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  • Why Turmeric is Good for Health and Beauty

    As well as claiming to be one of the world’s healthiest ingredients, turmeric can also play several beneficial roles in terms of beauty and wellbeing.

    Health and Beauty Benefits of Turmeric

    "Turmeric is supposed to bring out the 'hidden glow' of the skin"

    Turmeric has been used in South East Asia for centuries as a spice for cooking as well as for medicinal purposes.

    As well as adding colour and flavour to a curry, a component found within turmeric, known as curcumin has many health benefits and potential healing properties.

    For thousands of years, the spice has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of conditions such as heartburn, bloating, depression and many others.

    Studies have shown that consumption of turmeric may be associated with reduced chances of developed other health related problems such as the following:

    Health Benefits

    health-beauty-benefits-turmeric-featured-4

    1. Anti-inflammatory Benefits

    “Elderly villagers in India appear to have the lowest rate of Alzheimer’s disease in the world, and researchers have speculated that the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin may be partly responsible,” states Dr Andrew Weil.

    “Alzheimer’s begins as an inflammatory process in the brain, and Indians eat turmeric with almost every meal.”

    According to the British Dietetic Association, turmeric may offer an alternative to medication for sufferers of osteoporosis by reducing symptoms.

    2. Cancer

    Several studies have shown that turmeric may have anticancer effects.

    Cancer Research UK has shown that countries such as India, where people consume turmeric/curcumin levels every day for a long period of time have lower rates of certain types of cancers.

    The spice may even potentially be used in the treatment of some types of cancers.

    Curcumin may kill and prevent cancer cells of the breast, bowel, stomach and skin from growing.

    Curcumin also acts as an antioxidant, which protects the body from free radical damage (free radicals contribute to increased cancer risk).

    3. Heart Disease

    Curcumin can help sustain healthy blood pressure.

    This ultimately, promotes heart health and reduces the likelihood of developing heart disease.

    The spice may also prevent the clogging of arteries, which is a risk factor for strokes and heart attacks.

    The anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric may also help limit heart damage.

    Research has also suggested that regular consumption of turmeric extract may reduce cholesterol levels in overweight individuals.

    4. Diabetes

    The spice may prevent and potentially reverse diabetes in individuals.

    Curcumin also seems to reduce the risk of developing diabetes among pre-diabetic individuals, according to researcher Mike Barrett.

    “What’s great about the implementation of turmeric is that the spice doesn’t come with the harsh side effects that tag along with historically-dangerous diet drugs.”

    “Instead of resorting to such drugs, try adding turmeric into your daily lifestyle by using turmeric in a number of different delicious ways” states Mike.

    How to Add Turmeric to Your Diet

    Health and Beauty Benefits of Turmeric

    As well as the traditional curry, the spice can be incorporated into our meals in several other ways.

    “You can add turmeric to chicken recipes, soups, roasted vegetables, and scrambled eggs.

    “For the best absorption, you want to add turmeric to warm dishes that contain healthy fats, such as olive oil, since turmeric’s health promoting compounds are fat soluble.”

    “But you can also add turmeric to cold dishes like salad dressings and smoothies” states Dr Stephen Sinatra.

    Although curcumin has many health benefits, It is not recommended to consume it in excessive amounts as it may cause adverse side effects.

    If you are considering taking turmeric supplementation, it is important to consult a doctor or health professional before doing so, particularly if you are pregnant or on medication.

    Beauty Benefits

    Health and Beauty Benefits of Turmeric

    Turmeric (haldi) has been used as for beauty treatment for many years:

    “It has been used in the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years for its natural antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and colour-balancing properties. Currently, it is also gaining quite some fame in the West for its significant antioxidant properties,” shared scientist Sheetal Racal.

    In some South Asian traditions, haldi may be used in pre-wedding rituals for the bride and groom:

    “Turmeric in this age-old concoction is supposed to bring out the ‘hidden glow’ of the skin,” states Sheetal.

    Some of the many beauty benefits include:

    • Anti-ageing properties
    • Brightens the skin
    • Reduces skin pigmentation
    • Used for skin lightening
    • Antibacterial properties

    You can use it at home as part of your beauty regime in several ways:

    How to Make Your Own Turmeric Face Cleanser

    1. Add a small amount of milk to turmeric to create a paste.
    2. Apply this to your face and scrub gently before rinsing it off. You can add this to your lips to treat chapped or dry lips as well.
    3. Adding milk to turmeric reduces redness and inflammation of the skin.
    4. You can also use yoghurt instead of milk if you prefer.
    5. Try adding gram flour to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells for glowing, smooth skin.

    Using turmeric to exfoliate along with gram flour can also reduce signs of ageing.

    Health and Beauty Benefits of Turmeric

    How to Make Your Own Turmeric Face Mask

    1. Add a few tablespoons of turmeric to honey in a small bowl.
    2. Mix it together before applying evenly on your face.
    3. Leave the face mask on for approximately 20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water and patting dry.

    Doing this once a week can reduce pimples and rejuvenate the skin.

    Precautions

    If you have sensitive skin, turmeric cleaners and masks may not be appropriate for your skin.

    Try doing a patch test before hand in order to see how your skin reacts before applying a generous amount on your face.

    If irritation or redness occurs, it is possible that you may be allergic to the turmeric so please seek medical advice.

    Always consult a doctor or medical professional before making any drastic changes to your diet or lifestyle.

    Ganga is a public health nutrition graduate with a keen interest in health and fitness. Originally from Kerala, she is a proud South Indian who loves to travel and lives by the motto: "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."

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