As a health conscious individual, I tend to gravitate toward natural remedies as a means of healing my body, as opposed to potent prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications generated in a lab. Discovering the healing properties of plants has given me a profound sense of gratitude toward the power woven into the natural environment around us. After learning the everlasting positive health effects turmeric root has on the human body, I have vowed to incorporate it into my diet. Similar to ginger, turmeric has a thick, rough exterior, but with a bright orange, firm interior. The root has a slightly bitter, sharp taste when eaten exclusively. However, adding a small spoonful of fresh or dried turmeric to any meal has very little taste, while still reaping the benefits the mighty root has to offer.
Curcumin, the raw, unrefined alkaloid found in turmeric, gives this powerful root many health promoting properties. Ancient Chinese and Indian medicinal practices have, for thousands of years, prescribed patients turmeric for the treatment of inflammation, as well as fatigue, stomach pain, and open wounds. Today, scientists and doctors have discovered numerous benefits associated with the regular consumption of turmeric. Not only is turmeric a powerful anti-inflammatory, the root is also used to treat and prevent bacterial infections, indigestion, heart disease, and even cancer. Additionally, turmeric is a strong and effective antioxidant, leading to the prevention of neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Over three million people in the United States are reported to suffer from arthritis every year. Upon diagnosis of the severe joint pain, associated with inflammation, most patients are informed they will possibly live with the crippling disease for a lifetime. Sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are advised to take harsh prescription medications, often with the consequence of inevitable side effects. However, consuming turmeric has been found to be a beneficial natural alternative to prescription drugs, relieving patients from painful symptoms of arthritis without negative repercussions. The simplicity of turmeric is the reason behind its increase in popularity over the years. The humble plant offers an all natural approach to the healing process and prevention of the most common debilitating conditions.
While turmeric is capable of reducing inflammation in the body, consuming foods with tremendous inflammatory causing properties may be found as counterproductive. A diet with large amounts of processed and refined foods, such as white sugar and trans fats, triggers inflammation. Also, the United States’ Arthritis Foundation advises to avoid consuming saturated fats and casein, dairy and red meat being the most common sources, because of the inflammatory properties associated with these foods. Consuming turmeric will decrease inflammation in the body, nonetheless, in order to receive the complete benefits of turmeric, reducing the amount of processed foods, trans fats, saturated fats, and casein will be valuable to overall longevity.
Including turmeric into a daily practice is easy and effective. Turmeric is beneficial to people of all ages and activity levels. From active athletes to retired folk living a simple life, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits of turmeric will be noticed by all. As a young college student, practicing yoga almost daily, and facing the stressors life offers, I have only noticed a positive change in my body since consuming turmeric. An easy method of receiving a proper dose of curcumin is to take a small capsule of the refined chemical once a day. However, I prefer including the whole plant into my diet. Dried ground turmeric requires no preparation, while fresh turmeric can be shredded with a fine grater for easy digestion. Adding a teaspoon, dried or fresh, to smoothies, hot cereal, rice, or beans is an easy approach to incorporating turmeric into the diet. Also, it is important to note the key addition of black pepper when consuming turmeric. Natural chemicals derived in black pepper increase the absorption of curcumin in the body. Adding a miniscule amount of black pepper to an average serving of turmeric increases the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000%. Furthermore, curcumin is fat soluble; eating nuts, seeds, avocados, or coconut milk with turmeric will allow the body to absorb the beneficial nutrients with ease. The incredible potentials this simple root has to offer is well worth the cheap, easy addition on the next grocery trip. Dabbling with natural remedies and discovering the power of plants has defined the meaning of health in a new, positive light for me. I wish all the best of luck on the journey toward unearthing the incredible possibilities of our earth, naturally.