What You Need to Know About Turmeric

 – By Ryan Hommel

Almost every day there is new research that surfaces regarding health and nutrition in America. Whether it is vitamins, minerals, new-age diet plans, workout regimens, or dietary supplements, it seems as if keeping up with health and nutrition these days can be quite the chore. We are here to help. One of the highly beneficial, but not often discussed dietary supplements that can provide a vast amount of health benefits, is called turmeric. To fully understand what turmeric can do for you, we’ll need to know where it comes from, why it’s effective, and how to use it properly. 

Turmeric is the spice that gives the Indian culinary dish, curry, its yellow color. It is derived from the turmeric plant which is native to South Asia, and is part of the ginger family. It has been mentioned in Hindu literature, used in domestic rituals such as marriage, and used as a form of skincare. In addition to all these uses, turmeric has also been used as a medicinal herb in India for thousands of years. But it wasn't until recent that scientists have started to realize just how beneficial it can be to our health. 

Turmeric contains compounds with medicinal properties called curcuminoids, of these compounds the most important and most active ingredient is curcumin. Curcumin has strong anti-inflammatory effects and is also a powerful antioxidant. Unfortunately, the curcumin content of turmeric is not that high, testing out around 3%. Meaning if you only consume the spice itself, you will not see the effects of the curcumin that you desire. This is why people have been supplementing their everyday diet with turmeric products that contain a higher level of curcumin.   It’s important to take note that curcumin is not absorbed into the bloodstream very easily. To maximize the effects, it helps to consume black pepper when taking turmeric and/or curcumin. This is because black pepper contains piperine, which is a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000%. 

Lets explore what health benefits turmeric and curcumin have proven to offer. The most prominent health benefit would probably be its natural anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation helps the body fight off foreign invaders, making sure bacteria can’t take over our bodies and kill us. Although acute (short-term) inflammation is beneficial, it can become a major problem when it’s chronic (long-term). It is believed that chronic inflammation plays a role in just about every chronic western disease. That’s why allowing the curcumin in turmeric to fight chronic inflammation is so important to our well-being. Along with anti-inflammation, turmeric and curcumin have been proven to help with increasing antioxidant capacity of the body, lowering the risk of brain diseases, lowering the risk of heart disease, helping prevent (and possibly treat) cancer, helping prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease, aiding against depression, delaying aging and age-related diseases, and has shown great results in arthritis patients. All of which have to do with the connection of the active ingredient in turmeric…curcumin. 

We recommend Puritans Pride Turmeric to our patients, due to Puritans Pride being a well-known, reliable, and reasonably priced brand of supplements. The milligram (mg)content of the turmeric will vary from person to person, we tell our patients to talk to their personal doctor to find out what mg content would work best for them. We do offer Puritans Pride Turmeric for purchase at Nelson Chiropractic, and would be more than happy to answer any more questions you might have about how turmeric can help you. Also, feel free to visit our YouTube page (Nelson Chiropractic Clinic) to watch an informational video of Dr. Bjorn Nelson speaking on the benefits of turmeric, omega-3 fish oil, and other supplementation. 




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