Everywhere you turn these days, turmeric is touted for its health benefits. Commonly used in India and China, turmeric has developed a reputation around the world as a superfood. That’s because curcumin—a naturally occurring chemical within turmeric—is thought to provide pain relief, reduce inflammation, fight heart disease and remedy chronic health conditions.
Here are four ways that health experts say turmeric contributes to better well-being:
It provides arthritis relief.
The Arthritis Foundation supports the use of curcumin in fighting joint inflammation and relieving pain and swelling in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Its anti-inflammatory properties seem to modify the immune system response and can help prevent inflammation from occurring in the first place.
Cold water fish, such as salmon, are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Since turmeric is a perfect companion spice for seafood, we recommend combining the superfoods in this poached salmon with dill and turmeric dish.
It’s a germ fighter.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information reviewed a study showing curcumin contains significant antibacterial properties. Along with fighting bacterial infections, curcumin also provided patients within the study with relief from inflammation due to infections.
It boosts heart health.
The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at PennState indicates that turmeric could help reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Studies show the spice can stop platelets from clumping together, thus preventing them from building up along arterial walls. There is also evidence that turmeric prevents plaque buildup, which when left untreated could lead to a heart attack or stroke.
It may speed up recovery.
In an opinion piece written for TIME.com, physician Scott Haig describes the remarkable recovery of a patient who bounced back from surgery. The 73-year-old man used turmeric daily, and his quick recovery was accompanied by minimal pain. While there is not a proven correlation between his use of turmeric and his recovery, the physician viewed the connection as a positive sign of the spice’s superfood powers.
Give turmeric a try!
With consensus among health-care professionals over turmeric’s health benefits, it’s worth adding to your diet. Try turmeric in one of these tasty recipes, or take it as a supplement. As a general rule of thumb, shoot for 500 milligrams a day for the best results.