Turmeric might be the most powerful nutritional supplement ever, with its incredible benefits for our body and brain. Thanks to its active compound – curcumin, it provides strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which help prevent and relieve many conditions.
Besides improving our health in many ways and reducing our risk of many diseases, turmeric is also beneficial for our blood sugar.
Here are some of the major reasons why people should add turmeric to their diet.
Turmeric’s Health Benefits
1. Anti-Hyperglycemic Properties
Curcumin helps reduce the production of glucose in the liver. This is even shown in human studies.
That’s why turmeric is regarded as one of the best natural antihyperglycemic agents we can find easily.
What’s more, the active compound of turmeric helps reduce glycosylated hemoglobin levels. This shows how good our diabetes control is, along with normalizing our blood glucose levels.
2. Improves Insulin Sensitivity
Turmeric’s active ingredient helps stimulate the body’s glucose uptake as well as the production of insulin by the beta cells located in the pancreas.
Moreover, it improves the function of the pancreatic cells and helps reduce insulin resistance. Since insulin resistance is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, turmeric can help lower the risk by enhancing insulin sensitivity.
3. Fights Free Radical Damage & Vascular Complications
High glucose levels in the body mean higher uptake of glucose. This, in turn, can increase the reactive oxygen species, thus causing oxidative degradation of fats.
This can lead to inflammation, kidney and heart disease, stroke, and other vascular complications related to diabetes.
Luckily, curcumin contains beta-carotene, vitamin C, and other potent antioxidants which can fight free radicals and prevent damage.
4. Fights Inflammation
Turmeric’s strong anti-inflammatory properties are extremely beneficial. Its active compound can enhance the function of the endocrine system, as well as protect against inflammation.
It can normalize the increased production of proinflammatory cytokines, which is common for the condition. Also, curcumin can decrease inflammatory signals, as well as enhance the action of their insulin response pathways.
This is important as people with poor blood glucose control often have disrupted insulin response pathways.
5. Lowers Postprandial Glycemia
Medical News Today, turmeric oil is an effective glucosidase inhibitor. In other words, it helps inhibit glucosidase and other enzymes, thus retarding glucose absorption in the intestine.
As a result, the carbs we eat are absorbed slower than usual, thus reducing the blood glucose spike after meals (postprandial hyperglycemia).
6. Prevents or Delays Progression of Prediabetes
One study showed that taking curcumin capsules for 9 months reduces the risk of prediabetes progressing into type 2 diabetes.
What’s more, the capsules have been shown to improve the function of the pancreatic cells responsible for producing insulin, without causing any significant side effects.
Furthermore, animal research shows that curcumin helps prevent the death of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas as well as improve their function.
The research also shows that it can reduce insulin resistance and delay the development of this chronic condition in animals.
7. Improves Liver Function
Another turmeric benefit is protecting the liver from damage and maintaining its optimal function. This is important for people with poor blood sugar control as the disease raises the odds of liver problems such as fatty liver disease.
One 8-week animal research shows that adding curcumin to the diet lowers the weight of the liver, as well as the excretion of urea, creatinine, albumin, and inorganic phosphorus. These changes indicate improvement in liver function.
8. Speeds Up Wound Healing
Wounds heal slowly in those with poor blood glucose control due to the prolonged inflammation in the system and the higher oxidative stress in the body.
However, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin can help accelerate the wound healing process, as well as reduce the swelling caused by inflammation. All they have to do is apply curcumin topically on the affected area.
9. Improves Cardiovascular Health
Diabetes often comes with high cholesterol levels as well, hence the increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The condition known as diabetic dyslipidemia is characterized by low HDL cholesterol levels and high LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
This condition increases the risk of coronary heart disease and premature atherosclerosis. But, curcumin can reduce total cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Consuming it for a longer period can reduce hepatic cholesterol and plasma cholesterol levels, thus preventing or delaying the development of atherosclerosis.
10. Relieves Depression
Studies show that curcumin is as effective as the popular drug fluoxetine (Prozac) in the treatment of anxiety and depression. This is important as people with uncontrolled blood sugar have a higher risk of developing depression than others.
How to Take It
There are many ways to include this healthy spice in our diet. Besides turmeric-based curries, we can also take it in the form of turmeric tea, golden milk, and fresh turmeric root juices and smoothies.
To make golden milk, we need to add a teaspoon of turmeric spice to our cup of warm milk. We can add it fresh to different smoothies and juices.
How Much Is Enough
The dosage depends on the individual, so even though it’s recommended 500mg in the form of capsules, it’s best to consult a doctor.
Note– people who are on blood-thinning medications should avoid turmeric. Those who like to increase its absorption in the body should take it along with black pepper and healthy fats.