By Kristy Podruchny
Who doesn’t love a tall glass of fresh turmeric golden milk, or perhaps a good curry? Ever wonder what makes golden milk a health tonic, or why black pepper and coconut oil are important ingredients to include in your concoctions?
Remember this word: curcumin (pronounced ker-kume-in). Curcumin is the name of the polyphenol found in turmeric that has caught the attention of the scientific community. Studies are being conducted to investigate curcumin’s role in treating and preventing conditions from Alzheimer’s Disease and depression to cancer and diabetes. While science investigates this further, we know turmeric has been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years.
Turmeric, that beautiful yellow and orange root, is a super food that needs help from other foods to allow curcumin to absorb properly. When we pair turmeric with black pepper and a healthy fat, curcumin’s superpowers start to work in our bodies. Both are considered bioenhancers for curcumin and should be present any time you consume turmeric. It would be a shame to flush those benefits and your money down the toilet!
When you’re shopping around for turmeric supplements or considering what to add into your recipe that contains turmeric, make sure to add a healthy fat and black pepper. Many supplement companies report how their products are sourced, which is another good indicator of a quality turmeric supplement.
Inflammation isn’t the enemy, but chronic inflammation causes and exacerbates diseases and disorders. Curcumin reduces chronic inflammation because it inhibits inflammation in our bodies. It has even reduced brain inflammation in animal studies. This polyphenol is also being studied because it has inhibited tumor growth in other animal studies. The more science digs, the more we discover turmeric’s potential to change our health.
Many osteopathic, naturopathic and integrative doctors are turning to turmeric to treat patients with arthritis because of its ability to combat pain and inflammation. To get technical, pro-inflammatory cytokines are inhibited by curcumin. This action helps relieve pain and swelling while improving mobility in patients with arthritis.
Turmeric is a root—a spice we sometimes don’t think twice about! The potential this root holds for replacing nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and preventing chronic illness is astounding. Don’t forget to spice up your cooking with this golden super food. We just gave you another excuse to get creative with your meals!