Proven Benefits of Turmeric

Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric

Winter has set in and the days are now colder and I find myself wanting to have more warming drinks. Whilst I am a huge advocate for loose leaf teas, recently I have been introduced to the turmeric latte, which I now look forward to as my afternoon treat, and the best thing about it, is that has such wonderful health benefits.

Turmeric is a proven anti-inflammatory, shown to reduce symptoms of chronic inflammation as seen in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel disease, tropical pancreatitis, peptic ulcer, gastric ulcer, gastric inflammation, vitiligo, psoriasis, acute coronary syndrome, atherosclerosis and diabetes 1. As an anti-inflammatory it also has neuroprotective effects, such as reducing the tissue damage on those with recent brain trauma, and reducing risk of Alzheimer’s Disease 2. In fact turmeric has such strong anti-inflammatory action it is compariable to ibuprofen over a 4 week period, with none of the negative effects 3.

The essential oils found in turmeric have a strong anti-microbial effect, great for the winter in keeping us healthy 4.

Turmeric is a strong antioxidant. Oxidative stress is implicated in aging and degenerative diseases, and involves the creation of free radicals which are destructive to our cells, antioxidants neutralise these free radical molecules.

In addition turmeric is hepatoprotective, hypocholestoerolemic, hypoglycemic, cardioprotective and has anti-cancer activity 5

Although turmeric has these wonderful properties it has poor bioavailability due to poor absorption, rapid metabolism, and rapid systemic elimination which limits it’s therapeutic effect. The simple addition of piperine (or black pepper),  increases the bioavailability of curcumin by 2,000%.

Turmeric Latte Recipe

Turmeric Latte

INGREDIENTS *Serves 1
1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
1 heaping tablespoon fresh turmeric root, grated (or use 2 teaspoons turmeric powder)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root (or 1 teaspoon ground)
1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
Raw honey or sweetener of choice to taste
Pinch of black pepper

METHOD
Slowly warm the almond  milk in a saucepan, taking care that it does not boil.

Add turmeric, ginger and cinnamon, pepper then combine coconut oil with the mixture and gently heat together until melted.

Use a wire whisk or immersion blender to create a foam.

Stir in honey and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Alternatively if you are in a hurry you can use your blender, add about 10 almonds or cashews (preferably soaked almonds but not necessary) to a cup of hot water, add all the spices (ie turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, pepper), oil and honey to your nutribullet or blender and blend until almonds are all ground up. This does leave a bit of almond pulp in the bottom of the cup but it is still yum 🙂

 

References

  1. Gupta, S. C., Patchva, S., & Aggarwal, B. B. (2013). Therapeutic roles of Curcumin: Lessons learned from clinical trials. The AAPS Journal, 15(1), 195–218. http://doi.org/10.1208/s12248-012-9432-8
  2. Douglas Shytle, R., Tan, J., Bickford, P. C., Rezai-zadeh, K., Hou, L., Zeng, J., … Roschek, B. (2012). Optimized Turmeric extract reduces β-Amyloid and phosphorylated Tau Protein burden in Alzheimer’s transgenic mice. Current Alzheimer Research, 9(4), 500–506. http://doi.org/10.2174/156720512800492459
  3. Kuptniratsaikul, V., Dajpratham, P., Taechaarpornkul, W., Buntragulpoontawee, M., Lukkanapichonchut, P., Chootip, C., … Laongpech, S. (2014). Efficacy and safety of Curcuma domestica extracts compared with ibuprofen in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a multicenter study. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 9, 451–458. http://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S58535
  4. Gupta, S. C., Patchva, S., Koh, W., & Aggarwal, B. B. (2012). Discovery of Curcumin, a component of the golden spice, and its miraculous biological activities. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology & Physiology, 39(3), 283–299. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1681.2011.05648.x