Turmeric’s Effects on Heart Health
Native to India and Southeast Asia, turmeric is a bright yellow spice that has long been used for both medicinal purposes and flavoring food. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which is the spice’s main ingredient. Studies have shown that curcumin serves as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Since inflammation is a strong component in so many conditions, especially heart disease, the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin make it a great addition to any heart healthy diet.
Luckily, turmeric pairs great with many dishes! Add it to scrambled eggs, roasted veggies, rice, sautéed greens, soup, and more. You can also get creative by blending the spice into smoothies.
What is important to keep in mind when considering incorporating more turmeric into your diet is that it can be tough to reap the benefits through food alone. Though curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric, its naturally-occurring content is not all that high—around 3% by weight. To get the full effect, or if you already are at risk for heart-related conditions, you may want to consider taking an extract or supplement that contains significantly higher amount of curcumin.
While the jury may still be out on some other food and health trends, it’s safe to say that there is enough initial evidence to suggest there is merit to the health benefits brought on by supplementing your diet with garlic and turmeric on a regular basis. Most importantly, this practice could help you protect your heart.
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