Obesity is a rapidly growing epidemic in America and it’s closely linked to everything from type-2 diabetes to cardiovascular disease and hypertension. There are hundreds of natural and unnatural diet plans on the market. But what if the secret to curbing the obesity epidemic was as simple as sprinkling a little spice on your dinner?
In the United States, turmeric is best known as a spice in curry dishes and the ingredient that gives Indian cuisine its yellow hue. But throughout Asia’s history, it has been used to treat a variety of health conditions thanks to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties. The active component of turmeric is curcumin, which is a photo-chemical extract of the turmeric root.
Possible Health Benefits of Turmeric
- Post-surgery pain
- Soreness and muscle strain
- Weight loss
- Disease prevention
Research has shown that curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory agent, metabolic syndrome fix, and cancer prevention nutrient. When taken long-term, curcumin has shown to reduce inflammation and decrease post-operative pain and arthritis. According to a 2013 medical study published in the Journal of Pain Research, taking 400 mg of curcumin for pain is comparable to taking 2,000 grams of Tylenol.
Researchers at the McCormick Science Institute studied the health benefits of turmeric and reported, “Supplementing a high-fat diet of mice with curcumin (500-mg/kg diet) for 12 weeks reduced body weight gain, adiposity, and microvessel density in adipose tissue, changes that coincided with decreased serum cholesterol, increased fatty acid oxidation, and decreased fatty acid esterification, compared with controls.” Korean researchers recently conducted a similar study and concluded that “the relatively low cost, safety and proven efficacy of curcumin make it advisable to include curcumin as part of healthy diet.”
Foods That Are Delicious With Turmeric
- Dips and spreads
- Egg white omelets
- Lentil stew
- Cauliflower, potato and onion stir fry
- Herbal tea
- Fruit Pie and cheesecake
The recommended daily dose of curcumin is 500 mg, however it is poorly absorbed on its own. To reap the benefits of this nutrient, you’ll need to take a supplement with black pepper extract, phytosomes with soy lecithin, or a curcumin nanoparticle product. However, the turmeric spice is the most available and affordable natural source of the curcumin nutrient.
Although more research is needed to solidify the promising health benefits of turmeric in the human body, it holds more potential than pretty much any other spice on the market. Americans spend tens of billions of dollars on health care related to obesity and metabolic syndrome. Turmeric offers hope that there is an alternative that is safer, more affordable, and more natural.