You probably know it as a popular spice that is used in many South Asian dishes. You may also know that turmeric has a wide variety of beneficial properties that make it a go to natural supplement used to treat many health disorders. But what you probably don’t know is how beneficial turmeric can be to your brain and liver healthy if you consume it on a daily basis.
Is has been well-known for a long time that turmeric can treat physical ailments, but, until recently, turmeric’s mental benefits have been relatively unknown.
The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, is seen as a promising treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. A plaque that builds up in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients called beta-amyloid plaques is believed to be one of the primary causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers found that curcumin can inhibit the build up of this type of plaque by up to 40%, making it a promising treatment for Alzheimer’s. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties play a role in Alzheimer’s treatment as well, as it reduces damage caused by inflammation and oxidizing agents.
Turmeric has also been used as a treatment for those with depression.
Another benefit of turmeric that many don’t know about is how effective it is in promoting liver health. The main ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has been used to treat liver diseases for over 100 years, but legitimate scientific research into its effects have not been conducted until recently.
Researchers believe that it is the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of curcumin that make it so beneficial to liver health. Studies have shown that curcumin reduces liver damage caused by:
- Ethanol (the type of alcohol that you drink)
- Iron overdose
- Liver disease (such as cholestasis)
- High toxicity levels
- Cirrhosis (scarring of the liver)
- Curcumin has also been found to reduce the risk of developing liver cancer. It does this by reducing the effects that human carcinogens, such as thioacetamide, have on the liver.
How To Get The Most Out Of It: Quick Recipes
It is hard for our bodies to absorb the curcumin in turmeric (the stuff that does all the work) when taken raw, you can actually only absorb 1% of the curcumin. To get maximum turmeric benefits:
- Buy high-quality certified organic turmeric extract with 95% curcuminoids.
- Consume turmeric or curcumin with black pepper. Adding black pepper to turmeric or turmeric-spiced food enhances curcumin’s bioavailability many times over because of the piperine in black pepper.
- Consume turmeric with a good fat such as coconut oil, this enhances absorption because curcumin is fat-soluble
This doesn’t mean that turmeric isn’t doing anything if you eat it EVERY DAY. In emergency situations, the extract is necessary, but ¼ teaspoon of turmeric every day will reduce the inflammation in your body and help keep diseases at bay and/or away.
An excellent way to get your curcumin for the day is to make turmeric water.
1-2 cups of water
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
boil water, and add ¼ teaspoon turmeric and let it boil for 10 minutes.
When you let it cool and drink it, you’ve created a 12% solution.
Turmeric & Oil/Fat
Another great way to eat it is to mix turmeric with some oil or fat.
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 pinch black pepper
Mix the ingredients and heat in a saucepan (don’t boil). Drink while warm.
When you combine turmeric with fats, it’s more easily absorbed (7-8x better absorption). You can also try throwing it in a soup, curry, or any recipe of your choosing since most recipes have fat in them, the turmeric benefits will flow into you easily and get to work.
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