Turmeric is every health and fitness guru’s new favorite companion in the kitchen. This bright yellow spice is taking the world by storm, and its powerful presence is without rival. Bold and flavorful, this spice has become popular in cuisines across the world. In some instances, it has even gone beyond its culinary purpose. From skincare to hair products to even makeup, the health benefits of turmeric can be felt even when you aren’t putting it in your stomach. It’s an ingredient that prides itself on its many vitamins and nutrients. Some even hail it the most effective health supplement to ever exist!
But what exactly is turmeric? Where does it come from? And what are the other health benefits of turmeric beyond those we might already be familiar with? From its humble origins to becoming a worldwide phenomenon, turmeric is definitely not just an overhyped health trend. Trust us; it’s the real deal.
Where does turmeric come from?
Asian cuisines, and those in South Asia in particular, have been using turmeric for centuries. In India alone, there are a recorded 40 to 45 varieties of this particular spice. From India, the spice was introduced to the rest of Southeast Asia, when Hinduism and Buddhism also became widespread. Once it reached Europe, turmeric was also referred to as “Indian saffron.” It was mostly regarded as what gave Indian curries its bright yellow appearance.
Keeping it in the family: Turmeric’s relatives
The health benefits of turmeric are vast in number and high in quality. But did you know that this spice full of impact and flavor has relatives that are healthy and nutritious, too? Like turmeric, ginger and cardamom lend a refreshing kick to any dish you encounter them in. Chock full of nutrients and health properties, these spices are game changers in the health and fitness world.
- Ginger, for example, is a spice that comes in an abundance of forms and shapes. Its original, though, consists of a rough, bumpy exterior that holds a zingy and unique taste. Ginger brings a bold and refreshing bite to your taste palate, and we incorporate it in much of Filipino cuisine. From salabat to Pesang Manok and a good old classic pares, ginger is just as popular and beloved as turmeric worldwide.
Meanwhile, cardamom is a spice people have been using both in the kitchen and the medicinal field for years! If you’ve ever had a chai latte, it’s the cardamom that brings out its distinct and piney flavor. That earthy aroma is hard to miss, too; it’s quite similar to turmeric in that regard. But its appearance compared to the bright yellow spice is a lot milder on the eyes. Nonetheless, the many components of cardamom make this spice nourishing and flavorful –– much like its cousin.
Are you aware of the many turmeric health benefits that are known today? Turmeric is a yellowish-orange colored spice that is mostly grown in Asia. It is used in many Asian dishes, particularly Indian dishes, especially curry. Aside from its unique taste, though, the spice has good effects on your health as well. In the Philippines, turmeric is called “luyang dilaw”.
What are the health benefits of turmeric?
The health benefits of turmeric are constantly praised around the world. Here are some of the health benefits of turmeric that go way beyond what we already know! We can prove today that the craze surrounding this spice isn’t all hype.
One of the best turmeric health benefits is its anti-cancer properties. Indian doctors prescribe this spice to those who are prone to breast or prostate cancer. While no scientific studies have been made about its ability to cure cancer per se, it’s known to be a preventive ingredient. If you eat food products with turmeric in them regularly enough, you should enjoy the benefits it could bring.
If you have burns and cuts, you should know that one of the most popular turmeric health benefits is its antiseptic properties. To apply the spice on your burns and cuts, simply dilute in a small amount of water. In no time, you should experience relief from your burns and cuts. Just make sure that the cuts are not so deep. The spice is supposed to be applied only externally.
Aids in digestion
Whether you’re suffering from indigestion, constipation, or loose bowel movement, you should be able to enjoy one of the best turmeric health benefits. For some reason, this spice just helps to regulate your bowel movement.
Protects your liver
According to studies, turmeric is also known to protect your liver. If you worry because you’ve been drinking too much alcohol, turmeric is a good remedy. Just eat food products with this spice and your liver should be fine.
One of the best turmeric health benefits is that it lowers your cholesterol level. This is very beneficial if you suspect that you’re prone to heart diseases, or you have too much oily food in your diet. Turmeric just might help you balance off your lifestyle.
Aside from cholesterol levels, turmeric can also help you manage your uric acid levels. This means that you can better protect yourself from arthritis as long as you eat food with this spice. This is one of the best reasons you can give to eat more curry!
Cures skin inflammation
Have you been exposed to allergens? Are you suffering from any type of skin inflammation? You’ll be glad to know that one of the health benefits of turmeric is that it can help lessen skin inflammation. You can apply the spice directly to the inflamed area, or eat food with turmeric to help your body heal from the inside.
Stabilizes blood sugar
Are you diabetic? Turmeric is also a wonder spice for people who are suffering from diabetes. The spice won’t necessarily lower your blood sugar, but it can help you manage it better. Diabetic people suffer from sugar crashes as well as sugar highs, and turmeric spice can just help you prevent the complications that go with this blood sugar level ups and downs.
Turmeric can increase the levels of antioxidants in your body
With all the talk you’ve heard on antioxidants, you may start to wonder: what is an antioxidant to begin with? Well, antioxidants are molecules that help fight free radicals in your body. What this means is their presence is able to neutralize harmful cells that can cause disease and ailments in your system. Humans require a certain amount of antioxidants in their body in order to keep it functioning and healthy.
Luckily, turmeric’s main ingredient curcumin is a powerful and formidable antioxidant. This means it can help neutralize free radicals in your body at a faster rate! More than just its powerful taste, turmeric’s benefits make it equally powerful on your body –– in the best way possible!
Helps improve your overall mood!
This is one of the health benefits of turmeric people don’t often discuss. While curcumin works so well on exterior or physical concerns, it also has a big effect on our mental health! The nutrients in circumin make sure that we’re at our best, inside and out.
Unlike other supplements, circumin complements the role of antidepressants in our bodies. In some cases, it may even enhance them, thus making it more effective! While medication is the best way to treat mental illnesses, circumin (and turmeric, by extension) can act as a natural antidepressant. This spice stimulates our production of dopamine and serotonin –– also known as happy hormones! Therefore, your body isn’t just healthy; it’s happy, too!
Lowers your risk of heart disease
A startling number of people lose loved ones from heart diseases every year. There’s no question about it: a healthy lifestyle and diet are key to ensuring you have more time to spend with your family. Eating the right fruits, vegetables, and spices can guarantee additional days to your life. And turmeric, with its vast repertoire of benefits, is a great place to start.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric’s circumin can reverse many of the complications that heart disease can bring upon us. Some studies say enough consumption not only brings your heart back to normal, but it can improve it as well! In a study of bypass patients, circumin was proven to decrease the risk of a heart attack in the hospital. With the health benefits of turmeric, this golden spice can help you live up to your golden years.
Helps in preventing or reducing acne scars
Growing pains like acne are a part of life, aren’t they? That being said, they aren’t exactly the most welcome of guests –– especially when they leave scars that linger for a long time. Just like we mentioned earlier, curing skin inflammation is one of turmeric’s number one selling points. With its high amount of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric works just as well on the outside as it does in. So why not add it to your skincare routine?
The health benefits of turmeric have found their way into the beauty and skincare industry, and with good reason. Many cosmetic brands have incorporated this spice into their soothing and effective skincare products. From makeup removers to moisturizers, turmeric is also great at fighting UV rays that can damage our skin. By removing anything harmful or damaging, turmeric detoxes our skin with ease, leaving us with a youthful and smooth appearance! This spice can help you achieve the glowing skin you know you deserve.
Prevents soreness after working out
Apart from eating right, another aspect of a healthy and balanced lifestyle is ensuring that you’re working out well, too! Exercise is integral to keeping your body in tip top shape. Fitness is just as important as a proper diet when it comes to being healthy. Put them together and you can add days, months, and even years to your life!
But sometimes it’s hard to see the value of workouts when they mean nothing to us but pain. Sore muscles and limbs are a feeling all too common after a strenuous workout. They may even interfere with the rest of our activities for the day! And when you have a full day ahead, staying in bed is not exactly an option.
But luckily, turmeric can help with that too! Like what it does with arthritis, turmeric’s antioxidant properties help in muscle recovery. This spice can relieve soreness and make your muscles practically good as new. With its quick and effective response time, you can get back to the gym right away. You don’t have to waste time getting back on that grind!
What can I use turmeric in?
Now that we’ve learned about the many health benefits of turmeric, you must be dying to know what you can use it in. Luckily enough, turmeric is as versatile in the kitchen as it is everywhere else. The amount of recipes you can put turmeric in are plentiful, and span dozens of cuisines across the world.
Of course, turmeric’s popularity began with it lending its golden brown appearance to a piping hot and flavorful Indian curry. Rich and flavorful, the deep and creamy sauce of an Indian curry consists of an assortment of ingredients. But it’s turmeric’s bright color and vibrant flavor that really breathe life into this one of a kind dish. You can experience all the health benefits of turmeric in one perfect bite.
But you don’t need to go all out to enjoy all the health benefits turmeric has to offer. Even simple dishes, like this Java Rice and Pork Chop, can highlight the brightness of turmeric –– quite literally, too! The tasty and golden java rice is appealing to all senses, and you’ll finish your meal feeling satisfied both inside and out.
No matter what you’re eating it in, the health benefits of turmeric cannot go by ignored. Its amazing health properties contribute to the way it can keep our body healthy and happy. It’s worth every bit of hype it’s received and more. Don’t hesitate to add it to your kitchen pantry today!