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Why You Should Eat Turmeric

Why You Should Eat Turmeric

Author -  Labyrinth Solutions

There's more to Turmeric than spicing up a curry. Research shows it has many benefits and may help ward off dementia and reduce joint pain.

If you're cooking a curry this evening, you might want to sprinkle in some extra Turmeric. Research is showing what countries such as India and Sri Lanka have long known - that this yellow spice has more benefits than boosting food flavour. Used for more than 4000 years to treat a variety of ailments, Curcumin - the active ingredient in Turmeric - could potentially ward off dementia and help combat inflammatory diseases.

According to the World Alzheimer's Report 2009, 3.6 per cent of South Asians over the age of 60 suffer from dementia, compared with 6.4 per cent of Australasians and 7.2 per cent of Western Europeans. Similarly, the World Health Organization says that cancer rates in India are considerably lower than those in more developed countries such as the US.

But is it Turmeric that's having this effect? Researcher Ralph W. Moss believes so. He says Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory, it inhibits the growth of new blood vessels in tumours and it's a powerful antioxidant.  But before you start gulping it by the spoonful, Aloysa Hourigan, Nutrition Australia senior nutritionist, says it's not that simple. "Curcumin is just one antioxidant, and it might have some function, but I don't think there's one super thing that's going to fix everything.

Here are six potential health reasons to start sprinkling away.

1. It may help ward off Alzheimer's disease

Researchers believe that Curcumin's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may be strong enough to break down the amyloid plaques in the brain that contribute to Alzheimer's disease. "If the blood vessels remain less clogged, then certain parts of the brain might be fed more easily with oxygen and that would keep the brain functioning better," explains Hourigan. The Alzheimer's Disease Research Centre at the University of California is currently planning clinical human trials.

2. It may help reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes

Curcumin also has a positive effect on cholesterol, says Bowden, and animal studies have shown that it may help lower cholesterol and prevent the build-up of LDL ("bad" cholesterol) in the blood vessels. It could therefore stop the build-up of plaque (atherosclerosis) that can block arteries and cause heart attacks and strokes.

3. It helps combat inflammatory diseases

Turmeric's natural anti-inflammatory qualities mean it may work as well as some anti-inflammatory medications, without the side effects. Early research shows it may help with inflammation of the eye (uveitis), inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis) and multiple sclerosis.

One study, using a formula which contained Turmeric, showed it reduced the pain and disability associated with osteoarthritis, but it hasn't been studied on its own yet.

4. It may help fight colds and flu

Preliminary studies show that Turmeric may help reduce the severity of bacterial and viral infections.

5. It helps indigestion and weight loss

Curcumin stimulates the gallbladder and produces bile. Because bile helps digest fat, experts believe this improves digestion and may help control weight. At least one study found it treats indigestion, reducing symptoms of bloating and gas.

6. It assists diabetes sufferers

Turmeric may improve glucose control or insulin activity; in animal research it was shown to cause blood sugar levels to drop. If you add turmeric to your diet, Hourigan suggests monitoring your blood sugars. When combined with diabetes medication, it may cause levels to drop too low, resulting in hypoglycaemia.

The best way to add Turmeric into your diet?

Turmeric can easily be added to your diet.  Turmeric's roots and bulbs are generally boiled and dried to form powder. You can also grate it like ginger or take a supplement.  

Looking for a supplement?  Try Wagner Bio-Curcumin, a clinically trialled high potency Curcumin extract for temporary relief of arthritic pain & IBS symptoms.  Available from your local chemist or your nearest Chemist Warehouse.


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Why You Should Eat Turmeric

There's more to Turmeric than spicing up a curry. Research shows it has many benefits and may help ward off dementia and reduce joint pain.

There's more to Turmeric than spicing up a curry. Research shows it has many benefits and may help ward off dementia and reduce joint pain.

If you're cooking a curry this evening, you might want to sprinkle in some extra Turmeric. Research is showing what countries such as India and Sri Lanka have long known - that this yellow spice has more benefits than boosting food flavour. Used for more than 4000 years to treat a variety of ailments, Curcumin - the active ingredient in Turmeric - could potentially ward off dementia and help combat inflammatory diseases.

According to the World Alzheimer's Report 2009, 3.6 per cent of South Asians over the age of 60 suffer from dementia, compared with 6.4 per cent of Australasians and 7.2 per cent of Western Europeans. Similarly, the World Health Organization says that cancer rates in India are considerably lower than those in more developed countries such as the US.

But is it Turmeric that's having this effect? Researcher Ralph W. Moss believes so. He says Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory, it inhibits the growth of new blood vessels in tumours and it's a powerful antioxidant.  But before you start gulping it by the spoonful, Aloysa Hourigan, Nutrition Australia senior nutritionist, says it's not that simple. "Curcumin is just one antioxidant, and it might have some function, but I don't think there's one super thing that's going to fix everything.

Here are six potential health reasons to start sprinkling away.

1. It may help ward off Alzheimer's disease

Researchers believe that Curcumin's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may be strong enough to break down the amyloid plaques in the brain that contribute to Alzheimer's disease. "If the blood vessels remain less clogged, then certain parts of the brain might be fed more easily with oxygen and that would keep the brain functioning better," explains Hourigan. The Alzheimer's Disease Research Centre at the University of California is currently planning clinical human trials.

2. It may help reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes

Curcumin also has a positive effect on cholesterol, says Bowden, and animal studies have shown that it may help lower cholesterol and prevent the build-up of LDL ("bad" cholesterol) in the blood vessels. It could therefore stop the build-up of plaque (atherosclerosis) that can block arteries and cause heart attacks and strokes.

3. It helps combat inflammatory diseases

Turmeric's natural anti-inflammatory qualities mean it may work as well as some anti-inflammatory medications, without the side effects. Early research shows it may help with inflammation of the eye (uveitis), inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis) and multiple sclerosis.

One study, using a formula which contained Turmeric, showed it reduced the pain and disability associated with osteoarthritis, but it hasn't been studied on its own yet.

4. It may help fight colds and flu

Preliminary studies show that Turmeric may help reduce the severity of bacterial and viral infections.

5. It helps indigestion and weight loss

Curcumin stimulates the gallbladder and produces bile. Because bile helps digest fat, experts believe this improves digestion and may help control weight. At least one study found it treats indigestion, reducing symptoms of bloating and gas.

6. It assists diabetes sufferers

Turmeric may improve glucose control or insulin activity; in animal research it was shown to cause blood sugar levels to drop. If you add turmeric to your diet, Hourigan suggests monitoring your blood sugars. When combined with diabetes medication, it may cause levels to drop too low, resulting in hypoglycaemia.

The best way to add Turmeric into your diet?

Turmeric can easily be added to your diet.  Turmeric's roots and bulbs are generally boiled and dried to form powder. You can also grate it like ginger or take a supplement.  

Looking for a supplement?  Try Wagner Bio-Curcumin, a clinically trialled high potency Curcumin extract for temporary relief of arthritic pain & IBS symptoms.  Available from your local chemist or your nearest Chemist Warehouse.


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