What are its benefits?
Turmeric is one of the herbs used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine as an aid to digestion. Modern researchers have found that it, along with ginger, black pepper, and piper longum, promoted strong shifts in the gut bacteria that are known to regulate metabolism. Other studies have shown that turmeric and one of its active components, curcumin, tended to increase bacterial species richness. Curcumin has also been shown to help prevent multiple inflammatory diseases.
Turmeric is also used to support the digestive system in several ways:
- Intestines: Curcumin supports digestion by relaxing the smooth muscles on the walls, helping food through the intestines. It also helps to prevent gas and bloating as food is being digested.
- Colon: Curcumin supports the balance between your microbiota and the immune response by encouraging the glands on the surface to regenerate and heal when harmful bacteria are present
- Stomach: Turmeric helps the stomach lining by inhibiting harmful enzymes and increases the secretion of stomach mucous, guarding against damage from gastric acid.
- Liver: Turmeric helps to increase cholesterol elimination by boosting bile production. Combining turmeric with high-fiber foods can help the liver be more efficient at trapping cholesterol and moving it to the colon for elimination.
What is it?
Turmeric is a plant in the ginger family and is native to Southeast Asia. Its rhizome (underground stem) is used as a common culinary spice (a major ingredient in curry powder) and a traditional medicine. Curcumin is a major active component of turmeric and is what makes turmeric yellow.
Turmeric is also rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, and other antioxidants. Additionally, it is a good source of:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Dietary fiber