Turmeric is an ingredient that we should have in our kitchens. The healthy benefits of consuming turmeric on a regular basis are well-known. It acts as a medicine, thus preventing Alzheimer’s diseases, healing wounds and soothing infections, as well as preventing cancer.

Despite all these healthy benefits, a recent study has shown that consuming turmeric on a regular basis is beneficial for the cardiovascular health as an hour of workout. Namely, the extract of turmeric is good for the cardiovascular health, especially in elderly women who experience adverse arterial changes. The turmeric contains polyphenol curcuma which enhances the function of the heart.

CURCUMA AS A MAGICAL INGREDIENT OF TURMERIC

A great number of scientists are investigating the numerous healthy benefits of curcuma, including prevention of cancer, regulation of diabetes, heart issues, etc. Turmeric is considered to be among the 14 types of food that prevent cancer.

TURMERIC FOR CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH

A recent study, which was published in the American Journal of Cardiology, has shown that the extract of turmeric reduced post-surgery heart attacks by 56 %. Moreover, a 2012 study, published in the Journal of Nutrition Research, has shown that the polyphenol curcuma is as beneficial in improving vascular function in post-menopausal women as an hour of aerobic exercise or brisk walking.

Details of the study

In the 8-week study 32 women in menopausal and postmenopausal age took part in. They were divided into three categories: women who consumed curcuma, women who did exercises and women who did nothing. The researchers first determined the inner lining health of the blood vessels (known as endothelium) by ultrasound in order to measure the arterial dilatation, a sign of arterial elasticity and blood vessels function. A malfunction of the endothelium is thought to be the cause of atherosclerosis. If the endothelial malfunction is reversed or reduced, the mortality and morbidity of the cardiovascular diseases are also reduced.

The participants in the curcuma group took 150 mg of extract of turmeric on a daily basis for 8 weeks, thus supplying 25 mg of dispersed curcuma. In addition, they followed the same diet as previously.

The participants in the exercise category did aerobic exercises three days a week (home training and 2 – 3 supervised sessions). During the 8-week, they also did walking and cycling, 30 – 60 minute supervised sessions, which range from 60 % of their maximal heart rate at the beginning and 70 % – 75% of their heart rate at the end.
After the 8-week study, the results of the first two groups were excellent.

The results of the study

The results of the study have shown that the regular workout and the consumption of curcuma improved the function of the endothelium. The malfunction of the endothelial function is considered to be the main cause for atherosclerosis (deposits of fat on the walls of the blood wells, clogged arteries). The improved endothelial function indicated that the use of curcuma may prevent age decline in endothelial function in women of postmenopausal age.

HOW MUCH SHOULD WE CONSUME TURMERIC?

The results of the study have shown improved cardiovascular function after 8-week consumption of 150 mg of turmeric extract on a daily basis, or nearly 25 mf of curcuma a dose. However, the study subjects took turmeric extract that contained high dose of curcuma. However, the dose of curcuma in a regular turmeric extract is not so high, nearly 2 %. For better results, you should consume one tablespoon of turmeric extract or you can buy turmeric capsules from the food stores or online.

WORKOUT AND TURMERIC

The combination of workout and turmeric prevent over 600 health issues. However, it is recommended to combine both workout and curcuma, because the use of curcuma cannot replace exercising.

A 2012-study published in the American Journal of Hypertension investigated the effects of curcuma and workout in women of postmenopausal age in stress tolerance. The results of the study have shown that the participants noticed lowered left ventricular afterload. The increased left afterload may lead to chronic hypertrophy of the heart as well as increased blood pressure.

Another health benefit of combining turmeric and workout is that it helps in reducing inflammation and pain. In addition, it is also effective in soothing the symptoms of osteoarthritis.