Does Adding More Turmeric To Your Diet Help Fight Aging?
Indian and Asian cultures have used turmeric for years to add more pizzazz to dishes and stave off the signs of aging. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine as well. ELLE magazine calls turmeric an anti-aging superfood. Is it possible that there is more than just flavor to this spice? What is it about this peppery ingredient that might make you look and feel younger?
What Is Turmeric?
Turmeric is one of the primary ingredients in curry. In its raw form, it appears fleshy and tough. Once dried and ground into a powder, herbalists use it as a healing remedy, foodies enjoy it as a condiment, and manufacturers create dyes with it.
What Are Turmeric’s Health Benefits?
Turmeric contains a chemical that has been clinically proven to reduce swelling. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, naturalists use it to treat conditions such as:
- Joint pain
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Skin inflammation
Dr. Randy Horwitz, medical director at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, said turmeric is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory agents available. His 2006 study found that when given to rats injected with rheumatoid arthritis, turmeric completely inhibited the onset of the disease.
It is taken both orally and applied topically to help soothe skin rashes, infections, and even acne.
How Does Turmeric Help Fight Aging?
Turmeric contains the following nutrients that might help fight signs of aging.
- Vitamin B6
Among other properties, turmeric is a powerful antioxidant. Many signs of aging are a direct result of free radical damage. Antioxidants like turmeric scavenge the free radical molecules before they can cause problems.
Early studies suggest that it may also reduce the risk of cancers such as:
Additionally, ingesting turmeric may lower cholesterol levels. This can help prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes. In fact, a 2008 report published in the Annals of Indian Academy Neurology called it a promising treatment for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
Is Turmeric Safe?
Turmeric is considered safe to take, but there are a few precautions to keep in mind. Avoid using this spice if you take medication to reduce stomach acid, such as Tagamet or Pepcid. If you take medication to control your diabetes, talk to your doctor before using turmeric because it may actually strengthen the drug and make you hypoglycemic.
How Do You Take Turmeric?
There are several approaches for adding turmeric to your diet. You can chew on the raw root, in which case you should try to take 1.5 to 3g per day. You can also take a supplement, in which case you should follow the recommended dosage on the bottle. But the best choice is to go old school. Turmeric comes in a standardized powder form that you can sprinkle on meat or vegetables. You can add it before or after you cook the food, and it works well for both sweet and spicy dishes, giving them an earthy flavor. Used as a spice, the recommended dosage for medical benefits is 1 to 3g per day.
ELLE, 7 Foods that Fight Aging, Dana James, June 27, 2013
Mother Nature Network, The Amazing Health Benefits of Turmeric, Amy Evans, September 29, 2015
Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology, The Effect of Curcumin (Turmeric) on Alzheimer's Disease: An Overview, Shrikant Mishra and Kalpana Palanivelu, 2008
University of Maryland Medical Center, Turmeric, Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, June 26, 2014
The George Mateljan Foundation, Turmeric
Author Bio: Darla Ferrara is a full-time freelance writer, artist and award-winning author. With an academic and vocational background in healthcare, Darla creates informative and engaging content for readers about current health trends.
- Catherine Murari-Kanti