We’ve mentioned our love of colorful foods before for all their wonderful, antioxidant-packed health benefits! Let’s talk about another superfood: turmeric. Spoiler: we’re kind of obsessed. You may have eaten it in a curry dish, or seen the popular golden milk (and latte!) in your favorite trendy cafe; and you also might have walked past it in your local grocery store and not even have realized it! Sometimes you can find it in the produce section by other roots, like ginger. Cutting open a turmeric root reveals a bold, orange-yellow color, much brighter and more intense than its cousin, ginger. (Careful: it does stain your clothes and fingers!)
The rich, golden color of the turmeric root comes from the main active ingredient, an antioxidant called curcumin (pronounced ker-cue-min). Like other antioxidants, the compounds in curcumin fight inflammation caused by stressors on the body, like free-radicals, preventing and also repairing damage before cells become cancerous.
In India, turmeric has been used for centuries not only as a spice for flavoring foods, but also for its medicinal qualities to relieve pain and inflammation. Research has shown positive results for studies measuring the effects of curcumin on numerous medical conditions, and especially with chronic inflammatory diseases, like allergies, Alzheimer’s, cancer, epilepsy, heart disease, and Parkinson’s. This study found that Alzheimer’s-afflicted mice treated with curcumin saw noticeably decreased cellular damage due to oxidation, and reduced brain plaque. Some scientists theorize we may be able to prevent degenerative brain diseases with compounds like curcumin in the future. Another study found curcumin significantly reduced painful post-chemotherapy skin rashes for a group of breast cancer patients..
Curcumin is highly promising as a medicinal treatment because it’s naturally occurring and can be taken at high doses for long periods of time, unlike some prescription drugs which, while effective, may only be tolerated by the body for a short time. However, one of the challenges of using curcumin more widely for medical treatment is it can be difficult to absorb optimal amounts. The liver can inadvertently filter out the active ingredients, but you can boost absorption by almost 2000% by taking turmeric with even just a sprinkle of black pepper, or by mixing it with a fat. This is why your turmeric shot at the juice bar might be topped with a dash of pepper!
Our April clean.fit box selection includes GOLDBELLY Turmeric Wellness Elixir (complete with black pepper already!). To make golden milk of your own, mix it with any nut milk to get all the benefits of turmeric in a delicious drink - we think you’ll love it!
Can't wait for your April box?! Get 20% your online GOLDBELLY order with code CLEANFIT20 :)