Adding a little turmeric to your diet can help with pain and inflammation that can keep you off your game.
As big a part of my life as the IT world is, it’s not the only thing I think about. I also happen to be an avid fitness enthusiast! I believe exercise and wellness are big parts of leading a happy, healthy, and successful life, and I’d like to pass that on to you.
In this series, I’ll share simple and effective tips and insight for leading a healthier life. Keep these in mind, and you’ll be surprised by how soon you feel a difference!
This week I’ll be sharing a few of the benefits turmeric has to offer.
Aches and pains are a reality of life, especially as we get older. Staying active and paying close attention to the foods we put into our bodies can help keep you feeling good for longer, and even stave off some of the less desirable parts of getting older. But for a lot of people, joint pain is something they find themselves dealing with at what feels like an unfairly young age despite best efforts to stay on top of their health.
Conditions like arthritis are common and result in painful inflammation that can limit mobility and make sticking to any kind of fitness routine that much more difficult. Everyone has their own way of managing symptoms and depending on the severity that management is best left to trusted medical professionals. But for joint pain that’s more irritating than debilitating, there are a lot of options available to you.
A great way to ease some of that inflammation and keep it from continuing to come back and cause problems is turmeric. A plant closely related to ginger, turmeric is best known for its bright yellow color and slightly bitter flavor. It’s been a staple in both cooking and medicine in Asia for a very long time, serving as a key component of curry powders and as a natural dye for mustards and cheeses. Turmeric’s active ingredient is called curcumin, and that’s what gives turmeric its medicinal properties.
Turmeric can be added to a ton of different dishes, but for people who ingest this spice specifically to help with problems like joint pain, it’s most commonly brewed with ginger and various other ingredients to make an anti-inflammatory tea. It’s also available in most health food stores and pharmacies in capsule form to be taken as a daily supplement.
One thing to note about turmeric is that unlike some of the other anti-inflammatory foods I’ve talked about before, turmeric has the potential to cause side effects when taken with certain medications or ingested by people with conditions like diabetes. Especially if you plan on giving supplements a try, it’s important to talk to your doctor first. Something ardent users of herbal remedies often overlook is the fact that the reason things like turmeric were and continue to be used in Eastern medicine is that they are actually medicine. More importantly, those practices date back to well before Western medicine – the pharmaceuticals and practices that are the norm for us here in the states today. It’s never a good idea to mix medications of any kind without consulting a professional first.
Now, that doesn’t mean turmeric is a magical cure-all, or that it’s dangerous. It just means that if you decide to give it’s anti-inflammatory properties a try, you should make sure you’re doing it the right way. A lot of people swear by their nightly cup of ginger and turmeric tea, and there is scientific data to back that up. And while there is no denying that turmeric has a very strong and somewhat unpleasant flavor, you should be smart about how you go about disguising that flavor. Dumping a ton of sugar into your tea to kill the bitter taste isn’t doing your body any favors, so stick with honey instead.
There is a long list of other benefits to adding turmeric to your diet, including weight loss. However, the science on a lot of these other benefits isn’t quite as strong as the science behind its anti-inflammatory benefits. This seems to be the property that’s been the most thoroughly examined over the years, and research into other benefits is still fairly new.
Regardless of what the science has to say on the subject, it’s always important to take claims of anything being a “miracle cure” with a grain of salt – especially when it’s being marketed as a weight loss treatment. Statistically speaking, you’re more likely to find snake oil than anything miraculous.
But if all you’re searching for is something to make joint pain a little more manageable? Turmeric just might be exactly what you’re looking for.