Turmeric (Curcumin) Keeps Old Age at Bay
7 minute read
Aging is a part of life and since you can't avoid it, you might as well enjoy it. For most people, aging is a dreaded event but it does not have to be this way. The older you are, the more experienced and wise you are, and this is something to celebrate.
Unfortunately, because aging comes with the gradual deterioration of the body, it is hard to get excited about the occurrence. Aging may increase your chances of illness and disease but with the right attitude and right ingredients, aging can be a thing to enjoy.
The Unavoidable Aging Process
The aging process depends not only on health and genetics but on the environment around us. Life expectancy is defined as the average total number of years a person is expected to live, while lifespan is the maximum number of years a person can live. Lifespan for the human species hovers around 125 years; life expectancy is gradually on the rise for Western civilization.
According to the World Health Organization, between the years 2000 and 2050, the population over the age of 60 will double. The reason for this wonderful occurrence lies in better lifestyles, more hygienic conditions, use of antibiotics and vaccines, as well as the elimination of infectious diseases.
While people are starting to live longer, they are still are aging. The body is a complex machine composed of many parts that gradually start to wear with time. We start to see wrinkled skin, age spots, grey hair, and reduced muscle mass. Additional consequences of aging include memory loss, reduced vision and hearing, blood pressure changes, weakened bones and joints, as well as digestive changes and increased vulnerability to disease.
Science and lifestyle changes have made it possible to minimize the signs of aging but they cannot be reversed or stopped. However, aging is less of a problem if you are healthy and happy; there is one key ingredient to ensuring that happiness.
The Secret to Success
Turmeric is a commonly used yellow spice for cooking and dyes. It also happens to be a popular medicinal herb all over India and China. The main compound of turmeric, known as curcumin, has been shown to successfully benefit people suffering from the common conditions of the aging process.
Curcumin is a potent compound that possesses strong anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-microbial and anti-cancer properties. Who would have thought so much benefit could come from that yellow herb in your spice cabinet?
Don't Look Your Age
The most commonly recognized sign of aging is wrinkled skin. While there are numerous external factors that cause this, such as too much sun exposure, air pollution, smoking and alcohol consumption, there are also internal factors to blame.
Declining hormonal activity, as well as modified growth factors, are part of aging and cause your skin to wrinkle. Wrinkles generally occur from a loss of fat tissue and a loss of collagen, the structural protein that keeps your skin firm.
The culprit of this degeneration is usually oxidative stress which causes an increase in antioxidant enzymes, releases free radicals and inhibits lipid peroxidation. Most dermatologists therefore recommend creams with antioxidants like vitamin C and E.
Curcumin just so happens to possess antioxidant powers comparable to those highly recommended vitamins. A supplement of curcumin can increase the antioxidant defenses of your body which is useful in developing an anti-aging regimen. Additionally, studies are showing that curcumin has the ability to protect skin from UV damage.
Stay Young at Heart
Aging not only affects your heart but the entire cardiovascular system. As you age, you are more likely to develop hypertension, coronary artery disease, and heart failure. Even the diminished heart rate and blood flow make healing and recovery from illness more challenging.
Free radicals are a group of molecules that contain reactive oxygen and lead to oxidative stress, which can damage the cardiovascular system. Since curcumin is an antioxidant, it feeds on these molecules, therefore preventing them from causing any oxidative damage.
Curcumin also possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which help to prevent inflammation that causes heart disease, the number one killer in the United States.
Keep a Sharp Mind
Aging causes parts of the brain to shrink which is why we notice memory loss, as well as a decline in cognitive performance. As we get older, we produce fewer neurotransmitters and hormones that work on the brain so communication and neurodegenerative diseases become more probable.
Curcumin acts as a neuro-protective agent with its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-protein aggregate superpowers. Curcumin has been shown to reduce and prevent the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, as well as to control oxidative stress in Parkinson's disease.
Don't Lose Sight of What Matters
There are several age-related eye disorders and complications such as glaucoma, cataracts, dry eye, retinal detachment and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Curcumin is able to protect cells from oxidative stress, giving it a starring role in the fight against AMD.
The development of cataract can be counteracted with curcumin and its ability to balance antioxidant activity and calcium levels. Additionally, it helps to control inflammation that causes retinopathy and dry eye disorders.
The Bottom Line
Aging will bring various physiological changes, which naturally increases risk of illness. A compromised immune system is par for the course. However, turmeric has the ability to stimulate immunity as well as control immune responses such as inflammation.
Adding turmeric to your diet can help your body to prepare for old age and the many changes it brings. There is no need to wait for old age. You know it is coming so why not make it an enjoyable experience?
Celebrate your life by extending it to the fullest. While lifestyle changes are important to longevity, the simple addition of a yellow herb can give your body just the edge it needs. If an apple a day will keep the doctors away, then turmeric every day will keep old age at bay.
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