Turmeric, historically used in traditional medicine, is known for having a multitude of benefits to our health. In this article we discuss the various benefits of turmeric and why you should consider adding this spice to your weekly grocery shop.
What is turmeric?
Turmeric, or ‘Curcuma longa’ originates from regions in Southeast Asia, as well as India. Potent in colour, turmeric is known for adding bursts of vibrant yellow to curries, sauces, and dressings. However, turmeric may also be known for its healing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Are curcumin and turmeric the same thing?
Curcumin is the primary active ingredient which gives turmeric its healing properties and yellow colour. It is a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, having potential to slow ageing, Alzheimer’s disease and even reduce symptoms of depression. Most recently, those with rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic inflammatory disorders have begun to supplement with turmeric and curcumin for its inflammation reducing powers.
So, how does this work?
Turmeric, containing antioxidant properties from curcumin, has the potential to protect our bodies from free radicals which are found in pollutants such as industrial chemicals or cigarette smoke. Free radicals can also build up in our bodies from stress, poor diet and lack of sleep and cause ‘oxidative stress’ in our bodies, which may be linked to cardiovascular disease, depression, anxiety and cancer.
Turmeric and more specifically curcumin, can help to capture different types of free radicals, prevent their reproduction, and neutralise these free radicals.
Turmeric supplementation has shown to be particularly useful for those who suffer with chronic inflammation such as arthritis, sinusitis, and asthma due to its anti-inflammatory powers.
A study by Chandran (2012) found that rheumatoid arthritis patients who supplemented with curcumin for eight weeks had significant improvements in joint swelling and tenderness versus those who did not supplement with curcumin. It is also important to note that curcumin supplementation was safe and had no harmful side effects.
How can we maximise the benefits of turmeric?
Unfortunately, on its own, our bodies find it difficult to absorb turmeric through our digestive system- so those expensive turmeric shots may not be worth it after all.
However, when paired with black pepper, our bodies are much more capable of absorbing turmeric and reaping all the healing benefits from this powerful spice.
Sona TurmericMAX contains 210mg of turmeric extract, with 200mg of pure curcumin and 3mg of black pepper (2.85mg of piperine) for optimal absorption per capsule. This product can help to reduce inflammation, boost cognitive function, and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Chandran, B. and Goel, A., 2012. A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. Phytotherapy research, 26(11), pp.1719-1725.
Bouayed, J., Rammal, H. and Soulimani, R., 2009. Oxidative stress and anxiety: relationship and cellular pathways. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2(2), pp.63-67.
Lobo, V., Patil, A., Phatak, A. and Chandra, N., 2010. Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health. Pharmacognosy reviews, 4(8), p.118.
Sanmukhani, J., Satodia, V., Trivedi, J., Patel, T., Tiwari, D., Panchal, B., Goel, A. and Tripathi, C.B., 2014. Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial. Phytotherapy research, 28(4), pp.579-585.
Xu, Y., Ku, B., Tie, L., Yao, H., Jiang, W., Ma, X. and Li, X., 2006. Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB. Brain research, 1122(1), pp.56-64.