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If you’re a committed health enthusiast, then you’re probably already familiar with turmeric, and there’s a good chance that you already include it in your healthy lifestyle repertoire. Or perhaps you are just starting your wellness journey, and you’ve noticed more and more headlines about this super-spice. Either way, in their 2016 Food Trends report, Google deemed turmeric the functional food of the year, with searches for the spice up 56% in the US in the past twelve months alone. The scientific community agrees: turmeric has so many healing and health-promoting properties that there are over 5, 000 peer-reviewed articles published showcasing the benefits of this ancient superfood alone!
What Exactly Is Turmeric?
Turmeric, also known in the medicinal world as curcuma longa or curcuma for short, is a rhizome root related to ginger with a yellow-orange color and a peppery, earthy flavour profile. Turmeric’s superpowers come from a group of active ingredient compounds called curcuminoids that have incredible anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
Regularly consuming turmeric has been linked to a wide range of health benefits, from arthritis/sore joints relief to blood sugar regulation to auto-immune disease management. Below we share some of turmeric’s most powerful abilities.
Turmeric: Anti-Inflammatory Super Spice
One of the most incredible aspects of curcumin, and arguably its most popular therapeutic use, is its ability to control inflammation. Research shows that in an evaluation of several pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory compounds including popular over the counter drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen, curcumin is at least as effective at treating inflammation.
Long a mainstay of Ayurvedic Medicine, turmeric is consumed in India at almost every meal: it is what gives curries their trademark bright color. In fact, Indians have a very low-incidence of Alzheimer’s as compared to other populations, leading some scientists to look into whether the high levels of curcumin in their diet is responsible for the lack of elderly cognitive decline. Alzheimer’s is an inflammation-led disease, so it makes sense that regular curcumin consumption would stave off brain inflammation.
Turmeric For Depression: An Effective Mood Stabilizer
Recent trials have proven that turmeric is extremely effective in lowering depression symptoms and stabilizing mood. One particularly exciting study, the results of which were published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, took 60 volunteers diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) such as manic depression and split the group to determine how patients treated by curcumin fared against those treated with the drug fluoxetine (known commercially as Prozac). The study’s authors concluded that curcumin was as effective as Prozac in managing depression: “This study provides first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe therapy for treatment in patients with Mild Depression.”
If you are looking to boost your mood and feel more naturally energized, turmeric is definitely worth considering.
Turmeric: Super Tonic For Improved Digestion
Your digestive health has a huge impact on your overall health. People with stomach issues commonly suffer from an imbalance in digestive microorganisms, aka gut flora. In-depth studies evaluating curcumin’s ability to manage inflammatory bowel diseases (such as Crohn’s, IBS or Ulcerative Colitis) found that almost all patients experienced considerable relief when supplementing with curcuma. Many participants were even able to stop taking their prescription medication completely. What’s more, many patients with inflammatory bowel disease take corticosteroids to reduce their pain symptoms, but these drugs end up damaging the intestinal lining over time actually worsening their overall digestive health. Curcumin has no such side effects. On the contrary, because of its anti-inflammatory properties, the curcumin actually helped to heal the gut and support the growth of good bacteria.
Further, taking turmeric regularly will lead to better nutrient absorption, improved digestive functions, and optimal organ health.
Bonus Recipe: Tranzend’s Signature Vegan Golden Mylk Recipe
If you haven’t heard of Golden Milk, you will soon. This turmeric super drink is taking over healthy cafe menus everywhere. (Green Queen recommends the Golden Milk at Genie Juicery and at Home Eat To Live.)
Below, Dave Catudal shares his signature Golden Mylk recipe packed with super spices. This simple and delicious beverage, which takes five minutes to make, is the ideal way to start your day. Enjoy a warm mug of this healing superfood latte every morning to enjoy the many benefits of turmeric daily.
Makes 3 to 4 servings
- 2 cups organic coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
- 5 teaspoons organic turmeric
- ½ teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
- pinch of organic black pepper
- ¼ tsp organic ginger powder, or a thumbnail sized piece of freshly peeled ginger root
- tiny pinch of organic cayenne pepper (optional: delicious if you like things on the spicy side!)
- 1 teaspoon raw honey or coconut palm nectar
- Throw all the ingredients into a high-speed blender and process until frothy and smooth.
- Pour into a small sauce pan and heat on low to medium heat for a 3 to 5 minutes. You want to get it hot without boiling it.
- Pour into your favourite mug and enjoy!
About The Author: Dave Catudal is a celebrity fitness trainer and international health educator who has dedicated the past 15 years of his life to helping people optimize their performance and lifestyle. From Olympic athletes to Hollywood stars to busy executives, Dave has personally helped thousands of people realize their wellness and physical transformation goals. Dave is also the founder of Tranzend, a functional health supplement company and the author of ‘The Physique Transformation.’
Image credits: IMG_2335 via photopin (license) – lead photo; Spices, Houmt Souk, Djerba via photopin (license); Curcuma sun via photopin (license) and Biblische Gewürze via photopin (license).