An exotic spice found in many kitchens, turmeric gives an entirely unique flavor to your dishes. This golden spice also offers a myriad health benefits. One of those benefits is its anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric's origins date back about 4,500 years in India and to this day has a vital role in Ayurvedic medicine. Curcumin, the main bioactive ingredient in turmeric, gives the spice the unique yellow color and the amazing healing properties.
Turmeric and Inflammation
Inflammation is the body's defense against foreign organisms like bacteria and viruses that can cause sickness and pain. It is the body's response to defend against anything it perceives as a threat. If inflammation becomes chronic, it can lead to:
- Heart Disease
- Kidney failure
- High blood pressure
- Metabolic syndrome
- Alzheimer's disease
Sometimes the immune system attacks healthy cells and tissue, which is known as an autoimmune response. With rheumatoid arthritis, for example, the immune system attacks healthy joint tissue causing both pain and inflammation.
That's where turmeric comes in. The curcumin in turmeric can help fight inflammation. Several studies have demonstrated that turmeric can be just as effective in reducing inflammation as NSAIDs commonly prescribed by doctors.
Unlike the NSAID class of drugs, curcumin does not have the gastrointestinal side effects of common anti-inflammatory medication. Also, curcumin can help with the inflammation that causes conditions like Alzheimer's.
Smoothies are great options to add some turmeric to your diet. Here is a healthy anti-inflammatory smoothie you can whip up in minutes.
1 cup of spinach
½ to 1 cup of almond milk (unsweetened) or water
½ cup of blueberries
½ of an avocado
½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
½ cup of ice
Put the spinach in the blender and add the almond milk or water. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend. You can add more or take away ice or liquid to your preference.
Inflammation can cause a variety of health problems. By adding turmeric to your wellness routine, you can use the power of curcumin to help your body fight inflammation.