With the incidence of autoimmune diseases and cancer on the rise, it’s time to take a more proactive step in aiding your own health. They say you are what you eat; so why not look to the simplicity of nature for help with our health problems? While there are many herbs and roots that have been proven to help improve your health, turmeric is an excellent place to start. It has many proven health benefits including fighting chronic inflammation, dramatically increasing the antioxidants in the body, and helping eliminate free radicals in the body.
So, what exactly is turmeric?
Turmeric is a plant in the ginger family with an earthy aroma and slightly bitter flavor. While the exact origin of turmeric is unknown, it’s believe to have originated in Southeast Asia, but is now also found in India, which is now the largest producer and exporter of turmeric. It is best known for its yellow color that dyes everything it touches (and we really do mean everything), and its use in curry. However, turmeric is so much more than that! Traditional Chinese, Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani medicine was on to something with this simple plant because they used it in treatments for thousands of years.
Curacumin, which is the activated form of turmeric, has been shown to fight inflammation at the molecular level. While short term inflammation in the body can be helpful when fighting off illness and bacteria like virus’ and colds, long term inflammation is not. It can play a major role in many chronic illnesses including heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s, and various other degenerative conditions. There’s even been research that chronic inflammation may be linked to mental illness’ like depression and anxiety.
What can you do to help fight, and prevent, chronic inflammation?
First, get your spine checked by a chiropractor. Long term subluxations, the misalignment of vertebrae, can be a big cause of chronic inflammation in your body. Most subluxations go many years without being diagnosed and you don’t even feel it. During that time the subluxations cause inflammation and irritation to the surrounding muscles and also cut off essential nerve supply to important bodily systems and functions. So it is imperative to see a chiropractor regularly to allow your body to use its innate intelligence to heal and reduce inflammation on it’s own.
Next, consider the anti-inflammatory power of turmeric. There are several different ways for you to introduce it into your body. The fun way is to eat lots and lots of curry, but maybe it’s not the most effective way. You can also add it into rice and bone broth, if you happen to make your own, and even custom spice mixes. Paleo cookbooks have great recipes for spice mixes that incorporate a lot of turmeric. You may also look into curacumin supplements. Again, curacumin is the activated form of turmeric and holds the health benefits you need. Just taking turmeric pills doesn’t pack the same punch, so to speak, as curacumin.
Studies have shown that phenolic phyto-chemicals, such as curcumin, not only exhibit potent anti-oxidative and anti-inﬂammatory properties, acting to scavenge free radicals and regulate inﬂammatory responses,but also readily cross the blood–brain barrier to act on speciﬁc targets that have been implicated in the parthenogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease. Phenolic phyto-chemicals can also be found in resveratrol from grapes and wine, and EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) from green tea.
Turmeric teas as an alternative to supplements.
If you aren’t great at remembering to take supplements, there are teas that you can drink that will also bring similar benefits. You can take them with a little honey and milk to help the bitter taste, and they make a relaxing drink before bedtime. You can also consider drinking golden milk, which is a turmeric latte in the simplest terms. There are golden milk mixes that you can purchase at health food stores, but a lot of people just make it themselves. Golden milk contains turmeric, coconut milk (coconut is prefered, but almond and whole milk can also be used), cinnamon, ginger, honey and a pinch of ground pepper. Sometimes we add in some cardamon as well to add a bit of a vanilla flavor to it. The pepper and the ginger activate the curacumin in the turmeric and the fat from the milk makes sure your body absorbs and digests it properly. We find that it is warm and soothing, and helps you unwind at the end of a long day. If you want to try it, here is a link to a recipe: (insert hyperlink here.)
In the end, it is super important to do your part in reducing inflammation in your body to help prevent autoimmune diseases and other illnesses. This includes a healthy diet (with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables) , consistent exercise, and regular chiropractic visits to keep your spine healthy and let your nervous system work properly.
To schedule a complementary spinal health screening call us at (970) 377-3557.