Ever since I reversed Multiple Sclerosis thirty years ago by completely changing my diet (along with walking in nature daily, and practicing mindfulness), I have been in awe of the power of whole foods to heal the body, mind and spirit. Food has been used as medicine since the beginning of time, and recent science has proven its veracity.
Susan Blum, MD, author of The Immune System Recovery Plan, says this about food as medicine: “Food is information that communicates with the body on a cellular level. What scientists now know is that the molecules in the foods you eat actually tell your cells how to behave as well or better than medicine can.”
While understanding that food works as well or better than medicine is powerful, even more impressive is the fact that it actually has the ability to change the way your DNA expresses itself (i.e.: healthy or unhealthy cells). The name of this scientific field of study is called Nutrigenetics.
One of the most potent foods with amazing healing properties is Turmeric. This food grade herb has quickly become known as the new “wonder herb” because of its incredible healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
When our body is inflamed, our immune system can’t do its job, and our health breaks down. Here are 10 ways that turmeric can prevent or even reverse disease when used as a part of a healthy nutrition plan and lifestyle.
1. Turmeric has anti-oxidant properties
Turmeric contains “curcumin”, which not only gives the herb its yellowish color, but also its anti-oxidant properties. Anti-oxidants help reduce free radicals in your body, which can cause damage to your cells or even your DNA.
2. Turmeric kills bad bacteria and viruses in your body
While more research is needed to more fully understand how Turmeric interacts with bacterial and viral infections, the “wonder herb” has been shown to kill the things in your body which might make you sick.
3. It’s an anti-depressant
In the Ayurvedic tradition, which is one of the world’s oldest holistic medicine philosophies, Turmeric is used to treat depression and balance moods.*
4. Speeds up your metabolism
Turmeric has been shown to increase healthy bile production in the body, which aids in the digestion process and increases metabolism.
5. Lowers blood sugar
Just as increased bile production can speed up your metabolism, it can also reduce blood sugar levels which could possibly prevent, or even reverse diseases like diabetes.
6. Reduces pain
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to reduce overall joint pain, back pain, and even pain associated with arthritis.
7. Sharpens your brain
In some studies, the compounds found in turmeric can actually increase the occurrence of a growth hormone for the neurons of the brain. This can reduce the chances of developing, or delay the onset of certain brain diseases like Alzheimer’s.
8. Reduces the risk of heart disease
Several studies have concluded that the healing properties of Turmeric can improve the health of the lining of the blood vessels. Healthier blood vessels help regulate blood pressure, and manage blood flow to reduce the likelihood of clotting and other complications.
9. Prevents cancer
Turmeric has been shown to possibly reduce the growth of cancerous cells in some laboratory testing, and possibly even prevent certain types of cancer (especially those in the digestive system).
10. Anti-aging supplement
Certainly if we reduce the chances of the most common killers such as heart disease, cancer, and obesity, we have a much better chance of living a long, healthy life. Inflammation is widely believed to play a big role in the aging process as well, so by eating anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric, we can slow the process considerably!
The Many Uses of Turmeric
There are so many ways to add more turmeric to your diet. Here are some of the most popular:
• As an herb to enhance taste in dishes such as vegetable stir frys and frittatas.
• Sprinkle on top of roasted vegetables for some added flavor.
• To spice up that brown rice side dish.
• In soups – it’s a great spice to bring in some unique flavors that complement the taste of your broth of choice.
• In a smoothie.
• In tea (see below)
• As a dietary supplement – here’s one I recommend. To purchase, use this code for a 15% discount: 4326
Make Your Own Turmeric Golden Milk
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• pinch of clove
• pinch of nutmeg
• tsp fresh ginger (optional)
• pinch of fresh ground black pepper*
• 1 tsp Turmeric powder. (Start with a teaspoon and add more as desired)
• 1-2 cups of water.
• Stevia to taste, or 1/4 tsp. raw honey to sweeten
• Milk substitute of choice (coconut milk for autoimmune paleo diets, but almond and hemp would both be delicious for non autoimmune conditions)
*I have included black pepper in this recipe as studies show it aids in the absorption of curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric.
Stove top method
1. Simmer herbs and water together for 10 to 12 minutes
2. Strain to remove the herbs, and add stevia/honey and milk.
1. Boil water and add to blender (increase speed gradually)
2. Add in spices and blend until smooth.
3. Strain out herbs and add milk and stevia/honey.
I hope you’ve found this article helpful and that you’re ready to try adding more Turmeric to your healthy nutrition plan. Will you be giving any of these possible uses a try?
I welcome your comments and questions below, and if you’d like to pick up a great Turmeric dietary supplement, here is one I highly recommend.
Wishing you much health and happiness.
*(Be sure to tell your doctor if you are experiencing signs of depression)