What is Turmeric?
Curcumma Longa, Turmeric is a plant based spice used widely in Asia and particularly South Asia. It is also called The Golden spice. It comes from the turmeric plant which is a root. The root is considered a cousin of ginger route due to similarity in appearance. It is also known as Curcumin, Haldi and Indian Saffron.
It is a bright yellow colored spice with a tinty and heady fragrance. The color is due to the presence of yellow color compound called Curcumin which will be discussed later. It has a warm earthy flavor. It also tastes a bit bitter and citrusy. It is considered most powerful spice in the Asian and particularly Indian cuisine. It is used to flavor and color foods like curry, mustard, butter and many other foods.
Nutrients in Turmeric:
The nutritional components are far more than one can think. It is rich many nutritional components, which make it a “super food”. It contains more than 300 nutrients that occur naturally.
The vitamins found in turmeric include: Beta carotene, Ascorbic acid (vit C, iron), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and niacin. Pyridoxine has effective role in anemia while niacin is used to prevent pellagra and dermatitis.
The minerals are found in quite good quantity and quality. These include calcium, potassium, manganese and zinc. According to studies 2 tsp of turmeric fulfills 15% of the Daily value of manganese and 10% of iron needs. Manganese has the role as co factor for many enzymes like antioxidant enzymes. Iron has the vital role in production of RBC’s and hemoglobin for prevention of anemia.
Curcumin is the core component found in the roots of turmeric that provide it the characteristic golden yellow color. Curcumin has been found to have role in preventing cancer, treating inflammation and curing arthritis.
Uses of Turmeric:
Turmeric is a super food that is of unique significance because of a number of benefits it provides. It has been used for centuries as a spice as well as medicine for many diseases. Just a little amount of it can protect you from many diseases including cancer, anemia, arthritis, and let anemia, memory loss and similar issues away from you.
Anti inflammatory properties:
The substance “Curcumin” found in turmeric has been studied for its anti inflammatory properties. It has been used since long to treat inflammations both internal and external. Considering the fact, turmeric with milk is most widely used whenever there is injury or any internal injury or rupture as in case of muscle tear.
Good for brain health:
Brain is the engine of the body. It needs to be all time working effectively and efficiently to keep the body working properly. Turmeric has proven to have many positive effects on brain health. It has been shown to improve a hormone BDNF (brain deprived nephritic factor). It is a type of growth hormone.
Reduction in the level of the hormone leads to development of Alzheimer’s disease and depression. Moreover, it promotes in the maintenance and repair of stem cells of brain which might protect against the diseases.
However, studies are yet being conducted to prove the effectiveness of the spice.
Effective for heart health:
Due to the anti inflammatory property turmeric possess, it has been thought to be a useful component of a heart healthy diet. Since inflammation is the part of almost all heart diseases, Curcumin in turmeric is useful against the life threatening condition.
Moreover, another property that the Curcumin has is the anti oxidation effect. It is effective in preventing the oxidation process in the body. And that’s the reason it is beneficial. It has also been linked to improve endothelium, the lining of our blood vessels.
Effective against arthritis:
Arthritis is the growing health concern mostly in developed countries and bit less in developing countries. It is associated with the inflammation of joints that lead to severe and painful episode of pain. The disease is also considered to reduce functional capabilities of an individual suffering from it.
Because of the anti inflammatory effects of turmeric, it has been seen effective for the disease. It reduces the pain and inflammation. Curcumin has been an effective treatment for arthritis and particularly through the inhibition of IL-1β and TNFα, underlie its use in treating osteoarthritis. In some cases it worked as painkiller for the condition when taken orally and locally.
Turmeric for cancer:
Turmeric has a number of benefits that help to fight against many diseases and prevent the progression of others. It has also been effective against viral and bacterial infections.
The concern of turmeric in cancer has been a wide concept being discussed greatly. It has been found a barrier against many cancers including breast, colon, prostate and lung cancer. Many studies conducted prove that it slows the progression of disease.
Many clinical studies have the discussed conclusion but the some of studies are still vague. More experimentation is being done to clear the concept.
COVID 19 and Turmeric:
COVID 19 or corona virus is the emerging virus that has almost turned the world upside down. It had hit the globe really hard giving rise to several health issues that are result of weak immune system.
A number of derivatives of Curcumin have anti viral activity and be preventive for the viral disease. It works against the viral activity by acting as blockers for various enzymes.
The last word:
Turmeric has been used for centuries as good medicinal profile. It has really promising effects on inflammation, oxidation, viral diseases and bacterial infection. It is preventive against many life threatening issues like Cardiac diseases, pulmonary disorders, depression, diabetes and brain diseases. Despite many benefits it still needs to be administered with great care and consideration.