The more researchers learn about turmeric’s healing abilities, the more they take interest in the spice.
The most recent study concerning turmeric found that taking a teaspoon daily has the ability to reduce heart attack risk just as effectively as three 60-minute workouts a week.
The 8-week long study involved 32 postmenopausal women assigned to either an exercise group, a turmeric group or a control group that underwent no change in diet or exercise. Researchers assessed the endothelium (the inner lining of their blood vessels) of each woman by using an ultrasound device. More specifically, they measured flow-mediated arterial dilation to evaluate arterial elasticity, which determines blood vessels health (1).
As the turmeric group received the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of turmeric a day, the exercise group practiced supervised aerobic exercise training 2-3 times a week plus an unspecified amount of home-based training, including cycling and walking. Each session lasted between 30-60 minutes and ranged in intensity between 60-75% of maximal heart rate.
Researchers discovered that the turmeric group and the exercise group both experienced significantly improved endothelial function. What’s more, their results were nearly identical, proving that daily turmeric ingestion had the same effect as daily exercise in preventing, reducing or perhaps even reversing endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis.
The study was inspired by 2012 study from the Chiang Mai University of Thailand that found that turmeric could reduce the frequency of heart attack after coronary artery bypass by 56%.
This occurred in as little as 9 days when turmeric was administered daily 3 days before surgery and continued for 5 days post-surgery. The spice impacts the cardiovascular system this by modulating C-reactive protein, plasma maondialdehyde, and N-terminal pro-B-type naturietic peptide levels (2).
Thai researchers concluded: “The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of curcuminoids may account for their cardioprotective effects shown in this study…curcuminoids decrease proinflammatory cytokines during cardiopulmonary bypass surgery and decrease the occurrence of cardiomyocytic apoptosis after cardiac ischemia/reperfusion injury in animal models.” Put simply, turmeric had the ability to decrease inflammation and protect endothelium cells against damage and death (3).
If you want to take advantage of turmeric’s cardiovascular benefits, all you need to take is a teaspoon of turmeric powder or a glass of freshly squeezed turmeric juice daily. For best results, the spice should be taken with coconut or olive oil and black pepper.
It’s important to remember that just because you’re taking turmeric, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to exercise. Everyone should try to spend at least 30 minutes a day being active to stay fit and healthy.