5 Benefits of Turmeric

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1. Turmeric is a powerful weapon against inflammation.

Inflammation is a root cause of many health conditions like metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and even cancer. Inflammation has also been shown to play a role in cognitive decline. Turmeric’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties offer a protective benefit.

2. Turmeric kicks free-radical butt.

Turmeric has been shown to increase antioxidant capacity and help fight free-radical damage. This is especially good for the immune system, brain function, and what’s behind those anti-cancer claims. It’s also been shown to amp up the body’s natural antioxidant capacity, boosting your defense system. Turmeric’s antioxidant properties also benefit our appearance too by protecting the skin from free-radical damage like environmental pollutants.

3. Turmeric helps boost your immune system.

Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties make it a health-promoting powerhouse. While curcumin is not absorbed that well into the bloodstream, consuming it with black pepper enhances absorption, thanks to a substance in the pepper called piperine. One of my favorite remedies I learned at the clinic was a cold-fighting tea with ginger and black pepper. Add one teaspoon of turmeric to 12 ounces of water and bring to a boil. Take the water off the heat and add one-quarter teaspoon each of ground ginger and black pepper. You could also make this into golden milk by using coconut milk instead of water. Since curcumin is fat-soluble, consuming it with a fat-containing food or beverage helps you absorb it more effectively.

4. Turmeric eases joint pain.

The anti-inflammatory benefits of curcumin may help ease joint pain. Studies have actually shown promising results in the ability of turmeric and curcumin to manage pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. It may also be helpful for athletes looking to soothe soreness. I recommend a smoothie packed with anti-inflammatory, soothing superfoods to my clients struggling with aches and pains. My go-to combo is frozen wild blueberries, roasted or steamed beets (another potent antioxidant-rich food), and turmeric. If you want to make it a meal, add your favorite plant protein.

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5. Turmeric can help treat and prevent cancer.

Turmeric and curcumin have been studied extensively for their role in the treatment and prevention of various types of cancer, with many promising findings in animal and human studies. Turmeric is a natural pairing for a cancer-fighting plant-based dish. Mix turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, and black pepper with olive oil and toss with chickpeas. Roast at 350°F until crispy (about 20 minutes) and enjoy over a salad or veggie-rich soup.