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Turmeric as a Superfood

It is true that you can add years to your life by making smart health choices. Our lifespan and the factors that influence it are dependent on a variety of factors like immunity, stress-free life, optimal sleep, reduced risk of diseases, and many more. 

While one single plant/herb cannot help you achieve all your goals, following good dietary practices and including herbs that have tremendous health potential in your routine can improve your chances of living a longer, happier, and healthier life.

What is a Superfood?

Any food that offers a high level of desirable nutrients and is linked to the prevention of disease and can offer health benefits beyond its nutritional value can be considered a superfood.

Can turmeric be called a Superfood?

Turmeric is much more than just its pretty color. It is a common spice used in many cuisines. The main benefits of turmeric come from its active ingredient curcumin which is what gives the yellow color to it. A spoon of turmeric contains vitamins like 0.122mg of B6, 1.8mg of Vitamin C, and trace amounts of Vitamins E & K.1 

Turmeric has compounds called curcuminoids out of which curcumin is the most important active ingredient and has numerous health benefits like being an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and its ability to work in metabolic diseases, joint disorders and many more.

Here are the top 7 reasons why turmeric can be called a Superfood:-

  • Turmeric reduces inflammation: While inflammation plays a beneficial role in the body, prolonged activation of inflammatory pathways can cause chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, diabetes, obesity, depression, fatigue, etc., 2

Curcmin in turmeric has been shown to inhibit the mediators of inflammatory response and inflammatory pathways thus supporting its mechanism of action as a potential anti-inflammatory agent. 3

  • Turmeric has antioxidant potential: Antioxidants are substances that protect your cells against free radicals which are linked to multiple illnesses like diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and many more.4

Curcumin in turmeric is a potent antioxidant that can help neutralize free radicals and boost the activity of antioxidant enzymes in the body. It is also an effective scavenger of ROS (reactive oxygen species) and has been shown to improve the systemic markers of oxidative stress. 5 

  • Slows down the progression of neurodegenerative diseases: Neurodegenerative diseases  are characterized by the progressive degeneration of the structure and function of the central and peripheral nervous system with the common ones being Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s. 6

There is evidence that curcumin possesses the ability to bind beta-amyloid 7 plaques and reduce the plaque burden, thus slowing the progression of early Alzheimer’s disease. Polyphenol curcumin has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and exert its protection in neurological diseases as demonstrated in several experimental models. 8

  • Turmeric can lower blood sugar levels: Blood sugar levels play a major role in how our body metabolizes sugar and insulin helps maintain these levels in our body. Curcumin in turmeric has been shown to decrease blood sugar and diabetes-related complications in multiple animal studies and a few clinical studies.

The mechanism of action is probably via the stimulation of beta cells of the pancreas along with a lot of mediators and other factors and oral ingestion of curcumin may help reverse the inflammatory complications and metabolic derangement associated with obesity and improves glycemic control in type 2 diabetes.

  • Turmeric has benefits against depression: Depression is a mood disorder characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness, loss of interest, and hopelessness. Some studies have suggested a link between elevated levels of inflammation and certain forms of depression.

Turmeric has incredible anti-inflammatory properties which can help in reducing the inflammation associated with depressive disorders. Curcumin in turmeric produced anti-depressant-like effects to reduce the inflammatory responses derived from exposure to stress as evidenced in a few studies. 10. Curcumin has also been linked to increasing the serotonin and dopamine levels in your brain which are linked to depression. 11

  • Works well for your joints: There are various kinds of joint pains with different symptoms and treatment outcomes. Some of them resolve themselves with time but a few can trigger long-term problems with osteoarthritis being the commonest one.  

Curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory that can ease the pain associated with arthritis. In a study published in BMC,12 94% of people reported a 50% decrease in pain with no side effects like stomach trouble, unlike diclofenac. Many studies have reported improvement in symptoms of arthritis on intake of curcumin. 

  • May help prevent cancer: Cancer is a disease that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth with spreads into the surrounding tissues. Curcumin has shown to possess anti-cancer properties in various kinds of cancers like pancreatic, lung, ovarian and colorectal, etc., 13

Research has shown lower rates of certain cancers where people consume more curcumin over a long period of time. A few laboratory studies have also demonstrated that curcumin has some effect in killing cancer cells. 14

  • Turmeric benefits your skin: Skin is the largest organ in the body and provides a protective barrier against thermal and physical injuries. Skin problems are the first signs of underlying health problems. 

Turmeric has some amazing benefits for your skin both for skin conditions as well as an addition to your skincare routine turmeric can help you overcome a variety of skin conditions. Skin conditions like acne, alopecia, atopic dermatitis, facial photoaging and many more can actually improve by both topical application and ingestion of turmeric. 15

One very amazing way to incorporate this powerful spice into your diet is to consume a turmeric latte. 365veda range of superfood turmeric lattes is a nutritious and convenient way to reap the benefits of this ancient Indian herb. Explore our range of superfood lattes of 365veda Immunity, 365veda Relax, and 365veda Detox to get started on your superfood journey.

          References

  1. https://www.nal.usda.gov/legacy/fnic/foodcomp/cgi-bin/list_nut_edit.pl 
  2. Hewlings SJ, Kalman DS. Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health. Foods. 2017;6(10):92. Published 2017 Oct 22. doi:10.3390/foods6100092 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5664031/ 
  3. Fadus MC, Lau C, Bikhchandani J, Lynch HT. Curcumin: An age-old anti-inflammatory and anti-neoplastic agent. J Tradit Complement Med. 2016;7(3):339-346. Published 2016 Sep 9. doi:10.1016/j.jtcme.2016.08.002  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5506636/ 
  4. Pal, Mamta & Misra, Kshipra & Dhillon, Garry & Brar, Satinder & Verma, Mausam. (2014). Antioxidants. 10.1007/978-1-4614-8005-1_6. 
  5. Sahebkar A., Serbanc M.C., Ursoniuc S., Banach M. Effect of curcuminoids on oxidative stress: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J. Funct. Foods. 2015;18:898–909. doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2015.01.005. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464615000092 https://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/health/neurodegenerative/index.cfm
  6. Fadus MC, Lau C, Bikhchandani J, Lynch HT. Curcumin: An age-old anti-inflammatory and anti-neoplastic agent. J Tradit Complement Med. 2016;7(3):339-346. Published 2016 Sep 9. doi:10.1016/j.jtcme.2016.08.002  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5506636/ 
  7. Mythri RB, Bharath MM. Curcumin: a potential neuroprotective agent in Parkinson’s disease. Curr Pharm Des. 2012;18(1):91-99. doi:10.2174/138161212798918995 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22211691/ 
  8. Maithili Karpaga Selvi N, Sridhar MG, Swaminathan RP, Sripradha R. Efficacy of Turmeric as Adjuvant Therapy in Type 2 Diabetic Patients. Indian J Clin Biochem. 2015;30(2):180-186. doi:10.1007/s12291-014-0436-2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4393385/ 
  9. Fan C, Song Q, Wang P, et al. Curcumin Protects Against Chronic Stress-induced Dysregulation of Neuroplasticity and Depression-like Behaviors via Suppressing IL-1β Pathway in Rats. Neuroscience. 2018;392:92-106. doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2018.09.028 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30268781/#:~:text=Pathway%20in%20Rats-,Curcumin%20Protects%20Against%20Chronic%20Stress%2Dinduced%20Dysregulation%20of%20Neuroplasticity%20and,doi%3A%2010.1016%2Fj
  10. Kulkarni SK, Bhutani MK, Bishnoi M. Antidepressant activity of curcumin: involvement of serotonin and dopamine system. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2008;201(3):435-442. doi:10.1007/s00213-008-1300-y https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18766332/
  11. Shep, D., Khanwelkar, C., Gade, P. et al. Safety and efficacy of curcumin versus diclofenac in knee osteoarthritis: a randomized open-label parallel-arm study. Trials 20, 214 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-019-3327-2https://rdcu.be/cGBoH 
  12. Vallianou NG, Evangelopoulos A, Schizas N, Kazazis C. Potential anticancer properties and mechanisms of action of curcumin. Anticancer Res. 2015;35(2):645-651. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25667441/ 
  13. https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/complementary-alternative-therapies/individual-therapies/turmeric#:~:text=Turmeric%20is%20promoted%20as%20an,cancer%20cells%20in%20certain%20cancers
  14. Vaughn AR, Branum A, Sivamani RK. Effects of Turmeric (Curcuma longa) on Skin Health: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Evidence. Phytother Res. 2016;30(8):1243-1264. doi:10.1002/ptr.5640 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27213821/

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