Top 6 health benefits of turmeric
“Curcumin is a natural antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as [possibly] benefits associated with slowing the aging process,” says Elizabeth Ann Shaw, RDN, owner of Shaw Simple Swaps. and prevent Alzheimer’s disease and depression. Consulting in San Diego.
Nutritional health benefits of turmeric
One tablespoon of ground turmeric powder contains approximately:
- 29 kcal/123 KJ
- 9g protein
- 4g carbohydrates
- 1g fibre
- 3g fat
- 196mg potassium
- 7mg iron
1. Contains bioactive compounds which have protective properties
Colourful plant foods are good for our health because of their plant pigments, and turmeric is no exception. Much of the publicity surrounding the spice is thanks to the main active component curcumin, which makes up about 3 per cent of the root by weight. Although an impressive constituent, it’s worth remembering that curcumin is one of hundreds of bio-active compounds for which turmeric is famed.
2. May help ease arthritis
The potential health benefits of turmeric, and curcumin in particular, include better regulation of inflammation in the body. Studies comparing the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric against those of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) have shown great promise. Moreover, animal studies exploring curcumin’s therapeutic potential as a treatment for arthritis have been encouraging. That said, we need more well-designed clinical trials to determine the efficacy of curcumin for arthritis patients, especially for those who rely on NSAIDS for the management of these conditions.
3. May support cognitive function
Another active ingredient in turmeric is turmerone. Although less is known about turmerone, studies suggest it may be useful for conditions such as stroke and Alzheimer’s disease because it helps trigger cell repair and potentially support the recovery of brain function.
4. May lower the risk of cardiovascular disease
Studies suggest that the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin may protect against some of the steps involved in the development of heart disease, including improving cholesterol levels.
5. Turmeric powder has a beauty effect
6. May support the immune system
Interesting studies suggest curcumin may act as an immune modulator influencing important immune cells including T cells, B cells and Natural Killer cells. In addition to this, curcumin appears to down-regulate pro-inflammatory compounds called cytokines, the prolonged activity of which can lead to inflammatory damage. When consumed at low doses, curcumin may also enhance our antibody responses, helping us fight off infection. Animal studies suggest it may even play a role in controlling allergy, including hay-fever.