As we saw in the previous blog post, on a daily basis we are often exposed to inflammation, especially if we do some physical activity, such as running. Most of the time it is enough with a few days of rest and the help of home remedies to disappear the inflammation and it is in these cases when the Turmeric can be of great help.
In today’s post we are going to talk about this excellent natural anti-inflammatory that is Turmeric. Its excellent anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antioxidant properties contribute to an optimal state of our muscles, prevent injuries and recover faster after intense exercise.
Turmeric, the queen of spices
Curcuma Longa is a plant of the same family as ginger, originating in southwestern India. It is famous for its orange rhizome, from which the precious spice also known as Turmeric is extracted. It is famous for its aroma and the intense yellow color it brings to dishes, but above all it is very valuable for its many properties and health benefits.
For all these properties and attributes, Turmeric is known as the “queen of spices”, also called Indian and Turmeric Gold. For more than 4,000 years it has been used for its powerful medicinal properties. The phytochemicals contained in it, such as borneol, turmenone, caffeic acid and especially curcumin, give it excellent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer properties.
Below we will look at its many properties and how to consume it.
Properties and benefits of Turmeric
The beneficial properties of Turmeric are largely due to the presence of curcuminoids, which are liposoluble polyphenols. Among them is Curcumin, which has many physiological properties. There are numerous scientific studies that support the properties and medicinal effects of Turmeric, which were known since ancient times and were used in Traditional Chinese and Hindu Medicine.
Curcumin increases the content of glutathione, a very important tripeptide in the human body, known as the “master antioxidant”. Glutathione contributes to the functions of the liver and promotes the production of bile, aiding in the treatment of jaundice. Turmeric is an excellent liver and biliary tonic that protects the functions of the liver, favoring drainage. According to recent research, it is possible to remove bile stones (cholecystokinetics). Deactivates harmful compounds with harmful effects such as drugs and toxins.
The increase in glutathione has an antioxidant effect, influencing enzymes related to the Redox processes that neutralize free radicals. It also extends the life of Vitamins C and E, which are exogenous antioxidants.
Curcumin has a potent anti-inflammatory effect. Reduces pain, inflammation and stiffness of joints. Relieves inflammatory problems related to multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, and fights intestinal inflammation.
Curcumin plays a major role in gastrointestinal protection. It is a natural anti-acid that acts very effectively against stomach acidity and gastritis. Increases mucosal production and protects stomach walls. It also stimulates the biliary flow towards the intestine, improving the digestion of fats.
Anticarcinogen, Antimicrobial and Antifungal
Curcumin inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and fungi, such as Candida. In addition, curcumin has proven anti-cancer properties. Glutathione favors the production of NK cells, also known as killer cells, which help the immune system destroy cancer cells or virus-infected cells. Curcumin inhibits cyclooxygenase-2 protein, which is associated with certain types of cancer. It is also a DNA protector and inhibitor of skin cancer, melanoma and breast cancer.
Other Beneficial Properties
Curcumin also has many other interesting properties:
- Reduces stress, irritability and anxiety.
- It is a natural antidepressant that increases the production of serotonin.
- Prevents Parkinson’s and the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques, which are related to Alzheimer’s disease.
- It acts against the flu and bronchitis.
- Prevents cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and improves blood circulation.
- It regulates menstrual cycles and relieves their symptoms by regulating the production of estrogen.
How to consume Turmeric
Turmeric itself is poorly bioavailable. For this reason, the following recommendations should be taken into account in order to enhance its absorption by the body:
- Turmeric should be consumed together with meals. We can increase its absorption up to 2000% by combining it with black pepper and ginger.
- It is not very water-soluble, but it does dissolve well with fats, so it is advisable to add a certain dose of olive oil or coconut when consuming it. This makes it easier to transport from the intestine to the blood plasma. For this reason it is not advisable to mix it with soy lecithin.
- Heat increases the solubility of curcumin up to 12 times, but we should not subject it to temperatures above 100 degrees Celsius. It is best to add it to foods after cooking, or immediately before eating them.
- It is also interesting to combine it with foods rich in quercetin, such as onions, garlic, chili, spinach, oats, apples, and so on. Quercetin inhibits an enzyme that deactivates curcumin.
The combination of turmeric with black pepper (piperine) and some healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil or linseed, with citrus juices and green tea, enhances its absorption in the intestine, which otherwise would be much slower.
Turmeric can be consumed directly as a rhizome. However, it is more convenient and is better used if we turn it into powder. I recommend you to watch the video accompanying this entry to see how to obtain Turmeric powder from the rhizomes.
Ways to take Turmeric
There are many ways to introduce turmeric into our diet, for example:
- Make the mixture of turmeric powder, freshly ground black pepper and olive oil as a vinaigrette and add it to the salad or vegetable dish.
- We can add it to the cooking of legumes, cereals, stews, soups and vegetable creams.
- Add to green juices and shakes, either with the root or directly in powder. Vitamin C from fruit and vegetable juices increases the stability of curcumin.
- As an infusion of turmeric or by adding it to the green tea together with black pepper and a few drops of lemon juice. If we add it to green tea we increase the effectiveness of turmeric.
How to make Green Tea with Turmeric
- A teaspoon of Sencha green tea in leaves
- A small piece of fresh turmeric or 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
- A small piece of fresh turmeric or 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
- Lemon skin
- A cup of water
- Put all the ingredients except the water in a teapot.
- Heat the water to about 90ºC, making sure that it never comes to a boil, and turn it off when it starts to bubble.
- Pour the water into the teapot and infuse for about 8 minutes.
- Straining and drinking.
Recommended dose of Turmeric
Numerous studies indicate that the daily amount we can consume of curcumin is between 400 and 800 milligrams a day. As a reference, 500 mg of curcumin is equivalent to about 15 grams of dried Turmeric or about 2 tablespoons.
Moderate consumption of Turmeric is beneficial for health, but you should know that excessive consumption can cause diarrhea, ulcers and even intestinal bleeding. It can also cause irritability and allergy problems in the skin.
Contraindications of Turmeric
Turmeric is not recommended in the following cases:
- During pregnancy or while breast-feeding, consumption should be avoided or reduced so as not to endanger the health of the baby.
- In case you’re on hyperglycemia treatment.
- If you suffer from gallstones the consumption of Turmeric can have negative effects.
- Do not consume by people with gastric reflux.
- Do not consume by people with gastric reflux. It can interact with oral anticoagulants and anti-aggregants.
In case of doubt as to whether the consumption of turmeric is adequate, it is advisable to consult a doctor.
I hope you found this article interesting and that you are encouraged to use Turmeric in your diet in order to benefit from all its properties. If you liked it, don’t forget to share it.
Greetings and see you next time.