Over the weekend as I sat at my desk and planned out my topics and schedule for this upcoming week. I took a sip of my Turmeric Latte that I was enjoying and thought…Hmm That’s a great topic…The Incredibleness of Turmeric.
If you are currently using turmeric, good for you! Keep it up! And if not, you might want to hop on the turmeric band-wagon after reading this blog.
Some cool history and fun facts about turmeric.
This is a pretty hot topic. I read that as of June 2011, more than 4000 articles on the subject were listed in the National Institutes of Health PubMed!
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a spice of a bright yellow color. It comes from the root of the plant. That root provides the polyphenol (micronutrients found in different plant-based foods) curcumin. There are many, many benefits. Turmeric is most widely known for the muscle it packs when it comes to fighting oxidative stress and inflammation.
What are the Health Benefits of Turmeric/Curcumin?
QUOTE: Animal studies have suggested that curcumin may be active against a wide range of human diseases, including diabetes, obesity, neurologic and psychiatric disorders, and cancer, as well as chronic illnesses affecting the eyes, lungs, liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems. (see sources)
Other Health Benefits of Curcumin:
Quote: Curcumin also has the potential to inhibit cancer development and progression by targeting multiple steps in the process of tumorigenesis. It has activity both as a blocking agent, inhibiting the initiation step of cancer, and as a suppressing agent, inhibiting malignant cell proliferation during the promotion and progression of carcinogenesis. In addition to its role as a chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic agent, curcumin has been shown to have the potential to help eliminate chemoresistant cells by sensitizing tumors to chemotherapy. (see ssources)
Quote: Curcumin has also been shown to affect various neurological disorders. In one study, curcumin treatment for 7 days was shown to reduce plaque formation and amyloid beta accumulation in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. In another mouse model, curcumin was shown to cross the blood-brain barrier, reduce amyloid levels and plaque burden, and exhibit significant activity against Alzheimer's disease. (see sources)
So enough about animal studies, what about we humans??
There are a multitude of human studies that have been conducted. As of 2013, approximately 50 clinical trials using human subjects have been completed.
Exercise & Body Composition
Here’s something that will be interest to all exercisers. After a hard workout, you may want to take a turmeric supplement because it’s been shown to relieve exercise-induced inflammation and muscle soreness and helps with recovery. This is really helpful to those of us who are working on achieving optimal body composition through our exercise and diet working together, as our bodies build muscle during the recovery process after exercise!
Turmeric is for Everyone
Whether you have a diagnosed health condition or not, we can all use extra help fighting the toxins & free radicals that enter our bodies and cause cell damage. Those of you who have coached with me know how much I emphasize having ample, high quality antioxidants in your diet and through supplementation. A great source of anti-oxidants from food are found in dark colored fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, red grapes, blackberries, beets and dark leafy greens.
Bioavailability of Curcumin
Here’s one last thing, and it’s really important to know if you want to support your health with turmeric. Turmeric by itself has poor bioavailability, meaning your body can’t absorb it well. It also gets metabolized and eliminated quickly.
So what can you do about that?
Well, there are things that can be done to increase bioavailability. One way is to add something called piperine, which is an active component of black pepper. It increases the bioavailability of turmeric by 2000%.
Which Supplement to Take Then?
You may be wondering now, ok, but which is the best supplement to take? There are many out there, but I use a combination of two. One is a capsule, and the other is a powder.
The powder is very versatile and can be used in recipes. I especially love it to make my turmeric latte! The capsule is great because I take it every day with my regular supplement routine. One of the things I like about this brand is that it contains no synthetic enhancers. It also contains selenium which promotes good levels of glutathione (an anti-oxidant).