These days it can be tough keeping up with all of the latest “super-foods” and exotic herbs and such that are coming on the market.
It seems like every day some celebrity doctor or another is endorsing some kind of South American root or berry, and trying to convince us that it’s the answer to all of or fitness/health problems.
Trust me, I know how easy it is to get sucked in to this kind of thing. However, I can tell you that based on my own experience, a lot of that stuff really isn’t all that it is cracked up to be!
One super-food that I do believe in is Turmeric – It’s that funny looking little orange root that is a key ingredient in many Indian curry dishes. It’s also used as a natural way to give all sorts of packaged foods an appealing yellow color. Even French’s mustard uses turmeric as a natural coloring agent.
But the color isn’t the important thing here.
Heck no, what makes turmeric so special are all of the amazing things that it can do for your body.
And I’m not making this up. Turmeric has been studied more extensively than just about any other herbal remedy. (Just check out the long list of references I’ve linked to below!)
What’s So Great About Turmeric?
The thing I find so mind-blowing about turmeric is just how many positive things it can apparently do for the health of your body. Here’s just a very short list:
#1) Supports Healthy Inflammatory Response – The key beneficial compound in turmeric is something called “curcumin” which acts as to inhibit your body’s most powerful inflammation-causing chemical “NF-kappaB”. By inhibiting NF-kappaB, curcumin can effectively reduce joint pain, and muscle soreness, and support cognitive and cardiovascular wellness. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
#2) Supports Healthy Mood – To be honest the science behind how this works was a bit advanced for me, but there seems to be some solid evidence that it can improve your mood and potentially help you to be a happier person, sweet! (8, 9)
#3) Good For Your Skin – Oh yeah, just be careful if you go looking for info on this one online – you could end up wasting hours watching YouTube videos of people smearing turmeric paste on their faces!
#4) Can Increase Your Body’s “Antioxidant Capacity” – As we all know antioxidants are really good for you at handling those pesky free-radicals. Well curcumin is a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure (). And if that wasn’t enough curcumin also works to boost up the activity level of your body’s pre-existing antioxidant enzymes (10, 11, 12, 13, 14), so it’s like an antioxidant double whammy!
#5) Linked to Improved Brain Function – This one is especially important for high achievers and those getting on in years. Basically anyone interested in their brain’s health should, IMHO, look into turmeric. Again, this is pretty complex stuff we are dealing with here, but apparently curcumin can increase brain levels of something called ” Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor“. This is good because Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor helps neurons to form new connections, and even help you grow new ones. (15, 16)
All this sounds pretty good right?
What can get confusing is deciding the best way to get your turmeric, as there are numerous ways you can choose to ingest it.
Traditionally it was cooked into curry dishes and soups, and that is still a good option.
If you are into juicing you can also throw fresh turmeric root in the juicer (it’s available at Whole Foods and many other upscale grocery stores and health food stores.)
Other people like making a special drink called “golden milk” out of powdered turmeric and warmed milk, coconut milk or almond milk.
There are also numerous turmeric supplements that are widely available.
The best turmeric supplement I’ve found is something called Seven Nutrition Turmeric Curcumin with BioPerine.
The reason this stuff is so special is because it uses something called “BioPerine” – a trademarked natural black pepper extract that assists your body with turmeric bioavailability.
Without getting too scientific on you – basically this means it allows your body to absorb curcumin close almost 2000% more easily.
Regular black pepper helps, but nothing like the absorption ability you get with BioPerine extract.