as curcumin.
Do you know that curcumin has an extremely poor bioavailability naturally? This means that the ease with which it can be absorbed and used by the body is highly limited.
However, turmeric supplements are expertly formulated to increase the bioavailability of curcumin and other beneficial compounds in turmeric.
For instance, piperine (a compound found in black pepper), increases the bioavailability of curcumin by up to a whopping 2000%.
Additionally, since curcumin is fat-soluble, it's best taken with something fatty such as coconut, to optimise its absorption into the body.
Sash Vitality’s Organic Turmeric, Coconut, Ginger and Black Pepper contains organic black pepper and coconut in a 100% natural formula without fillers, additives or preservatives.
Sash Vitality is 100% Soil Association Certified Organic.
Not to mention, our products are completely suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
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