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The Truth About Turmeric: How Can We Benefit From This Miraculous Spice?

Many cultures that value traditional medicine understand how important turmeric is. For many years, this wonder spice has been linked to many health benefits – and apparently, science backs some of these advantages.

Apart from being used in food, experts have praised how curcumin, or the substance in turmeric that makes it yellow, is beneficial but noted how our bodies have a hard time absorbing it. As such, scientists are also finding it difficult to measure its effects. Nonetheless, here are ways it helps us and how we can incorporate it into our lives:

As an Antioxidant

A 2018 medical review found that curcumin has antioxidant properties, which means it can counterbalance free radicals in the body. These unstable molecules naturally form as a result of metabolic processes and other external factors like pollution and smoke.

Contrary to their bad rep, these free radicals are quite helpful when balanced because they can fight off pathogens like bacteria and viruses, which cause diseases. However, if they remain unbalanced, meaning there are lesser antioxidants, oxidative stress develops.

Lana Elcova/Shutterstock Pollution contributes to free radicals

When there is oxidative stress, free radicals destroy cell DNA, fatty tissues, and proteins. If this happens in a long period, it can result in several diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

As an Anti-Inflammatory Agent

Our immune system prompts inflammation whenever we get wounds or injuries by isolating the specific area, wrapping it in white blood cells in order to start healing. However, there are times when the body reacts even though nothing has happened. A 2017 study found the curcumin is beneficial for osteoarthritis patients.

If inflammation becomes excessive, it can pose a serious threat to health in the form of diseases like diabetes and heart diseases. Signs of inflammation are swelling, redness, tenderness, warmth in the area, and pain.

Can Aid Cancer Treatment

Turmeric has been seen as effective in alleviating cancer symptoms. This is because of curcumin’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that correlate the development of cancer and chronic inflammation.

A 2019 review found that it slows down tumor growth, preventing the spread of cancer cells. However, the biggest problem lies in the body’s inability to properly absorb the substance in large quantities.

Can Alleviate Depression

Sam Wordley/Shutterstock It is seen as a potential reliever of depression symptoms

A 2018 study showed that those who took 500 to 1,000 mcg of curcumin every day noticed improvements in the symptoms of depression they feel. It was also noted that it reduced signs of anxiety.

Promotes Healthy Skin Topical ointments with curcumin are found to be effective in healing wounds

Because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant contents, it is beneficial for the skin’s health. Topical ointments containing curcumin were found to hasten the healing of wounds.

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