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Posted on Aug 30, 2019, 2 p.m.

Curcumin is a functional food with many health benefits, if you have not heard about it then you are missing out as it is a powerful compound that has been shown to help treat many diseases.

Curcumin is one of 3 notable compounds within turmeric that are curcuminoids which gives turmeric the bright colour. Curcumin/turmeric has been studied for its potential as an alternative medicine, and research has shown it can help to reduce inflammation, improve cognitive function, and prevent cancer; animal studies have shown it has protective effects against skin, mouth, lung, blood, pancreas, and intestinal tract cancers. 

“It’s hard to consume enough curcumin in your diet unless it consists of turmeric, curry powder, mango ginger, or a supplement,” says Kelli Fierras, a nutritionist. “The challenge with curcumin, either alone or in turmeric, is that it is not easily absorbed by the body.”

To absorb curcumin effectively it must be accompanied with black pepper or some kind of fat such as olive oil or avocado; if taking as a supplement check to ensure that it contains ingredients that increase the bioavailability as well.

Acute inflammation is beneficial and occurs as a result of the body’s natural response to foreign substances and viruses, it plays a role in preventing infection and repairing damage. Chronic inflammation on the other hand is not beneficial and is triggered by underlying conditions that cause white blood cells to attack the body’s tissues. Curcumin has been shown to help manage chronic inflammation by blocking pro-inflammatory signaling molecules believed to contribute to many chronic diseases.

Curcumin helps to boost the production of BDNF which will help to prevent cognitive decline and reverse the effects of neurodegeneration as BDNF is the key hormone involved with growth and development of new brain cells. 

Cancer Prevention Research published a study showing curcumin to have anticancer properties that prevent tumor growth, development, and spread; after taking 4 grams for 30 days 44 men with pre-cancerous lesions in the colon experienced reductions in the number of lesions by 40%.

Aside from being used as an addition to many culinary dishes turmeric/curcumin carries many benefits, these were just a few examples of how this phytochemical has positive effects on health making it worthy of having a little crush on it, unless told otherwise by your doctor.

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