What is the best turmeric supplement

In addition to being one of the most popular spices across the world, turmeric is fast becoming popular as an alternate treatment for a range of medical conditions. Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine practitioners have used turmeric for centuries to treat skin diseases and as an anti-inflammatory drug.

health benefits of turmeric

Turmeric, also known as Curcuma longa L., is a herbaceous plant that belongs to the ginger family. This perennial plant is commonly found in India, some parts of Asia (including China), and Africa. Although it has a bitter taste, it is widely used in foods like curries and a coloring for cheese and butter. 

Some of the amazing health benefits of turmeric include:

1. Anti-cancer properties

According to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, turmeric has anti-cancer properties. In particular, turmeric has delivered promising results in treating pancreatic, colorectal, prostate, lung, and oral cancer according to a medical review published in the journal of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS).

2. Relieving osteoarthritis symptoms

An article published by the University of Maryland Medical Center claims that researchers have found that people with osteoarthritis experienced less pain and disability after taking turmeric. This is due to turmeric's main compound, curcumin, has anti-inflammation properties. A study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that turmeric has no adverse effects and exhibited anti-rheumatic properties similar to those exerted by conventional osteoarthritis medications.

3. Reduce Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common and chronic problem that affects the large intestines. Some of the common symptoms associated with IBS include constipation, bloating, diarrhea, gas, and abdominal pain. Luckily, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that turmeric reduced the prevalence of IBS by up to 60%.

4. Reduce symptoms of Uveitis (inflammation the eye)

A scientific study published in the Phytotherapy Research journal found that turmeric reduces inflammation of the uvea (middle layer of the eye). This is significant because the steroids, which are normally used to treat uveitis, tend to have adverse effects.

5. Reduce the signs of Vitiligo (loss of skin pigment)

Vitiligo is a skin disorder characterized by the destruction of cells that produce skin pigment. Research has found that the curcuminoids found in turmeric have anti-oxidant properties that can cause significant repigmentation

6. Makes a healthier heart

Turmeric can help maintain a heart health by reducing cholesterol oxidation, reducing plaque buildup and reducing bad cholesterol. A study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology found that turmeric significantly lowered overall cholesterol levels.

7. Prevents strokes and improves stroke damage

There are studies in animals at the Medical College of Georgia, that have found turmeric can regenerate brain cells after being affected by a stroke. They also found that turmeric acts as a blood thinner and reduces the size of the clots and may even be able to prevent a stroke from occurring.

8. Increase our bodies antioxidants

Our bodies can go into what is called Oxidative stress. This is when there is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract their harmful effects via antioxidants. We can help our bodies fight the damaging effects of these free radical by increasing antioxidants, like Turmeric.

9. Preventing Alzheimers Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world. It is the leading cause of dementia and as yet there is no cure. Authority Nutrition explains that curcumin has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier and may be able to assist with the inflammation and oxidative damage of Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer's disease also shows a buildup of protein tangles called Amyloid plaques. Studies show that curcumin in turmeric can help clear these plaques

health benefits of turmeric

What is Curcumin and how does it work

The main compound that gives turmeric it's amazing medicinal qualities is Curcumin. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. Turmeric is made up of only 2 - 3% Curcumin. Not all Turmeric that you can purchase contains this amount of curcumin, so if you are using it for medicinal reasons or as a health supplement look for high a curcumin content.

Turmeric and Black pepper

With these amazing health benefits, we need to ensure that we get the full benefit. Our body does not absorb turmeric that well.  But no fear, we can assist this absorption with the addition of a little black or cayenne pepper. Pepper contains Piperine and with only 20mg piperine absorbtion of Turmeric was increased by up to 2000%. Try adding just a pinch of pepper to turmeric to ensure you are getting the full effect.

I have been adding cayenne pepper to my Turmeric smoothies. I can recommend adding lots of ice while bending. The icy cold drink will soothe the lightly spicey pepper. A little strange at first, but it really is quite delicious.

What are the side effects of turmeric

​According to WebMD, Turmeric usually does not cause significant side effects; however, some people can experience stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, or diarrhea. 

During pregnancy and while breastfeeding, turmeric is likely safe if taken by mouth in the normal quantities commonly found in food. However, there is not enough information to rate the safety of medicinal amounts so it is best not to use it in medicinal amounts if you are pregnant. 

Turmeric may also slow blood clotting, so if you have any conditions which this may affect, it is best to seek your doctor's advice. Read more on the side effects here.

Turmeric for your dogs health

Not only is Turmeric great for our health, it is having amazing results on our dogs too. The Dog Effect website talks about the benefits of turmeric for dogs and includes this recipe that can help with anything from inflammation and arthritis to itchy skin.

turmeric for dogs health

Turmeric paste

Turmeric paste is often called Golden Paste and is an easy way to administer turmeric to your dog. Here is one popular recipe:

Mix the turmeric powder and water together in a saucepan.

Stir on low flame until a thick paste develops.

You may have to adjust the water content.​

Add the freshly ground black pepper​

Add the coconut or olive oil​

Mix well to make a good paste.​

Your dog may eat this from the spoon but more than likely you will need to add it to your dog's food. Take a tablespoon and water it down to a gravy-like consistency. You can now pour it over or mix it in with your dog's food. You can go to The Dog Effect's website for information on dosage and to read more on the benefits of turmeric for dogs.

What to look for when buying Turmeric

Always buy good organic turmeric. Organic farming of turmeric will rely on natural manures  and biological pest control methods rather than spraying harmful chemicals and  pesticides. 

When buying organic turmeric look for a product certified as “organic” by a known and reputed third party agency. In the US, a genuine organic product will have a USDA certification. 

health benefits of turmeric

What now......

I can't think of many reason not to add turmeric to your diet. With so many health benefits and beautiful vibrant color, you can add it to almost any dish. Curries, smoothies, sweet, savory. The list is endless!

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