Turmeric is one of the most commonly used spices in the world. It’s what gives curries their characteristic orange-yellow color.
But did you know that turmeric might just be the world’s most powerful natural supplement?
The active ingredient in turmeric is a natural compound called curcumin. Not only is curcumin chock-full of health-promoting nutrients, it’s also a potent cancer-preventing antioxidant and anti-aging compound (1, 2). Studies have also shown that curcumin can be used as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent (3).
Indian practitioners of Ayurveda have been using this all-natural remedy for thousands of years to treat hundreds of diseases and ailments. After years of denying the power of natural medicine, modern science is finally catching up to this time-tested remedy.
So what, exactly, is so great about turmeric?
1. Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Curcumin may play an overall protective role when it comes to heart health. Studies have shown that curcumin decreases cholesterol levels in the blood, prevents atrial and ventricular arrhythmias, and prevents cardiac hypertrophy, thus minimizing the overall likelihood of heart failure (4).
One study found that among patients undergoing coronary artery bypass, a dose of four grams of curcumin per day both before and after the surgery decreased their risk of experiencing a heart attack during their hospital stay by a whopping 65% (5).
2. Manages Diabetes
Turmeric is a natural way to lower your blood sugar levels after a meal. However, it shouldn’t be taken in combination with diabetes medications as it can strengthen the effects of these drugs and may cause hypoglycemia (6).
Turmeric can also prevent diabetic cardiovascular complications.
3. Improves Brain Health
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) is a growth hormone found in the brain. Scientists have shown that low levels of this factor are linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia and mental illness (7).
Research suggests that curcumin may boost BDNF levels, thereby delaying or preventing brain and age-related cognitive deficits (8, 9, 10). The root also fight stress-related brain damage and mood disorders, including depression.