Turmeric is a common spice found in the Southern-Asian cuisine. But other than cooking, it is also an excellent home remedy for countless health issues.
You may have already heard about its numerous health benefits (it has been gaining popularity recently, after all, and for a good reason) but were you aware how the health of both your brain and liver can benefit from this wonderful spice?
Turmeric and Brain Health
While turmeric has already made a name for itself when it comes to treating all sorts of physical ailments and problems, what it can do for one’s mental health remained a mystery. That is, until now.
Its active ingredient, called curcumin has shown a great promise in the future treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. One of the primary causes of this disease are these beta-amyloid plaques which can cause a build-up in one’s brain.
Well, recent research suggests that curcumin has the ability to prevent such plaque from building up, at least by 40%. This makes turmeric one of the possible methods of treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
But this is not the only reason. Curcumin also possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties. This means they can reduce any inflammation-caused damage as well as any oxidizing agents.
Depression, which is also largely considered an illness of the brain, can also be treated thanks to turmeric.
One of the other, lesser-known benefits turmeric can offer one’s health, is the wonders it does for our liver.
Did you know that its main component, curcumin, has been used for the successful treatment of liver diseases (and other liver-related problems) for over a century now?
And yet, actual scientifically-based research into the potential it can offer for treating one’s liver is fairly a new thing. It has only recently started being conducted.
Those same researchers believe it is turmeric’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities which are to thank for maintaining liver health.
Studies have discovered that turmeric (curcumin) has the ability to reduce liver damage caused by:
- Iron overdose
- High toxicity levels
- Ethanol (alcohol which you drink)
- Cirrhosis (liver scarring)
- Liver disease (for ex: cholestasis)
On top of all that, recent discoveries suggest that turmeric can serve to reduce one’s risk of developing liver cancer (among which Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which is the most common and accounts for 75% of liver cancer cases).
How does it do this? It can reduce the effects that thioacetamide, and other human carcinogens, have on your liver.
Quick Recipes for Getting the Most Out of It
As great as the above information is, the sad truth is that our bodies find it hard to absorb the active component in turmeric: curcumin. And that is a loss indeed, since it is this component that does all the important work.
If you take turmeric raw, your body is only absorbing as little as 1% of the curcumin. How to enhance your absorption, you ask? Here are a few tips you can try:
- Make sure to purchase the high-quality, organic, certified turmeric with 95% curcuminoids.
- Consume it together with black pepper. Adding pepper to this spice (or even to turmeric-spiced food), serves to enhance the bioavailability of curcumin thousand-fold, all thanks to the piperine black pepper contains.
- You can also choose to take in turmeric together with a healthy heat. An excellent example of this would be coconut oil. Since curcumin happens to be fat-soluble, you are enhancing your absorption in this manner.
But before you get discouraged at the fact that turmeric seems to for very little on its own, keep in mind that even taken on its own EVERY day, it is bound to keep any ailments or diseases at bay.
Even ¼ a tsp. of turmeric a day is enough, as long as it’s taken on a regular basis. In emergency situations, the extract would work best.
One great way of getting your daily dose of curcumin is by making your own turmeric water! How? Nothing simpler.
- One to two cups of water
- One-fourth a tsp. of turmeric
1. Boil the water, add the turmeric before letting it boil for another 10 minutes.
2. Once it has cooled down, know that you have created a 12% solution. Bottoms up!
Turmeric + Fat/Oil
This is another great method. Like we said, mixing turmeric with some healthy fats makes it even better!
- Two cups of coconut milk
- One tsp. of turmeric
- One tsp. of coconut oil
- One pinch of black pepper
All you need to do is mix these ingredients and heat them in a saucepan. No boiling though! Drink this concoction while it’s still warm.
- One-third a cup of softened, cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil
- One-fourth a cup of cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil
- One-eighth a tsp. of turmeric powder
- Half a tsp. of organic sea salt (since the regular table salt has been stripped of all its nutrients)
1. Start off by combining all of the above-mentioned ingredients in a mixing cup. Whisk until you get an even, smooth mixture.
2. Next, pour this mixture into a tightly sealed glass jar and store it in your refrigerator. It should set and harden into a semi-soft type of butter.
3. After it has properly hardened, spread it on a loaf of your choice and dig in!
The possibilities with turmeric are endless. These three recipes are far from your only option. You can do a little experimentation in the kitchen by adding turmeric to curry, soups, meats and plenty of other super-tasty, super-healthy dishes. Enjoy and stay healthy, dear readers!