What is curcumin?
Turmeric contains three curcuminoids – desmethoxycurcumin, bis-desmethoxycurcumin, and curcumin. These curcuminoids are responsible for giving a yellow color to turmeric. Thus, curcumin may be called as a component obtained from dried rhizome of turmeric plant. Curcumin is a chemical compound bright yellow in color produced by some of the plants.
What is the difference between turmeric and curcumin?
Though the two terms are often used interchangeably, they are not the same. There are slight differences between the two. Let us discuss them in some detail.
- Curcumin is a chemical compound naturally found in turmeric which renders bright yellow color to turmeric.
- Turmeric is mainly used as a spice to add flavor to food while curcumin is the naturally occurring chemical compound found in turmeric.
- Turmeric and curcumin perform differently in immune responses. Turmeric is twice more effective than curcumin in such cases, because of the ability to increase perforin (protein playing a vital role in immune responses) in the body.
- The anti-oxidant properties of the two are also different. Even in this case, turmeric is found to have better anti-oxidant properties than curcumin.
What are the benefits of curcumin?
- Helps the gut by stimulating the gallbladder to release bile.
- Plays a vital role in dealing with inflammatory bowel diseases successfully.
- Decreases the production of inflammatory cytokines which helps in inhibiting autoimmune diseases.
- It is found to combat viral diseases like influenza, adenovirus, HIV, hepatitis C well.
- It acts as an antifungal agent and helps in fighting against various fungal diseases.
- Good for the health of the brain as it increases DHA in the body.
- Possess anti-stress and anti-depressant
- It is also good for weight loss goals as its bioavailable form is intended to reduce the weight of an individual.
- Improves cardiovascular functions of an individual.
- It acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.
- Helpful in preventing women against the severe effects of pre-menstrual syndrome.
- Reduces the severity of joint problems in individuals.
- It possesses anti-cancer properties as it fights cancer cell mitochondria
- It has proven to benefit the body against liver diseases.
How far curcumin can be called as the remedy for arthritis and inflammation in the body?
The intake of curcumin plays a significant role in the treatment of arthritis and inflammation in the body. This unique attribute of it can very well be linked to the properties exhibited by curcumin. These are:
- Mostly arthritis and inflammation is the result of the presence of a number of free radicals in the body. These naturally occurring free radicals in the body are responsible for causing oxidative stress which results in inflammation in arthritis. In that case, if you can provide the body with antioxidants, which can neutralize these free radicals it will significantly prove to be very helpful. Curcumin is one such food substance. Its unique antioxidant properties render it to be called as an effective remedy for arthritis and inflammation.
- The immune system in the body produces a chemical substance called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) which has been known to contribute to inflammation in arthritis. The consumption of curcumin is bound to suppress the response of the body towards these TNFs thus tackling arthritis and inflammation well.
Will curcumin denature on overcooking?
Well, it is a widely heard concept that heating destroys the health benefits of substances. Same is the case with curcumin. When overcooked, curcumin is somewhat likely to lose its anti-inflammatory and other unique properties. In fact, many studies performed on turmeric have suggested the same. The findings have led us to the conclusion that if overcooked turmeric is bound to lose its unique attributes which are specifically linked to the presence of curcumin in it.
What is the best way to consume curcumin?
Keeping the health benefits of curcumin in mind, it becomes all the more important to know how to consume it. Well, since curcumin is a substance found in turmeric. So, we naturally need to know ways to eat curcumin by discussing turmeric. Let us know some ways to consume turmeric:
- Turmeric can be added to soups and then consumed.
- It can even be added to smoothies for consumption.
- Drinking turmeric tea made with the help of hot boiling water and lemon is another great way to consume turmeric.
- The most ancient way of consuming turmeric is by adding it to the milk.
- Turmeric can even be mixed to salads and then eaten.
- Making curry and then eating it is a good way of consumption.
- There are a number of turmeric supplements available in the market which can even be resorted to.
Because of its innumerable benefits, curcumin is called as the solid gold of India. Curcumin is not a new term, instead, it is something which was very much prominent from the ancient era. Our great grandmothers have always recommended turmeric as medicine for any diseases. Though they did not always provide scientific explanations for this. But now, we living in the 21st century are well aware of the science behind all these sayings. So, when we know all this, why to delay? Let us hurry up. Let us turn to natural homemade remedies. Let us make India’s culture and civilization proud. Let us listen to our grandma, Dietitians and add turmeric or to be properly called, curcumin to our diet.