How Turmeric Helps Heal the Gut and Your Body
7 minute read
You may not realize just how important you gut health is to your overall health. Basically if your gut is unhealthy you are at greater risk for a number of serious health issues. Diabetes, obesity, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic fatigue syndrome are not conditions people want to get. The solution to preventing these is simpler than people realize; take good care of your gut.
Improving gastrointestinal health can do more than benefit digestive processes. Absorption of nutrients is improved, which means the body gets everything it needs. Additionally, the integrity of the gut barrier can be restored and strengthened with proper care. The durability of our intestinal walls is of such importance that improving gut health has quickly become one of the top goals for medicine this century.
Avoid the ‘Leaky Gut’
Modern lifestyle choices promote bad intestinal flora and leaky gut. Overgrowth of bad bacteria can cause leaky gut and once you have leaky gut, pathogenic bacteria are free to roam the body causing inflammation. It is the natural inflammatory response of the immune system that is behind these autoimmune diseases, except when you have a leaky gut, the inflammation can get out of control.
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The response itself is normal; however, out of control inflammation attacks healthy cells and organs in an attempt to locate the toxins that have strayed. A healthy gut will not allow material to pass and our bodies have nothing to go after. No inflammation; no problem.
There are several things you can do to make sure you restore and maintain a healthy gut, both in terms of flora and barrier.
♦ Remove food toxins from your diet
♦ Eat fermented foods like kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchee
♦ Take a high-quality multi-species probiotic
♦ Eat plenty of fermentable fibers like yams and sweet potatoes
♦ Treat any intestinal pathogens
♦ Find ways to manage stress levels
What Turmeric Can Do For You
When you think of improving your gut health, typically probiotics and fermented foods come to mind. However, adding a turmeric supplement to your diet can also support a healthy gut and can prevent serious intestinal health problems. Turmeric is actually beneficial for several components of the digestive system.
The Intestines: Curcumin supports digestion by relaxing the smooth muscles on the walls and gently pushing food through the intestines. It also helps to prevent gas and bloating as food is being digested.
The Colon: A healthy colon is essential for efficient gut function, as well as the promotion and growth of friendly gut bacteria. Curcumin facilitates the balance between your gut flora and the immune response by encouraging the glands on the surface to regenerate and heal when pathogenic bacteria or leaky gut is present.
The Stomach: Turmeric helps the stomach lining in several ways. It inhibits the enzymes that compromise stomach health and boosts the secretion of stomach mucous. This mucous is the primary defense against damage from gastric acid.
The Liver: Turmeric helps to increase cholesterol elimination by boosting the production of bile. When you combine turmeric with fiber-rich foods, your liver is more efficient at cleansing cholesterol by trapping it and moving it directly to the colon for elimination.
Stomach Pain & Turmeric
Stomach pain is a common ailment among Americans, most likely caused by poor dietary choices. Sometimes, chronic stomach pain will indicate a more severe condition but the occasional upset stomach can be relived with turmeric.
The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of curcumin help alleviate pain that can come from spicy foods, alcohol consumption, and lack of exercise. Stomach pain is as unpleasant as it is uncomfortable. Compounds in turmeric aid the digestive process, which means your stomach does not have to produce as much flatulence-causing acid.
| Related: Is Your Poor Gut Health Ruining Your Relationship? |
Food intolerance and allergies, as well as medications or food poisoning, can upset the digestive tract and cause diarrhea. A teaspoon of powdered turmeric no more than three times a day helps to correct this problem without the need of medication. Relief comes by way of the magnesium and potassium present in the spice, which fights against dehydration, allowing your fluids to rebalance.
Nausea can also be caused by food poisoning or allergies but is usually trickier to treat because the cause is harder to pinpoint. Turmeric fights bacteria, viruses, and inflammation, typically the main culprits.
Turmeric also contains phytochemicals, chemicals in plants that have antioxidative and antibacterial properties. Phytochemicals may also provide neuroprotective properties that may ease nausea caused by mental ailments such as anxiety and stress.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome affects a large number of Americans and is uncomfortable due to gas and bloating, as well as painful because of cramping. It can also be accompanied by nausea, diarrhea, constipation or a combination of these.
The majority of these symptoms can be remedied with turmeric instead of by taking an assortment of medications to treat each symptom.The golden root contains vitamins, minerals, and additional compounds that fight inflammation, as well as reduce excess muscle movements, resulting in a soothed digestive system. Adding just a teaspoon to each meal may prevent these symptoms from even occurring.
Additional Consequences of Turmeric
In addition to helping your gut function more efficiently and preventing serious digestive health problems, turmeric (or curcumin) helps the body in multiple ways.
Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory agent that is beneficial for relieving gout, muscle, and joint pain
Improves liver function, allowing for more efficient detoxification, resulting in lower levels of toxicity, as well as an energized lymphatic system
The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric also bring relief for women during their menstrual cycle
Turmeric twice a day has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties make is ideal for relief of arthritis pain, possibly working more effectively than ibuprofen.
Curcumin improves the endothelial lining of your blood vessels, which helps to regulate blood pressure and prevent blood clotting. Endothelial dysfunction is also a major contributor to heart disease so turmeric ends up keeping your heart healthy and happy too.
The Bottom Line
A healthy gut is essential to decrease runaway inflammation caused by diet, stress, and other factors. Turmeric with its active component curcumin is not only a tasty seasoning to meals but can provide numerous health benefits, including addressing digestive issues.
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