Featured Article: Turmeric, it's More Than a Spice

Have you ever questioned the benefits of turmeric? Curcumin, a powerful antioxidant found in turmeric, has long been known for its medicinal properties that have been praised by cultures worldwide. From India to Australia and beyond, it is no wonder why people are so eager to include this unique spice in their diets. So, what is it that makes turmeric so special?


Read till the end of the article to find out.


What is Turmeric?


Turmeric is a spice derived from the root of the turmeric plant and is used in several cuisines worldwide, adding flavor and color to dishes. It has also been used as a medicinal herb for centuries, containing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may help relieve pain, reduce inflammation, improve digestion, boost immunity, and protect against certain chronic diseases. Turmeric can be taken in supplement form or added to recipes to reap its many health benefits.


When adding turmeric to your diet, it is important to note that the spice has been linked to side effects such as nausea, headaches, and stomach upset. While some people may be able to tolerate high doses of turmeric without any issues, others may experience adverse reactions.


What are the Health Benefits of Turmeric?


Helps Prevent Cancer


Studies have shown that turmeric may be effective in preventing the development of certain cancers. Turmeric contains curcumin, an antioxidant that helps to reduce oxidative stress, which can lead to cancer. Studies have found that consuming turmeric can help inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells. Additionally, research suggests that adding turmeric to your diet may help decrease your risk of developing certain types of cancer [1].


In one study, people who consumed the highest amount of turmeric had a lower risk of developing colorectal cancer than those who consumed less [2]. Additionally, other studies suggest that turmeric may also be beneficial in reducing the risk of breast and prostate cancers. Furthermore, some research has even suggested that it could help reduce tumor size.


Ultimately, more research is still needed to confirm the health benefits of turmeric for cancer prevention. However, the evidence so far is promising and indicates that turmeric consumption may play a role in reducing your risk for certain types of cancer.


Useful in Alzheimer's


Turmeric has been used as herbal remedy for centuries, and recent research suggests that it could also be beneficial in treating Alzheimer's disease. Studies have shown that curcumin, an active compound found in turmeric, can help reduce inflammation and the formation of amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer's [3].


In addition to reducing inflammation and plaque buildup, turmeric may also help improve cognitive function by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein involved in neuronal growth and protection against neuron death.


Furthermore, turmeric is thought to act as an antioxidant, helping protect neurons from damage caused by free radicals. For these reasons, turmeric may be an effective method of treating Alzheimer's disease.



Lowers the Risk of Heart Diseases


Recent studies have shown that it could also help lower the risk of heart disease. Turmeric contains curcumin, which helps reduce inflammation in the body and may protect against plaque buildup in the arteries. It also helps reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and possibly reduce triglyceride levels [4]. In addition to its heart-protecting benefits, turmeric is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can benefit people with arthritis, diabetes, or other chronic conditions. Given these potential health benefits, adding turmeric to your diet may be an easy way to improve cardiovascular health.



Can Help Fight Depression


Studies have found that turmeric may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, both of which can act as a natural aid to improve mental health. The active compound in turmeric is curcumin, which has been linked to increased serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, two neurotransmitters associated with feelings of well-being and happiness.


Additionally, research suggests that taking curcumin supplements can improve symptoms related to depression compared to those who don't take it [5].


Improves Inflammation and Pain


Turmeric is a popular herb used for centuries to treat inflammation and pain. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, effectively treating arthritis, joint pain, and other inflammatory conditions [6]. Turmeric also contains antioxidants that can help reduce the damage caused by free radicals in the body, thus reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.


Moreover, turmeric has been a part of traditional Asian medicine for centuries. Turmeric added to milk is still used to reduce pain, inflammation, and risk of infection in case of trauma.


Antioxidants Properties


Turmeric is well known for its antioxidant properties. It contains curcuminoids, which help protect the body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals, environmental stressors, and even toxins in the air we breathe [7]. Additionally, turmeric may positively affect inflammation and certain chronic diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's disease, as explained above.


Furthermore, turmeric can help reduce cholesterol levels, improve digestion, and relieve joint pain due to arthritis or other chronic conditions.


How can you Add Turmeric to your Diet?


Turmeric is an incredibly versatile spice used in Indian and Asian cuisine for centuries. Here are some tips on how you can add turmeric to your diet:


  1. Add turmeric to your cooking: A pinch of turmeric adds flavor and vibrant color to almost any dish. Add it to stir-fries, curries, soups, and stews for an extra kick of flavor.
  2. Try a turmeric latte - A turmeric latte is made with turmeric powder, milk (dairy-free alternatives like almond and coconut will also work), and honey or maple syrup for sweetness.
  3. Make a DIY facial mask - Turmeric has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, which make it great for skin care.






In conclusion, turmeric has many health benefits and uses, from antioxidant properties to helping fight depression and cancer. These little yellow-orange flecks of spice will likely never go out of fashion due to their versatility and the wonderful matters it does for our health. Adding turmeric into your diet is easy with delicious recipes such as curries, soups, vegetables, proteins, and smoothies.




  1. Giordano A, Tommonaro G. Curcumin and Cancer. Nutrients 2019;11:2376. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102376.
  2. Carroll RE, Benya RV, Turgeon DK, Vareed S, Neuman M, Rodriguez L, et al. Phase IIa clinical trial of curcumin for the prevention of colorectal neoplasia. Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 2011;4:354–64. https://doi.org/10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-10-0098.
  3. Zhang L, Fiala M, Cashman J, Sayre J, Espinosa A, Mahanian M, et al. Curcuminoids enhance amyloid-beta uptake by macrophages of Alzheimer’s disease patients. J Alzheimers Dis 2006;10:1–7. https://doi.org/10.3233/jad-2006-10101.
  4. Qin S, Huang L, Gong J, Shen S, Huang J, Ren H, et al. Efficacy and safety of turmeric and curcumin in lowering blood lipid levels in patients with cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutr J 2017;16:68. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12937-017-0293-y.
  5. Kulkarni SK, Bhutani MK, Bishnoi M. Antidepressant activity of curcumin: involvement of serotonin and dopamine system. Psychopharmacology 2008;201:435–42. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-008-1300-y.
  6. Daily JW, Yang M, Park S. Efficacy of Turmeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. J Med Food 2016;19:717–29. https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2016.3705.
  7. Sharifi-Rad J, Rayess YE, Rizk AA, Sadaka C, Zgheib R, Zam W, et al. Turmeric and Its Major Compound Curcumin on Health: Bioactive Effects and Safety Profiles for Food, Pharmaceutical, Biotechnological and Medicinal Applications. Front Pharmacol 2020;11:01021. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.01021.
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