10 Health Benefits of Turmeric:
Foods that have an incredible array of health benefits that go well beyond just their nutrient value are considered `super-foods.` Turmeric is an herb native to Southeast Asia that is a true super-food shown to have remarkable healing and anti-inflammatory properties that are just now being discovered (1).
Cellular inflammation is a common day epidemic that is that is the fundamental cause of degenerative disease in our society. Turmeric has been shown to reduce inflammation & oxidative stress as well as any herbal medicinal ever studied.
Turmeric is Rich in Anti-Oxidants:
Turmeric root is extraordinarily rich in curcuminoid polyphenol anti-oxidants that give it a classic yellow-orange color. The principal crucuminoid is curcumin which is responsible for much of the health benefits attributed to turmeric. The other 2 curcuminoids are desmethoxycurcumin and bis-desmethoxycurcumin.
Blood sugar imbalances and insulin resistant cell membranes are critical factors that promote inflammatory conditions in the body. Curcumin has been shown to stabilize blood sugar and reverse cellular insulin resistance by increasing the number of insulin receptors and improving the receptor binding capacity to insulin (2).
Turmeric Detoxifies the Liver:
Curcumin has been shown to activate PPAR (peroxisome proliferator-activator receptor), which is a group of nuclear receptor proteins that regulate gene expression and modulate sugar uptake and utilization from the blood (3).
Curcumin also acts on the liver to decrease the activity of enzymes that release sugar into the blood while increasing activity of enzymes that store sugar. Through these mechanisms, curcumin has been shown to significantly reduce blood glucose and triglyceride levels in diabetic patients (4).
When blood sugar imbalances occur without sufficient regulation glucose cross-links are formed with functional proteins. These new molecules are called Advanced Glycolytic Enzymes (AGE’s) that damage cell membranes, vital enzyme systems, and perpetuate inflammatory conditions in the body. Curcumin has been shown to inhibit the formation of these dangerous substances and turn off the inflammatory fires.
Turmeric is Loaded with Anti-Oxidants:
Turmeric is the 8th highest anti-oxidant rich food on the planet with an extraordinarily impressive ORAC score of 127,068 (5). These anti-oxidants such as curcumin are very powerful modulators of oxidative stress.
Turmeric also boosts levels of natural cellular anti-oxidants such as glutathione, superoxide dismutase, and catalase. These molecules are critical for the body to limit oxidative stress all day long. The greater the surplus of cellular anti-oxidants the less stress and damage occurs to vital organ systems.
Turmeric’s powerful curcuminoids have been shown to reduce the inflammatory mediating prostaglandins, cytokines and other molecules such as interleukin-6 & tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) (6, 7). This tips the scales and pulls the body out of an inflammatory cascade and promotes anti-inflammatory behavior at the cellular level.
Turmeric Improves Blood Flow:
Turmeric’s ability to inhibit oxidative stress, AGE formation, & inflammatory prostaglandins across multiple organ systems and multiple biochemical pathways makes it an incredibly powerful anti-aging and performance enhancing aid.
Through the above mentioned mechanisms turmeric has been shown to reverse diabetes, & improve blood vessel elasticity (8). This stabilizes blood pressure and improves cardiovascular function. Additionally, by inhibiting pro-inflammatory prostaglandins it is a powerful pain inhibitor and cancer cell inhibitor.
Turmeric improves blood flow and reduces brain inflammation thus making you cognitively sharper while protecting against Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and every other neurodegenerative disorder (9). It has been shown to speed up wound healing from cuts & burns while reducing inflammatory skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema (10).
Here is one very tasty way of implementing more Turmeric into your lifestyle:
1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice:
(4 -6 lemons)
4-6 cups of clean water (to taste)
1 tsp of ground turmeric
1 tsp of cinnamon
Pinch of pink salt
(Redmond’s or Himilayan Salt)
½ tsp of liquid stevia (or to taste)
Optional: 1 tsp ground/fresh ginger
I am a huge fan of taking supplemental curcumin and believe the highest quality curcumin is in a liposomal format. This is why I personally use and recommend the Meriva 500-SF which is the most researched form of liposomal curcumin on the market.
A liposome is a substance bound in a phospholipid form that is the same substance as the cell membrane’s in our body. The phospholipid allows the curcumin to pass through the digestive tract and into the blood stream without degredation. It then fuses with the cell membrane and gets into the cell where it can have its bioactive impact. Research has demonstrated that this phospholipid form enhances the absorption of the curcumin by the cell up to 20 times (11).
Phospholipids and in particular, phosphatidylcholine is an essential nutrient for brain function. It makes up a large part of brain cells and is incorporated into all of your neuron cell membranes. The absorption of the curcuminoids is significantly enhanced when it is in this liposomal form and it crosses the blood brain barrier to have a powerful impact on overall brain and neurological support.