This spice has definitely been getting some hype lately! And it’s well deserved. With so many health and nutrition benefits, we all should consider incorporating a little more turmeric into our lives.
Turmeric, popularly known for its bright yellow colour, has been a traditional spice used in various cultural cuisines (especially India) for thousands of years. Did you know that this spice has also been used medicinally as well? It’s active compound “curcumin” is the main active ingredient that produces its many medicinal benefits.
First and foremost, turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant with the ability to repair damage in your body. As an antioxidant, turmeric may also stimulate your body to produce its own antioxidant enzymes. Prolonged, low levels of inflammation in the body which may be caused by a variety of lifestyle, nutrition, environmental, or biological factors is often the culprit to may chronic diseases present in our society today. This includes heart disease, cancer, and metabolic syndromes.
What this means for mental health, is that turmeric has the potential to reduce inflammation in the brain as well! Alzheimer’s is one disease of the brain that is linked with increased levels of inflammation. As a result, much research is currently being done that involves reducing whole-body levels of inflammation through mechanisms such as medication, exercise, and not surprisingly, turmeric!
Boosts Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)
BDNF is a type of growth hormone that functions in the brain. We need an appropriate amount of BDNF in order to have optimal brain functioning and cognition. Many common brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s and depression have been linked to lower levels of BDNF. Interestingly though, turmeric can potentially boost BDNF function, so that our brains can build new cells and make more connections! Turmeric has the potential to increase BDNF for those experiencing depression, aiding in helping reduce depressive symptoms. Using turmeric as a potential antidepressant aide is a current topic that’s being looked into in research.
A very relevant topic today, the properties of turmeric are also thought to help boost the immune system! Through a combination of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial effects, turmeric in combination with other complimentary ingredients may help boost your health. Note, consuming turmeric may not be suitable for everyone, so definitely listen to your body and seek advice from your doctor. As with any spice, its not recommended to over-consume in large quantities.
Besides adding a little turmeric to savoury dishes, I love adding it once in a while to a tea for added health-boosting effects. My favourite tumeric tea recipe is shared with you below!
Add small amounts of each of the following: turmeric, lemon juice, honey, coconut oil, black pepper. Make sure to start with small quantities and adjust the ratios to taste. Top it all off with a cup full of hot water, stir well and enjoy!
Did you know? Adding a bit of coconut oil and black pepper to the turmeric will help it absorb more efficiently into the bloodstream.
Feel free to share this post with friends, and let me know how you incorporate turmeric into your life!