Turmeric has always had a special place in the hearts of Indians. With the traditions passed down from generation to generation, turmeric, better known as haldi in our land, has been praised and promoted for all the ways in which it is capable of benefitting the human body. Apart from giving flavour and spice to our food, it can impact our health in many positive ways. Keeping this in mind, it has also been found to provide certain benefits to women going through pregnancy, if consumed in small quantities.
Turmeric contains a range of bioactive components which are said to have many medicinal properties. These are known as curcuminoids. Laboratory studies found that these compounds can have relaxing effects on the uterus which can be relieving during the time of pregnancy. This can help if consumed in small amounts as large amounts of curcumin could cause miscarriages and bleeding. Not to worry though, the percentage of curcumin in turmeric is quite small, so the normal amount of haldi consumed in your food shouldn’t have any adverse effects on your body.
One of the most prominent curcuminoids is curcumin. This bioactive component has detoxification properties which can help detoxify the liver while also purifying your blood. Experts also suggest that they can protect the fetus from the harmful effects of alcohol consumed by the mother. Remember, mums, alcohol during pregnancy is a big no-no.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties which are fiercely supported by any turmeric user. While inflammation is important to fight off foreign agents that are harming your body, turmeric helps get rid of these agents as well as fix the damage done to the body in the form of inflammation. In addition to this, it has been found to be a great help in relieving swelling and inflammation in the joints of the body. The elements that compose turmeric have natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
In addition to its various internal health benefits, haldi has been found to have a number of beauty benefits as well. The primary one being its antioxidizing nature. Using haldi can reduce the rate of ageing of your skin, as well as take care of acne and other skin blemishes. But wait, there’s more! Turmeric has been found to help combat skin pigmentation which may occur during pregnancy. Last but not least, a mixture of turmeric and cream, when applied regularly to your belly, can aid in the prevention of stretch marks due to its ability to make your skin supple and smooth.
Brawns and brain
Beauty benefits aren’t the best part about this spice. Medical research has found a link between turmeric and improved brain functioning. Remember curcumin? Well, apparently curcumin helps stimulate the production of a hormone called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). Many brain diseases have been associated with lower levels of this hormone. On further studying turmeric from that tangent, the research found that higher levels of BDNF can help keep many brain diseases at bay or help reverse their effects.
The substances composing turmeric can act as stimulants to the gallbladder. They stimulate the gallbladder to produce bile which helps to break down fat during the process of digestion. Turmeric has also been known to help with problems of bloating or gas issues.
Turmeric has the uncanny ability to boost the immune system which is responsible for protecting your body against infections from foreign agents. By doing so, it helps to fight off these infections to keep us safe from the negative effects of these infections. The component that helps in this effort is lipopolysaccharide which has natural antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
These are only a few of the long list of benefits that turmeric has to offer. In addition to these, turmeric has also been associated with heart health, prevention of diabetes and regulation of blood sugar, combating depression and Alzheimer’s, and even in the prevention of cancer. However, it is important to note that too much turmeric can have adverse consequences for a pregnant woman. If you’re pregnant, avoid taking any curcumin supplements as this can stimulate the uterus to the extent that it could lead to premature birth or miscarriage of the baby.