Few good reasons to add a pinch of turmeric or haldi to your diet!

05-08-2017      Healthy Life

Turmeric or haldi is one ingredient in your kitchen that holds a remedy for almost all illness you are likely to encounter. A staple spice in almost all Indian households, i t has been used by Ayurvedic and Unani practitioners in India from time immemorial. Turmeric is aromatic, stimulant and tonic and also corrects disordered process of nutrition and restores the normal function of the system. This spice not only adds colour and flavour to food preparations but is packed with numerous health benefits. Here are the top 10 reasons you need to add this humble root to your food without fail!

Prevents Alzheimer’s & Cancer

Alzheimer’s disease is a condition that affects the brain. Commonly seen in the elderly, this condition incapacitates the patient by rendering almost all the functions of their brain useless. Thought to be caused due to the accumulation of amyloid plaques, degradation of neurons, and tangled neuro-fibers, this condition still does not have a cure. According to a paper published in the Annals of the Indian Academy of Neurology [1] (that compiled all the notable studies done with regards to turmeric’s action against Alzheimer’s), it states that turmeric or haldi is capable of preventing and healing Alzheimer’s disease. It states that diferuloylmethan (the main component in turmeric) is the component that reduces inflammation, stops excessive amyloid plaque formation around neurons and prevents their degradation, eventually preventing and reducing the severity of the disease. Haldi is known to have chemo-protective properties and can protect you from a number of cancers like colon cancer, cancer of the prostate, T-cell leukaemia, radiation induced tumours and breast cancers. A study published in the Journal of Cancer Research[6] found that the compounds present in turmeric were capable of preventing the progression of both invasive and non invasive colon cancers by destroying cancer cells. It also found that the anti oxidative properties of haldi protects the body from damage due to oxidative stress and radiation, thereby reducing your chances or suffering from tumours caused due to radiation. Here are 10 myths about cancer busted!

Relieves arthritis

The anti inflammatory and anti oxidative properties of turmeric make it a perfect home remedy for arthritis. A number of studies performed previously have also established that haldi has amazing immune-protective benefits. Because of its combined actions on the body, haldi has been used as an effective agent in treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Studies conducted by Arizona Center for Phytomedicine Research[7] and at the Institute of Chemical Biology,[8], found that the compounds present in turmeric were responsible for reducing the inflammation associated with arthritis and RA. The study also found that continuous consumption of the root helps to reduce the pain and inflammation associated with the conditions.

Controls diabetes

If you have diabetes, haldi is something you simply must include into your diet. The curcumin present in turmeric has a very potent effect in moderating insulin levels and enhancing the efficacy of anti diabetic drugs. Being an antioxidant, it fights off the ill effects of free radicals and reduces insulin resistance. A study performed by Department of Pediatrics, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center [9], found that curcumin prevents protein glycosylation (where the protein molecule is altered) and lipid peroxidation (oxidative degradation of lipids), two process that occur commonly in the body when a person has high blood sugar. By controlling these two factors, turmeric increases the person’s sensitivity to insulin lowering his/her total blood sugar. Here’s how you can lower your blood sugar levels with turmeric.

Acts as good blood clotting agent and heals wounds faster

Whenever you get cut, you must have heard your grandmother or mother tell you to immediately put some haldi on the wound. No, they are not being superstitious, it is because of all the healing properties the humble spice has. The naturally present phenolic compounds in turmeric make it an effective natural antiseptic agent. It is also a natural antibacterial agent and can be used as an effective disinfectant. A study conducted at the Kasturba Medical college, Manipal, India [4] found that the phenolic compounds help speed up the wound healing process. This theory was further strengthend by a study performed at the Department of Pathology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, USA [5] that found that difeurloylmethane, helped in faster wound healing and hastens the process of complete recovery by initiating new skin formation over the wounds. Leading to the conclusion that haldi had properties that could not only heal a wound faster but also reduce the intensity of the scar seen on the skin.

How to use turmeric for your health

You can consume turmeric either as seasoning or just as it is. The best way is to have turmeric tea. Boil 4 cups of water, add 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder and keep for 10 minutes. Strain using a fine strainer if necessary, and then mix in a little honey and lemon – your medicinal turmeric tea is ready.

For beautiful blemish free skin:

If you want your skin to glow with health, haldi is what you need. Just take some young (immature) haldi roots. Every morning, on an empty stomach, mash a small piece of the root (about the size of a one rupee coin) mix it with a small cup of warm milk or warm water, and drink the mixture. This will ensure that your skin is clear, free of blemishes and glows. An added benefit is that this mixture purifies the blood and prevents acne.


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