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Do You Know This Powerful Yellow Powder Is What You Need In Your Healthy Diet.

Do You Know This Powerful Yellow Powder Is What You Need In Your Healthy Diet.

Turmeric, Curcuma longa or “Indian saffron” has been a part of the healthy dieting trend for quite some time, and it isn’t without a good reason. Traditionally Asian, the plant belongs to the ginger family and it gives curry its yellowish color and warm, bitter taste. With an amazing array of health benefits it offers, it is no wonder that it has been quickly adopted by the health conscious eaters around the world.

Originating in Southern Asia, traditionally, turmeric root (usually dried and cooked and turned into powder) has been used as a spice for dishes in the traditional cuisine, fabric or food coloring aid, and for medical purposes due to its anti-inflammatory effect and great aid in curing bruises, blood in the urine and toothache. With numerous clinical trials testing its active compound curcumin, turmeric has now been proven to improve brain health, cardiovascular health and tissue health. [1] [2]

Turmeric main nutrients

Serving Size: 1 tbsp (7 grams)

  • Calories 24
  • Calories from Fat 6
  • Total Fat 1 g 1%
  • Saturated Fat 0 g 1%
  • Trans Fat
  • Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
  • Sodium 3 mg 0%
  • Total Carbohydrates 4 g 4%
  • Dietary Fiber 1 g 6%
  • Vitamin C 3%

With no sugar, 16% of iron and 1g of protein per 7 grams, turmeric is a beneficial aid in daily nutrition.

Health benefits of turmeric

Turmeric improves digestion

Turmeric has positive effect on the digestion. As the 2015 research shows [3], turmeric and ginger help in curing stomach ulcer. Stomach ulcer develops as a result of an imbalance between digestive fluids in the stomach and duodenum and a Helicobacter pylori bacteria that cause pain in the stomach lining. According to the research turmeric “inhibited ulcer by 84.7%” adding that “ethanol-induced lesions such as necrosis, erosion and hemorrhage of the stomach wall were significantly reduced after oral administration of essential oils”.

Turmeric aids in depression treatment

A study [4] published in the Journal of Affective Disorders shows that turmeric has the potential for treating major depressive disorder. A randomized, placebo-controlled study found a significant antidepressant effect of turmeric on people with major depressive disorder. A 2007 study [5] also found that turmeric could be an effective anti-depressant agent.

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Turmeric treats rheumatoid arthritis

In a 2012 randomized, pilot study [6] the effects of turmeric on rheumatoid arthritis were tested and they showed surprisingly great results. Turmeric actually showed better results of improvement of the condition than the traditionally used drug diclofenac sodium.

Turmeric regulates lipid levels

A 1992 study [7] shows that active compound of turmeric, curcumin, taken daily, can help regulate the lipid levels in humans by increasing “good” cholesterol and decreasing “bad” cholesterol. Namely, “a significant decrease in the level of serum lipid peroxides (33%), increase in HDL Cholesterol (29%), and a decrease in total serum cholesterol (11.63%) were noted” after healthy volunteers were taking 500 mg of curcumin per day for 7 days. Additionally, curcumin from turmeric was proven to have better effect on regulation of lipids than vitamin E, as the study [8] shows.

Turmeric improves antioxidant mechanisms

The ability of curcumin to stimulate the antioxidant mechanisms was tested and proven in a number of studies. [9]

This means that curcumin aids in the process of fighting free radicals that cause aging and many diseases.

Turmeric aids in prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

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Additional studies need to be conducted in order to test the ability of curcumin to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease, yet a study [10] has found that curcumin can help to clear the buildup of protein tangles called Amyloid plaques which are one of the main causes for the disease.

Turmeric accelerates the wound healing process

A 2006 [11] and a 2014 [12] studies have found that curcumin in turmeric has great potential to speed up the wound healing process. Namely, the active compounds in turmeric can help to soothe irritation and oxidation, improve wound contraction and and increase tissue strength and cell proliferation around the wound.

Turmeric side effects

As with any type of food, it is important to consume turmeric in moderation, as any overuse can lead to possible side effects. Turmeric side effects include

  • Nausea and diarrhea – curcumin in turmeric can cause the irritation in the intestinal tract [13]
  • Increased risk of bleeding – Turmeric can slow blood clothing, and in combination with some medicine, can even cause excessive bleeding
  • Hyperactive gallbladder contractions – Turmeric has the potential of increasing the levels of oxalate in urine
  • Hypotension (lowered blood pressure) – High dosages of turmeric can significantly lower blood pressure
  • Uterine contractions in pregnant women – Pregnant and breastfeeding women shouldn’t take turmeric other than spice in food, since supplement turmeric can cause serious side effects

Allergic reactions – Possible allergic reactions to turmeric include mild, itchy rash after skin exposure

Fresh or dried, powdered turmeric

There are two forms in which you can find and use turmeric, therefore, there are some suggestions on how to pick the right one for your needs.

Fresh turmeric is a root turmeric that resembles ginger. A 2015 study [14] has shown that fresh turmeric has more bioavailability, meaning that the body will use its most effective compounds more easily. Fresh turmeric can be used to make tea; you can grate it into soups, salads or vegetables before roasting; it can be blended into smoothies and juiced into juices.

Dried turmeric is made by peeling, drying and grounding into powder. Even though some of the healthy ingredients are lost during the process, several studies show that boiling and heating actually increase the curcumin levels and enhance the antioxidant properties of the compound. [15]

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Turmeric uses, side effects and recommended daily consumption

Turmeric is especially recommended for patients suffering from dyspepsia (upset stomach), osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, according to WebMD.

However some conditions don’t respond well to turmeric and its active compound curcumin, therefore turmeric might not be safe for

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women
    People with
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Hormone sensitive disorders
  • Iron deficiency
  • Who are preparing for surgery or who have recently undergone one

Recommended dosages of turmeric for adults according to University of Maryland Medical Center

Cut root: 1.5 – 3 g per day

Dried, powdered root: 1 – 3 g per day

Standardized powder (curcumin): 400 – 600 mg, 3 times per day

Fluid extract (1:1) 30 – 90 drops a day

Tincture (1:2): 15 – 30 drops, 4 times per day

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Healthy and super easy turmeric recipes for you to try at home

Here are some suggestions on how to make healthy and simple turmeric meals and beverages at home.

Cauliflower Steaks with Ginger, Turmeric, and Cumin

    Add a bit of turmeric warm and healthy flavor to your regular roasted vegetables for a perfect dinner.

    Vegan Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup

      Quick and easy recipe for a perfectly creamy, warm and slightly spicy soup.

      Turmeric-Ginger Tea

        Super easy and extremely powerful warm beverage to fight even the nastiest cold.

        Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

        Reference

        [1]SOURCE: Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.Chapter 13Turmeric, the Golden Spice. 
        [2]SOURCE: The targets of curcumin.
        [3]SOURCE: Gastroprotective activity of essential oils from turmeric and ginger.
        [4]SOURCE: Curcumin for the treatment of major depression: a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled study.
        [5]SOURCE: Behavioral, neurochemical and neuroendocrine effects of the ethanolic extract from Curcuma longa L. in the mouse forced swimming test.
        [6]SOURCE:A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis.
        [7]SOURCE:Effect of oral curcumin administration on serum peroxides and cholesterol levels in human volunteers.
        [8]SOURCE:Spice Up Your Lipids: The Effects of Curcumin on Lipids in Humans
        [9]SOURCE: Curcumin induces glutathione biosynthesis and inhibits NF-kappaB activation and interleukin-8 release in alveolar epithelial cells: mechanism of free radical scavenging activity.
        [10]SOURCE: Curcuminoids enhance amyloid-beta uptake by macrophages of Alzheimer’s disease patients.
        [11]SOURCE: Curcumin improves wound healing by modulating collagen and decreasing reactive oxygen species.
        [12]SOURCE: Curcumin as a wound healing agent
        [13]SOURCE: Role of curcumin in systemic and oral health: An overview
        [14]SOURCE: Enhanced absorption and pharmacokinetics of fresh turmeric (Curcuma Longa L) derived curcuminoids in comparison with the standard curcumin from dried rhizomes
        [15]SOURCE: Effect of Boiling and Roasting on the Antioxidants Concentrations in Extracts of Fresh Ginger (Zingiber officinale) and Turmeric (Curcuma longa).

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        Last Updated on October 15, 2018

        Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

        Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

        “Why am I so tired?” is a question that people ask themselves pretty frequently. Everyone gets tired at one point or another, particularly after something like an illness, a long night up with a sick child, or a busy week at work. When tiredness is persistent, however — when you feel tired as soon as you wake up in morning or when sleep doesn’t seem to help, no matter how much rest you get— it may often indicate a deeper, underlying problem.

        While there are a lot of possible reasons for tiredness, here’re some of the most common causes of fatigue:

        1. Dehydration

        If you want to boost your energy levels, first check whether you are dehydrated. The human brain is 85% water, and needs to maintain this level in order to perform its essential functions.

        If you fail to drink enough water, the brain extracts fluids from your blood to compensate for the deficit. As a result, the oxygen levels in your blood drop, reducing the amount of energising oxygen available to your organs and tissues. Fatigue and sleepiness set in rapidly, leaving you more vulnerable to the 2 pm post-lunch crash that many of us experience.

        You cannot cure this crash with caffeine – the only long-term, effective solution is to drink hydrating fluids throughout the day.

        2. Lack Of Exercise

        A workout will surely leave you feeling even more tired, right? Wrong! As counterintuitive as it may sound, physical activities have an energizing effect. Moving your body releases endorphins, increases your heart rate, and boosts your concentration.

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        Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of medium-intensity exercise every day. It’s easiest if you can make this part of our everyday routine, either as soon as you wake up or right after work.

        3. A Poor Diet

        The food you eat has a direct impact on sleep quality and the amount of rest you get every night. For maximum energy, stick to protein, slow-release carbohydrates, and a moderate amount of healthy (unsaturated) fats. The majority of your food should be plant-based, high in fiber, and low in sugar. These choices will prevent blood sugar fluctuations, which can leave you feeling exhausted.

        An easy way to make sure you stick to a good diet is through meal preparation. It’s easy to just get take-out when you’re tired after work, but if you have a meal ready for you in the fridge, you’ll be less tempted by pizza or cheese.

        Find out more about healthy meal prep here: 10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily

        4. Skipping Breakfast

        Physician Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan advises that eating breakfast is key to maintaining a good level of energy throughout the day. When you eat breakfast, you are sending calming signals to the areas of the brain responsible for avoiding danger, along with those that instruct the body to conserve as much energy as possible.

        Ingesting food signals to your brain that there is enough food available to ensure our survival. This encourages it to stay relaxed, which in turn, promotes restful sleep.

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        Some great ideas for a healthy, filling, and make-ahead breakfasts include overnight oats, smoothies, and freezer-friendly breakfast burritos.

        Or if meal-prepping isn’t your think, stock up on easy but healthy breakfast foods like multigrain cereal, yogurt, and fruit: 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

        5. Poor Quality Of Sleep

        We all know that it’s important to wind down a couple of hours before bed. But did you know that it’s what you do throughout the day that promotes good-quality sleep? It’s not just about the number of hours you sleep, but how restful and deep that sleep is.

        TO feel rested, try to regulate your everyday routine to make your sleep deeper and better. Get up at a regular time in the morning to ensure that you get regular sunlight.

        Eat nutritious foods in moderate amounts, and make sure you stay hydrated. Go to bed at the same time. And before bedtime, avoid screens that can give off harmful blue light and also keep you stimulated when you need to prepare for a restful night.

        Read more about how to develop a routine that will get you better sleep: Poor Sleep Quality Comes from All the Things You Do Since Morning

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        6. Sleep Apnea (A Person’s Airways Get Blocked off While They Are Asleep)

        Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where a person’s airways get blocked off while they are asleep, causing their oxygen levels to drop while they are asleep. This often causes people to stop breathing at night and then to jerk themselves awake (this can happen over 30 times an hour).

        Because of this, people with sleep apnea can feel short of breath and have low energy levels. Mouthpieces and other devices to aid in breathing as well as the use of a special breathing machine to keep oxygen levels in a safe zone.

        If you feel tired all the time and think you might have sleep apnea, consulting with a doctor is important. Do a sleep study, as this can often reveal if there is an underlying problem causing your tiredness — and once a diagnosis is made, treatment to help you get your energy back begins.

        7. Depression

        Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the United States (and in many other countries of the world as well). It is marked by persistent feelings of sadness or unhappiness but has physical symptoms, too. Apart from fatigue, people may also experience changes in sleeping and eating habits and difficulty concentrating.

        Treatment can often center on anti-depressants, counselling and lifestyle changes like stress management to help manage this condition. You can take a look at these 15 Ways To Overcome Depression And Sadness.

        Many people also benefit from activities like yoga and meditation, which help regulate both the body and mind.

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        8. Hypothyroidism

        If a person has hypothyroidism, their thyroid gland does not produce adequate levels of these important hormones— and the result can be a persistent and unrelenting fatigue, even if someone is getting enough sleep. Other common symptoms of this disorder include mood swings, weight gain and feeling cold all the time.

        Fortunately, simple blood work can reveal if there is a problem and it can be treated with artificial thyroid hormone pills like Synthroid. Check here for signs of having a thyroid problem. If you suspect that you might have hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor.

        9. Anemia

        People with anemia are not able to make enough red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the their bodies. This is often due to a lack of nutrients like iron or B-12 and can be caused by problems such as heavy periods, bleeding in the digestive tract or pregnancy (due to the increased demands of the growing baby).

        However, in most cases, this can be resolved with treatments like changes in diet, iron supplements or B-12 shots.

        While here are some drinks you can try to relieve symptoms of Anemia, it’s best to do a blood test and consult your doctor in case of any hidden medical conditions.

        10. Cancer

        While you shouldn’t be freaking out about cancer just because you are tired, it is a fact that fatigue is one of the symptoms of cancer. Other common symptoms can include unexplained weight loss and the presence of palpable lumps or growths. This disease is marked by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells that can do damage to surround tissues and possibly spread to other parts of the body.

        Diagnosis is usually by biopsy and treatment often focusses on radiation, chemotherapy or surgery— and generally when a diagnosis is made early, the outcomes for the patient are better.

        Featured photo credit: Lily Banse via unsplash.com

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