That yellow coloured powder with a light, earthy flavour and a slight peppery aroma is called “Turmeric powder or Haldi Powder”. It is an important ingredient in the Indian cuisine and used in American foods too. It is one of the rich spices often used in many dishes of eastern countries. The flavour of turmeric is mild and that’s the reason why it goes very well with almost all dishes. But along with providing flavour and colour to the food, did you know that there are bountiful health benefits of turmeric? Read on to know about the turmeric benefits which you didn’t know existed.
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Turmeric, the mildly flavoured spice, is also known as Curcuma longa. Turmeric visually resembles ginger because of the fact that this space belongs to the family Zingiberaceae (the family to which ginger belongs too). The pretty yellow colour of turmeric is due to the curcumin produced by it. Curcumin is a bright yellow coloured compound which is the principal curcuminoid of all the curcuminoids. Chemically curcumin is a diarylheptanoid belonging to the curcuminoids groups (curcuminoids are linear diarylheptanoids) of turmeric. Curcumin is difficult to study in laboratory or conduct research about it clinically due to its instability and not being bioavailable.
Although turmeric is generally used in the form of turmeric powder (also called as haldi powder), it could also be used in the other forms such as raw turmeric, essential oil and turmeric paste.
‣ Raw Turmeric: It is the purest and unprocessed form of Turmeric. Since it has the highest amount of curcumin, it has the highest benefits too.
‣ Turmeric powder or Haldi powder: It is the powdered form of Turmeric and can be used spice up any meal or consume in vegetable capsule form.
‣ Essential Oil: Since turmeric benefits for skin is various, the turmeric essential oil could have a relaxing and balancing effect on your skin.
‣ Turmeric Paste: Turmeric is available in the form of a paste form in the market or you can prepare it by yourself too.
In some countries, along with the direct consumption of turmeric, people also use turmeric leaves to wrap around the food and cook it.
Nutrition Profile of the Turmeric:
Aforesaid, turmeric is packed with the nutrients with 1.82 mg of iron and 0.34 mg of manganese in every 2 tablespoons. Turmeric is also a good source of vitamin b6, copper, potassium and dietary fibres. The phytonutrients that are present in the turmeric are curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, tumenorols and tumerones.
Health Benefits of Turmeric:
Turmeric uses are various. Here is the list:
1. Prevents Liver Disease: Liver is known as the natural detoxifier of the human body. It detoxifies the body by producing the enzymes that could break down the toxins and make the body toxin-free. Turmeric benefits include helping the liver increase the production of these essential enzymes. Turmeric also enhances the blood circulation. All these turmeric uses helps in better liver health.
2. Keeps cholesterol in check: Reducing cholesterol is one of the turmeric medicinal uses. It is one of the important health benefits of turmeric water consumption everyday. When turmeric is used as a seasoning on the food, it decreases the serum cholesterol level.
3. Helps in digestion: Using haldi powder in your daily diet, the gallbladder will be stimulated to produce the bile which is an important component in the digestion process. This, in turn, enhances the digestion and decreases bloating. Yet it is crucial to remember turmeric is not a dietary supplement for people suffering from gallbladder diseases.
4. Wound treatment: The turmeric properties is the reason for the turmeric benefits. Due to the antibacterial property of the turmeric, it could be used as a powerful disinfectant. It also fastens the healing process by assisting in the damaged skin repair.
5. Turmeric benefits for skin: Turmeric uses are various regarding its contribution to the skin glow. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric provide glow and lustre to the skin and offer the best of the turmeric benefits for skin
6. Manages Diabetes: One of the turmeric benefits is that it could be used to treat diabetes. Turmeric assists to normalize the insulin amount. It also enhances blood sugar control and increases the effect of drugs which is used to treat diabetes. One more important advantage of including turmeric in your diet is it assists in decreasing the insulin resistance. However, if the turmeric or turmeric powder if coupled with powerful drugs, there are risks of a drop in blood sugar level (Hypoglycemia). So, in case, you are unsure about the drugs you are taking, it is best to consult your doctor.
7. Avoid Alzheimer’s disease: Most of the cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease are due to brain inflammation. The turmeric helps in removing plaque buildup in the mind and helps in enhancing the oxygen flow throughout. Hence, it prevents Alzheimer’s disease progression.
8. Assist in weight loss: Another health benefit of turmeric water consumption regularly is that it helps in losing weight. The curcumin in the turmeric helps in blocking the fat storage and aids in the utilization of it and thereby helping in losing weight. Consuming turmeric along with the limited consumption of sugary foods and greasy foods could definitely promote your total well0being and weight loss. Turmeric could be consumed by adding the turmeric powder to sauce or dips or spreads or scattering over the fries, or if you would like to enjoy the raw turmeric, you can juice it with fruits and veggies or if you would like to enjoy the benefits of turmeric water, you can just add the haldi powder to lukewarm water and drink straight away.
9. Combats bacterial disease: The antibacterial property of the turmeric powder helps in fighting common bacterial diseases such as the cold. It also assists your immune system to fight against serious bacterial illness or any future foreign invaders.
10. Modulates immune system: One of the turmeric medicinal uses is its ability to prevent and treat immune deficiency. It has the ability to modulate the immune system of the human body.
11. Fights ageing: The antioxidants present in the turmeric or turmeric powder could help in preventing any harm to your skin by the UV and other environmental factors. This, in turn, slows down the ageing process. This is one of the turmeric benefits for the skin.
12. Soothes inflammation: It is the body’s system to create inflammation while it is fighting with something serious such as virus, illness or even recovery from surgery. In such cases, the individual can suffer from sickness. To reduce such inflammation, turmeric could be used. In case of surgeries, the turmeric powder or haldi powder could be used to avoid infections.
The turmeric and curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) - both are considered safe, generally and without any turmeric side effects. But just like all the coins have two faces, even the turmeric might cause a few side effects in a people when taken in large doses as supplements.
The oxalate in turmeric is around 2 percent. At high doses, this ingredient can contribute to the kidney stones.
The commercial turmeric we get in the market is not always in the pure form. It might be adulterated with toxic ingredients such as cassava starch or barley, wheat or rye flour. In such cases, if the people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease consumes the turmeric, they might suffer from adverse symptoms.
Some cheap and adulterated turmeric could contain food colourants and sometimes, this could lead to neurological damage and cancer when consumed in large amounts.
Some of the turmeric powder could be high in heavy metals such as lead. Consumption of such turmeric could be toxic to the nervous system.
Turmeric, the wonder-herb packed with the nutrients, is best to be included in your daily diet if you would like to enjoy the health benefits of turmeric. But take extra care to avoid the possible turmeric side effects. Ensure to consume the pure turmeric or get the turmeric from the trusted and branded company. If you are still indecisive, go ahead and talk to your doctor to get the best advice regarding the same.
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