In times of persistent viral infections and repeated phrases of the Covid19 pandemic, it is no surprise that people have returned to their ancient roots to build up their immunity.
Today, more and more people are focusing on the benefits of herbal remedies and supplements to build up their immunity and reduce the risk of infections.
Herbs such as Tulsi, gilloy, neem, curry leaves, ashwagandha, etc. are very popular among people as immune boosters. Curcumin is one such item that can be utilized to boost immunity and achieve numerous other benefits.
What is Curcumin?
Curcumin is a natural compound, bright yellow in color, produced by plants of the Curcuma longa species. It is the basic active ingredient in turmeric. Turmeric gets its color as well as its health benefits from this compound. Curcuma longa is a plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae.
Turmeric has been used in India since time immemorial as a versatile solution to many health problems. From headaches to joint pains, turmeric has proven its efficacy as a multi-purpose remedy.
We have all heard our elders advising us to take turmeric in milk when we get injured, and many other benefits of turmeric have been proven by research over the years.
7 Health Benefits of Curcumin
Chronic inflammation is the hallmark of a long list of diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, etc. Curcumin being a strong anti-inflammatory acts to reduce this inflammation thereby providing relief from these conditions. Regular usage can help improve the symptoms to a significant extent.
Curcumin has a remarkable effect on the health of an individual. Oxidative damage to our body tissues by free radicals is a major cause of degeneration and wear and tear of tissues. Antioxidants help remove these free radicals from the tissues and thereby protect the body tissues from degeneration.
Any food item that is rich in antioxidants helps prevent ageing and maintains the integrity of the body tissues. Curcumin performs this function seamlessly.
Bone and Joint Pain
Curcumin is known to act beneficially in patients with bone and joint disease. Arthritic patients especially respond well to curcumin and report relief in pain in the majority of cases. This is because of curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties mainly.
Protection from Chronic Age-Related Diseases
Most diseases associated with ageing such as hypertension, Alzheimer’s, heart disease etc. are chronic diseases with a long history of relapse and disability. Curcumin has been seen to act beneficially in these conditions and improve the symptoms, thereby improving the quality of life of these individuals. It can help delay ageing and delay the onset of degenerative diseases.
Curcumin helps promote wound healing, both open wounds and closed injuries. Sprains and strains benefit from an application of turmeric in the affected area, and turmeric in milk is also advised. Even open injuries heal faster when turmeric is applied to the wound as it has strong antiseptic properties as well.
Curcumin is a powerful immunity booster. Our immune system is vital to help us fight infections and maintain health. The efficacy of our immune mechanism depends on a variety of factors, our nutritional state being an important one. Curcumin helps promote immunity by strengthening the immune system, and regular intake can help us to build up a strong immunity that wards off more and more infectious attacks.
The advice given by our elders to apply turmeric to our skin is not entirely baseless. Turmeric helps provide vitality to the skin. It cleanses our skin when applied locally either singly or in combination with beneficial items such as honey. Turmeric does give our skin a healthy glow.
Although we have listed seven benefits of curcumin as promised, the advantages of curcumin by no means end here. The list of its benefits is a rather long one. It is known to prevent certain types of cancers also.
Turmeric helps in relieving headaches, dissolving blood clots and preventing their formation, detoxifying the body, and even helps regulate digestive functions. Turmeric has been proven to regulate metabolism and maintain hormonal balance also and therefore has been seen to be beneficial for diabetics as well.
Research continues into the benefits of curcumin, and with such a long list of benefits already uncovered, it is no surprise that the future may throw light on even more positive effects of this widely used Indian spice.
Absorption of Curcumin
The benefits of curcumin that have been discovered in scientific studies are found at high doses of curcumin intake. Such high doses cannot generally be taken through a regular diet, and supplementation is necessary. The amount of turmeric that we take in our meals is not sufficient to provide us with all of the benefits listed above. For this, an adequate health supplement prepared from genuine curcumin extract must be included in the diet.
Curcumin is unfortunately not well absorbed into the bloodstream. However, the addition of black pepper helps facilitate its absorption. Most curcumin supplements use piperine extract along with curcumin to provide the best results.
How to add curcumin to your diet: Indians have used turmeric as an essential spice since time immemorial. Our food includes turmeric one way or the other, and we are no stranger to adding turmeric to our meals. However, as discussed above, the quantity of turmeric generally taken in the diet is not sufficient to ‘unlock’ its full potential.
Here are some ways to increase your curcumin intake:
- Turmeric powder can be mixed in milk.
- Added to honey, turmeric can be taken as a paste. This method also helps in cases of sore throat, cough, etc.
- Turmeric can be added to the soup to give an extra touch of taste and health.
- Turmeric powder can be added to the dough for different types of paranthas, pancakes, etc.
Various other methods can be adopted, depending on your creativity and dedication.
Since dietary intake is not sufficient and additional curcumin is required to reap the most benefits, it is better to include a curcumin supplement in your diet. You can buy turmeric capsules online, or buy turmeric extract online too. Both of these can help to fulfil the daily requirement of turmeric.
Although the market is full of options for curcumin supplements, the decision to pick a product must be taken wisely. Look for the constituents of the supplement. Select the one that has no synthetic chemicals and has passed quality checks.
It is better to purchase a curcumin supplement that is enriched with piperine extract. This is because piperine extract makes the curcumin stable and facilitates absorption of the curcumin.
Curcumin-500 by Sunova is an excellent product that provides genuine curcumin extract enriched with piperine extract. This has been proven to have multiple health benefits.
It acts as an anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant, an immune booster and helps keep the skin healthy as well. No side effects have been noted and the supplement can be taken regularly to get the most benefits out of turmeric.