10 Reasons why your Anti-Inflammatory medicine should be swapped with the new health craze: Turmeric

Turmeric: This Anti-Inflammatory medicine shouldn’t be thought of as a craze. Here are 10 compelling reasons why, especially when you’re over 50

Mickaela Rose. Nov 23, 2017

With health and nutrition becoming the focal point of 2017, it is hard not to tire of the constant superfood fads, cross fit gyms, special wondrous diets and health supplements, that seem to come in and out of fashion as quickly as Apple upgrade their iPhones.

Trying to keep up with the latest health trends can feel somewhat like chasing your own tail.
I mean, especially for the 50+ who lead busy lives, how does anyone have the time?

A few years ago the ‘Change for life campaign’ taught us all to make sure we get our ‘five-a-day’ and so we all trawled to Tescos, filling our trollies with more fruit and veg than a harvest festival stall.

Now however, we’re being told that consuming too much fruit can actually hinder weight loss. The sugar found in fruit, ‘fructose’ is only processed by the Liver, and more often than not the liver will store that Fructose as fat. We’re also told that the citric acid and sugars in fruit are very damaging to our teeth. We’re told that running is good for the heart, then we’re told it’s bad for our joints. We’re told that green tea is good for us, then studies say it prevents the absorption of iron into our bodies.

How does anyone know what is truly good, or bad for them anymore?

One of the latest health crazes, Turmeric, might just be the one health craze that actually works. And with coffee franchises like ‘Starbucks’, bringing out their own Turmeric lattes, I think this one might be here to stay.

So, why Turmeric?

Turmeric has been used as a spice and for medicinal properties for thousands of years, especially in countries such as India.

Turmeric possesses the bioactive compound curcumin, otherwise known as Curcuminoids. Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. When I say anti-inflammatory that doesn’t just mean that it helps with those aches and pains, the health benefits of curcumin are far more reaching.

Curcumin helps with conditions such as:

1. IBS
2. Stiffness
3. Skin conditions
4. Asthma
5. Even rumoured to have anticancer effects on cancer cells

As studies progress, the list just keeps growing.

“Turmeric has been used as a spice and for medicinal properties for thousands of years…”

Normally, whenever an ache or pain arises we all have a quick fix. Maybe you finished work and your back is killing you. You turn to your medicine cabinet and pull out that packet of ibuprofen or aspirin, knowing in a short while you can get on with making dinner or responding to emails without your back screaming at you to rest. What none of us realize is the damaging effects anti-inflammatory medication has on our bodies.

Here are just a few side effects:

6. Stomach pain and heartburn
7. Stomach ulcers
8. Headaches and dizziness
9. Liver or kidney problems
10. High blood pressure

Whilst NSAID’s (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are taken by 1000s of us every day, and prescribed for things like arthritis, neck and back pain. The drugs have serious long-term effect. The reason so many suffer with heart burn, acid reflux and stomach pain isn’t because we’re ‘getting older’. NSAID’s reduce blood flow to the stomach and duodenal lining. This impairs healing, and reduces mucus that forms a protective barrier in the gut. This means that without the layer, stomach acid can damage the gut lining.

So, given that a lot of us need those anti-inflammatory benefits to keep an active and busy life, let’s get clear on how to get the best out of Turmeric and stop putting our stomachs at risk.

If you’re anything like me, I heard the new health craze and started using Turmeric in my cooking at home. I’d add the stuff to my rice water as it was boiling, or into veg stews, curries etc. However, when I say Turmeric, I’m not just talking about the small pot of orange powder that you have in your spice rack at home. The turmeric that we all know, the spice that gives curries that yellow hue, is not going to give you the health benefits you desire.

The level of Curcumin found in shop bought turmeric is only a mere 3%. To reap the full benefits you need to take a concentrated extract of Turmeric, normally found in a supplement. These can contain 95-98% of curcumin. Now, the best way to consume Turmeric doesn’t stop there. Curcumin, much like iron, is not absorbed well by the body. Just as doctors will advise that you take iron supplements with a glass of orange juice, as the vitamin c helps the body to absorb the nutrient. Turmeric should be taken with Bioperine, a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000%.

Bioperine is found in black peppercorns, but to avoid the sneezing or spice that might follow swallowing a black peppercorn, try to buy a supplement that contains both ingredients. Lots of stores and sites are now selling the stuff. So, especially for those 50+ who perhaps are finding the winter cold is wreaking havoc on their bodies. I’d advise a trip to the shops, and give swapping your anti-inflammatories for this natural stuff a try.

You never know, it might do you wonders.

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1 Comment

  1. Great article. Good to know that the traditional curry house visit helps a bit but very helpful to realise just how little tumeric is in the spices used in cooking. Will be visiting the supplement store!

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