A good way to know what is really popular in the mind of the public, is to look at what words people are searching for on Google. In the new Google report “Food Trends 2016”, the company names the word “turmeric” as the top “rising star” food term. Just from November 2015 until January 2016, searches for turmeric increased by 56%. Why is turmeric the top trending topic?
Turmeric is classified by Google, and many nutritionists, as a “functional food”, meaning one that not only is consumed for basic nutrition, but also has additional qualities that promote good health and/or prevent diseases. We previously discussed turmeric for its positive effects in treating Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease, and many studies in the past few years have shown that turmeric has many other positive health benefits.
We all see many foods and supplements advertised as “functional foods”, “nutraceuticals”, and even “superfoods”, but curcumin is very likely an authentic superfood, not just something marketed to give big commercial profits. Turmeric stands out from the crowd because the studies done on on this substance have been so numerous, well-done, and almost universally positive.
Why turmeric is so healthy
It is a strong antioxidant that helps clean out the damaging oxidative free radicals that are constantly formed in our cells as a consequence of normal aging, and increased by potentially avoidable issues like pollution, obesity, and excessive unprotected sun exposure, and eating trans-faltty acids. Not only does turmeric itself inactivate free radicals, but it appears to help activate the body’s own antioxidant potential.
Turmeric diminishes the overall level of inflammation in the body. Inflammation is suspected to be an important factor triggering a number of diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease. Of course our body needs inflammation, as that is how we fight off infections, but a low-level of chronic inflammation, for example from chronic gum disease, is the type of inflammation that can lead to serious problems.
Conditions likely improved by turmeric
To discuss all of these in detail would take thousands of words, so below we just are mentioning the conditions that have good scientific evidence, in animal or human studies, demonstrating that turmeric may well be useful. In future posts we will discuss some in more detail:
1) Neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis
2) Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis
3) Digestive problems including inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, and dyspepsia
4) Cardiovascular disease
5) High cholesterol
6) Various cancers
In our next post, we will discuss how to add turmeric to your diet in a way to maximize benefits, along with good taste.
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