Turmeric can help fight inflammation, lessen pain, lower risks of heart disease, fight free radicals, help fight depression, help prevent cancer and even improve your memory, according to a November 2021 article by the Cleveland Clinic.
“Researchers thought that the reduction in brain inflammation and curcumin’s antioxidant properties led to less decline in neurocognition, which is the ability to think and reason,” said registered dietitian Nicole Hopsecger in the article. “Curcumin may also have a role in preventing the development of Alzheimer’s disease — however, that’s an area where we need more research.”
The benefits stem from curcumin, the active healing ingredient that gives turmeric its yellowish color, Hopsecger explained. And it is the plant’s unique ability to naturally reduce inflammation that is at the root of its many benefits.
“Another study shows that curcumin was just as effective as fluoxetine (Prozac) in lessening symptoms of depression,” the article said. “Curcumin may also increase levels of serotonin and dopamine — which are chemicals in your brain that regulate mood and other body functions.”
The article cited a study on colorectal cancer in which turmeric reduced the number of colon lesions in men by 40%.
In another study of 121 people who had coronary bypass surgery, curcumin decreased by 65% the chance of having a subsequent heart attack in the hospital, the article said.
For the best absorption, take 500 mg. of turmeric twice a day with healthy fats, such as oils, avocado nuts, or seeds, the article recommended.
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