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5 Reasons to Add Turmeric to Your Diet

By Erik Gans, 9:00 am on

Turmeric, the yellow spice that flavors curries and colors mustard, packs a healthy wallop as well, offering promise in treating everything from joint pain to cancer. A note from Fairfield elderly care professionals: Turmeric can slow blood clotting, so if you take a medication such as clopidogrel (Plavix), warfarin (Coumadin), or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen, check with your doctor before you begin taking turmeric.

1. Ease Your Arthritis

With its strong anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric shows promise for treating inflammation-caused arthritis. One study showed turmeric to be the equal of ibuprofen for killing pain in people with knee osteoarthritis. Other studies have shown turmeric supplements get you moving faster in the morning, keep you walking longer with less pain, and diminish joint swelling.

2. Keep Your Brain Sharp

The incidence of neurological diseases in elderly populations in India is low, possibly because turmeric is a common spice in their diet. Studies using mice show that curcumin does seem to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, and may even protect against multiple sclerosis. The spice may also protect against Alzheimer’s by turning on a gene that helps produce antioxidant proteins. A large body of research shows that curcumin may also improve overall memory in Alzheimer’s patients.

3. Protect Yourself Against Cancer

Studies involving curcumin and cancer are still in the early stages, but research suggests it may kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. It also seems to boost the effects of chemotherapy in animals.

4. Lower Bad Cholesterol

Overweight people with high cholesterol who took turmeric extract by mouth twice daily for three months reduced their total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol, and triglycerides. Remember that curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. Some experts recommend taking the extract with black pepper or peppercorns to get the best effect.

5. Prevent Diabetes

Early research indicates that people with pre-diabetes who took curcumin capsules for nine months reduced their chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

Interested in learning more about elderly health? Call Home Care Assistance at 203-955-1915. Our dedicated caregivers ensure seniors have the support necessary to remain happy and healthy at home. For more information on our care services, including Fairfield Alzheimer’s care and dementia care, reach out today and schedule a free in-home consultation.