Turmeric: The Colorful Superfood That Fights Arthritis, Cholesterol, And Cancer

Turmeric: The Colorful Superfood That Fights Arthritis, Cholesterol, And Cancer
Turmeric is a rhizome, similar to ginger, that grows wild in Southeast Asia, and it is what provides curry dishes with their deep golden color. Turmeric contains curcumin, an amazing compound that can protect and repair cells and can promote healing in the human body.

According to the Journal of the American Chemical Society, turmeric has antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-mutagenic, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. The flavorful spice, which is a mainstay in many Asian dishes, also is a good source of protein, dietary fiber, niacin, calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium, zinc, iron and Vitamins C, E and K. As you might expect, turmeric has been used for centuries to treat a variety of health problems. Here are eight ways turmeric can heal:

1. Arthritis.
A study published in 2012 in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that patients with rheumatoid arthritis reported an increase in flexibility and a decrease in pain after taking curcumin. Furthermore, these patients did not suffer the same side-effects as did patients taking other arthritis drugs.

2. Cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, laboratory studies have demonstrated that curcumin blocked the formation of cancer-causing enzymes in rodents. A study conducted by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2011 found that the curcumin “effectively differentiates between cancer cells and normal cells while activating cancer cell death (apoptosis).” More studies are needed, but turmeric is being used to treat breast cancer, colon cancer and skin cancer.

3. Diabetes.
Journal Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Communications published an Auburn University study that showed that curcumin in turmeric is 400 times more powerful than Metformin (a common drug used to treat diabetes) in improving insulin sensitivity.

4. Digestive ailments.
Many patients with gastrointestinal problems, such as IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), experience inflammation of the intestinal lining as a side-effect of their medication. Studies show that patients who take curcumin, however, do not complain of these side-effects.  Additionally, curcumin works to heal the gut and support the growth of beneficial bacteria.

5. Cholesterol.
 A study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research showed that curcumin lowered the high LDL cholesterol in mice. The compound also lowered C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of systemic inflammation, and triglycerides in the laboratory animals.

6. Burns.
Curcumin has pain-relieving properties and has been shown to be effective in treating and managing the pain of severe burns. A study by the Army Institute of Surgical Research recommended that curcumin should be used to treat burn patients because of its anti-inflammatory benefits and because it has fewer side-effects than conventional burn treatments. Read More...

James Koroma

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