A Look at the Benefits of Turmeric

Given all the benefits, Turmeric deserves personal recognition

If you’re a big fan of cooking Indian food or you’re are ahead of the game when it comes to all natural healing, turmeric might sound familiar. Most of you though, probably just have it in the back of your spice rack and don’t know about its potential.  You’ll definitely want to adjust your recipes to include this miracle spice once you hear about some of its ridiculous effects.

Internal perks

Turmeric is best known for being the bright stuff that gives curry its color. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, and it gives off that vivid pigment. Curcumin has been the focus of all kinds of studies that find it’s as strong of an anti-inflammatory as over the counter drugs. This is huge for those of us who are trying to decrease our intake of over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs or aspirins. Don’t just up the Indian food if you notice some swelling, though. Turmeric is also recommended in your diet if you are prone to digestive issues. It’ll clean your digestive system right up, and anything that helps the digestive system and reduces swelling is going to provide huge relief. This stuff is also proven to alleviate pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. That’s because Curcumin loads you up with this intense anti-inflammatory power and provides antioxidants. Antioxidants are the guys you want on your side of the ring when it comes to functioning at 100% and preventing or fighting disease.

Rub this in my skin? Won’t it look like I rolled in dandelions?

Well… kind of. This stuff is beneficial for face masks, which we all know you weren’t planning on wearing out on the weekend anyway. Turmeric’s anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities work together to clean your skin and address any red splotches or acne. It also levels the pigmentation in your skin. Spices are a lot cheaper than foundation ladies, so it’s definitely worth a try. Turmeric doesn’t totally dissolve in the face mask mixture, so it works as an exfoliator, too.

Since micro-beads are terrible for the environment and are being removed from face and body washes, you’re going to need to replace this naturally in your skin care routine. You must be warned, though; the yellow rolled-in-dandelions hue will hang around temporarily. Give this a try as part of your nighttime routine, rinse before you go to bed, and the slight staining will come right off when you wash your face the next day.

Keep an open mind

A study came out in April 2015 that showed turmeric is actually as impactful as Prozac against depression and doesn’t have the negative side effects. If you do a quick Google search of turmeric and depression, you’ll see it’s popping up all over the place as the next big thing. There are plenty of benefits turmeric can provide for your noggin because it increases oxygen intake to the brain. Your brain is a huge oxygen hog; it uses about 20% of the O2 you consume. Oxygen is required for the brain to function and upping the absorption improves its performance, specifically contributing to attention, memory and mood. It’s also been connected to decreasing the likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease.

I know I’m preaching to the choir, healthy fella, but your brain is a really important thing to take care of. If you can drastically influence its health with a minor diet change without the negative side effects, then that’s a big win.

Bring it into your routine

Now that you are convinced of turmeric’s benefits, here comes the hard part – finding a way to incorporate the spice into your diet. And, spoiler: if you aren’t really picky, it’s not that hard. The flavor of turmeric is distinctive, so I wouldn’t suggest just mixing it with just anything. The easiest way to incorporate turmeric is if you think about it as a substitute for cayenne pepper, black pepper or tahini. Sprinkle a little bit on top of your steamed vegetables, avocado toast, hard-boiled eggs or salad. It can also be used to make mustard and is integral for creating curry.  Turmeric’s strong flavor and positive health qualities are also optimized when used as a cold remedy. Mix this stuff with a little bit of honey for a good homemade cure. I recommend this recipe.

So many positives… this is crazy, right? It kind of makes sense, though. Curry dates back as a dish Indians have been eating for 4,500 years, and looking through history, a lot of dishes that are cultural staples got to be that way because they were easy to cultivate or people were obsessed with the low-key health benefits. It’s okay if you’re a little late to the station, but it’s about time we all hopped on the train. Turmeric and its right-hand man Curcumin are great natural substitutes for your basic pain medications, skin care products and strengthen your brain while they’re at it. They also combat serious diseases such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s and depression. Keep in mind though; these substantial positive impacts are among patients who regularly add the spice to their diet. You can’t just take a spoonful of turmeric before an exam and expect an A+ or wash your face with it once and toss your foundation out the window. Use turmeric to replace salt and/or pepper in your daily life, give the facial treatment a few tries and see for yourself what a difference it can make.