A well-known kitchen ingredient, turmeric is not just your ordinary spice. Turmeric spice popular as a part of curry dishes is almost always found in superfood lists because of its many health benefits ranging from its antibiotic properties to boosting memory to even combating some cancer types. And according to a study, there’s one more benefit we can add to the already long list: turmeric can improve your cardiovascular health as much as physical exercise!
Turmeric and the Cardiovascular System
The study, which was published in the American Journal of Cardiology, claims that turmeric extract can lower risks of heart attack by up to 56%. This recent study supports the earlier research published in 2012 in the Nutrition Research journal in which it says that eating the spice or taking supplements can be as effective as an aerobic exercise in improving your heart health. Just imagine a pinch of turmeric and its effects to the cardiovascular system can be compared to an hour of brisk walking or jogging. If your main goal for exercising is to improve your health, this may be what you have been waiting for.
Curcumin, the Magical Ingredient
The health benefits of turmeric can be attributed to its primary polyphenol, known as curcumin. Not just responsible for the spice’s color, curcumin has active properties that can improve vascular function, particularly in postmenopausal women. At this time of a woman’s life, heart problems could easily arise and thus become a real health concern.
How to Take Advantage of Turmeric for Your Cardiovascular Health
Here are some important points to bear in mind if you plan to use turmeric for your heart health:
- Based on the results of the study, 150 mg of turmeric extract (equivalent to 25 mg curcumin) taken for eight weeks every day can improve heart function.
- Curcumin content in turmeric powder that you can buy in stores is not high, usually just 2%.
- To enjoy the health benefits, you need a teaspoon of turmeric daily or as an alternative, you can buy turmeric extract capsules instead.
- Adding a pinch of turmeric to your meals, drinking turmeric juice, or adding turmeric to your teas can help you reap the rewards.
While turmeric does help improve the health and function of the cardiovascular system, you shouldn’t rely on the spice entirely and forget about exercising. Even experts, including the researchers of the study, agree there is nothing that can replace being physically active no matter how many supplements you take and how much curcumin you consume.