You may have noticed in recent times the abundance of turmeric enhanced items on menus of restaurants and cafes. Turmeric lattes are a popular option and the addition of the aromatic spice to the menu isn’t necessarily about the gorgeous hue and earthy flavour it adds to dishes. While these are certainly positives, a lot of reason behind the addition of turmeric to the menu is because of the promising effect is may have on a number of health conditions.
Today, we’re going to talk about why there is so much excitement about turmeric, and it’s all thanks to the main active ingredient within – curcumin.
The lowdown on turmeric and curcumin
You would have most certainly heard of turmeric as it’s a commonly used spice, particular in Indian dishes. Turmeric is a flowering plant that is falls into the ginger family and is native to Southeast Asia.
Though native to Southeast Asia, it can be found abundantly all over the world. It has a warm flavour and is quite possibly most well-known due to its strikingly unique yellowy orange colour. In fact, it is often referred to as the golden spice, due to this colour.
Turmeric is the type of ingredient that can make cooking a whole lot more interesting. It can add a depth of flavour to dishes and can be a great alternative to using salt in a variety of meals.
But enough about turmeric, let’s talk about Curcumin. Curcumin, as we mentioned earlier, is the main active ingredient in turmeric, is actually what also gives turmeric its colour.
Curcumin has long been used therapeutically, with its use recorded as far back as the 1700s, though studies on its effectiveness were only first published in the 20th century.
One of the main reasons why curcumin is considered a superfood and is believed to have significant potential benefits for those who take it, is because it can help to naturally increase the number of antioxidants that the body produces. Antioxidants can help to protect the body against free radicals which, if your body has a high level of them, can cause harm to the body.
What could curcumin do for me?
Many studies have been conducted into the efficacy of curcumin over the years, today we’re going to talk about a few of the potential benefits you may experience if you add curcumin to your diet.
It could help to reduce inflammation
A little bit of inflammation in the body is good, actually it’s important. It is essentially what staves off unwanted germs and bacteria in the body and is the first line of defense within your body. However, long term or chronic inflammation can have a negative impact on your health.
Essentially, when you have chronic inflammation, it means that your body is always working overtime to protect you. It can happen due to autoimmune disorders or from exposure to toxins and pollution. Chronic inflammation puts additional stress on your organs and can lead to premature aging and other various health conditions.
Curcumin aids in preventing inflammatory response agents, like cytokines and chemokines, from growing. While inflammation is a complex condition in the body, curcumin may have a positive effect in reducing the instance of it.
It may have a positive effect for arthritis sufferers
Arthritis is a common condition that tends to effect people as they age, though due to injury or other health conditions, it can affect younger people too.
While there are various types of arthritis, the condition itself involves the inflammation of the joints, and can affect any area of the body, though most commonly it impacts the hands, feet, and knees.
As curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties there is the potential for curcumin to have a positive effect on relieving arthritis symptoms like swelling. Various studies have been conducted on the use of curcumin in managing arthritis with some positive impact having been noted.
It could help to delay the aging process and improve longevity
Curcumin could help to delay the effects of aging due to its high level of antioxidants and the anti-inflammatory properties.
A big issue we’re up against is oxidative stress. This is where there is an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals in the body. As we mentioned earlier, free radicals can cause harm to the body. This is because they can easily react with other molecules in the body because they are considered to be unstable and if there are a lot of them, they can cause chemical reactions that can lead to illness and infection taking over.
The body does need free radicals as they are an important part in staving off illness and infection, however, when there is too many of them, and not enough antioxidants, this is what leads to problems. Oxidative stress can cause all kinds of damage to the body including high blood pressure, heart disease, inflammation, and neurodegenerative conditions.
As curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties and may be able to help increase the amount of antioxidants in the body, it could very well help to delay the effects of aging.
How do I add curcumin to my routine?
If you think curcumin sounds like something that could benefit you, then one of the best ways you can add it to your diet is with a curcumin supplement.
Whilst curcumin is an active ingredient in turmeric, the content level is not very high, so just adding a little turmeric to your dishes here and there isn’t going to be enough to see any benefits.
Curcumin itself is not easily absorbed into the bloodstream, so when you’re looking for a supplement, you should look for one that also contains piperine. Piperine is a bioactive compound in pepper and makes it easier for curcumin to make its way into your bloodstream.
At Superfoods Australia, we offer a Curcumin and Piperine Extract that you can easily add to your routine. One of the easiest ways to add this extract to your diet is adding around ¼ of a teaspoon into hot water or your choice of milk/mylk to make a tea elixir.
Stock up with Superfoods Australia
In addition to our Curcumin and Piperine extract, we also offer a huge range of organic superfoods that are available to purchase from anywhere in Australia. Our collection includes super mushrooms like Lion’s Mane and Chaga, as well as Pine Pollen, Pine Needles, and Super Berries. We also offer a wide variety of superfood formats, from tinctures to powered extracts, and many options in between.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to get in touch with us here either – we’re always on the lookout for different and new superfoods to add to our collection.
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