Stress is an inevitable part of life. From the demands of work to the pressures of relationships, it is tough to find moments of peace and relaxation. But what if there was a natural way to help you find your zen? Amazingly, turmeric and curcumin is a spice that’s been in use since ancient times for medicinal and flavor purposes and is now popular as a way to relieve anxieties.
Specifically, the active compound in turmeric, curcumin, has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that helps alleviate stress and anxiety. In this article, we explore the science behind curcumin’s stress-busting benefits. We also go into how to use it into your daily routine to find more peace and tranquility. So, if you want to know more, let’s proceed to learn about turmeric and curcumin.
How Turmeric and Curcumin Help You Find Your Zen
The Science Behind Curcumin’s Stress-Busting Properties
Curcumin is the primary active ingredient in turmeric, responsible for its vibrant yellow color. It has been found to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties that may help alleviate stress and anxiety. A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that curcumin decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety in people with major depressive disorder. Another study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that curcumin improved mood and cognitive function in healthy older adults.
Curcumin works by reducing inflammation in the body, which is a common cause of stress-related illnesses. When the body is stressed, it produces more cortisol, a hormone that causes inflammation. Curcumin has been found to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are molecules that cause inflammation. By reducing inflammation, curcumin may help alleviate stress and anxiety.
Curcumin’s Impact on the Brain and Mood
Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may also have a positive impact on brain function and mood. Studies have found that curcumin increases the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that helps the brain grow new neurons and synapses. Low levels of BDNF have been linked to depression and other mental health disorders. By increasing BDNF levels, curcumin may help improve mood and cognitive function.
Curcumin may also increase the levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which are responsible for regulating mood and emotions. One study shows that curcumin increased the availability of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, leading to improved mood and cognitive function.
How to Use Turmeric in Your Diet for Stress Relief
Turmeric is easy to add to your diet in many ways. One of the easiest ways is use it as a spice. For instance, why not try sprinkling turmeric on roasted vegetables, rice, or eggs? It’s also good to make a golden milk latte, a popular drink that combines turmeric with milk, honey, and spices like cinnamon and ginger.
Another way to use turmeric into your diet is by taking supplements. Curcumin supplements are available in pill or capsule form from health food stores or online. However, it’s important to note that curcumin supplements may interact with certain medications, so it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional before taking them.
Other Health Benefits of Curcumin and Turmeric
In addition to its stress-busting properties, curcumin and turmeric have many other health benefits. Curcumin has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties that may help alleviate pain and inflammation in conditions like arthritis. Turmeric has also been found to have antimicrobial properties that may help fight off infections.
Turmeric has been used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments like digestive issues, skin problems, and respiratory illnesses. While there is limited scientific evidence to support these claims, many people still use turmeric for its potential health benefits.
Supplements vs. Natural Sources of Curcumin
While curcumin supplements are a convenient way to use turmeric into your diet, natural sources of curcumin may be more beneficial. The bio-availability of curcumin, or the amount that is absorbed by the body, is low. When you take them as a supplement, curcumin may not be as effective as when it is naturally in your food.
To increase the bio-availability of curcumin, you must consume it with black pepper, which contains a compound called piperine that enhances the absorption of curcumin. Cooking turmeric with oil also increases the absorption of curcumin, as it is fat-soluble.
Precautions When Using Curcumin for Stress Relief
While curcumin is generally considered safe, it may interact with certain medications like blood thinners and diabetes medications. so, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional before taking curcumin supplements, especially if you have underlying health conditions.
Turmeric may also cause gastrointestinal issues like nausea, diarrhea, or stomach pain in some people. It’s best to start with small amounts and gradually increase the dosage to avoid any adverse effects.
Recipes for Turmeric-Based Stress-Busting Drinks and Meals
Here are some recipes that use turmeric for stress relief:
Golden Milk Latte
– 1 cup almond milk
– 1 tsp turmeric
– 1 tsp honey
– 1/4 tsp cinnamon
– 1/4 tsp ginger
– Pinch of black pepper
1. Heat the almond milk in a small saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add the turmeric, honey, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper.
3. Whisk until well combined and heated through.
4. Pour the mixture into a mug and enjoy!
Turmeric Roasted Vegetables
– 2 cups chopped vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, etc.)
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tsp turmeric
– Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Toss the chopped vegetables with olive oil, turmeric, salt, and pepper.
3. Spread the vegetables out in a single layer on a baking sheet.
4. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until tender and golden brown.
Frequently Asked Questions about Curcumin and Turmeric
Q: Does turmeric cure stress?
A: While turmeric doesn’t cure stress, it may help alleviate stress and anxiety by reducing inflammation in the body and improving brain function.
Q: How much turmeric should I consume daily?
A: There is no standard dosage for turmeric. However, studies have used doses of up to 8 grams per day without any adverse effects. It is best to start with small amounts and gradually increase the dosage.
Q: Are there any side effects of taking curcumin supplements?
A: Curcumin supplements are generally considered safe. However, they may interact with certain medications and cause gastrointestinal issues in some people.
Conclusion: Turmeric and Curcumin
Turmeric and Curcumin both now and in ancient times treat various ailments, including stress and anxiety. The active compound in turmeric, curcumin, is found to have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help alleviate stress and anxiety.
While more research is needed to fully understand the stress-busting properties of curcumin, incorporating turmeric into your diet has many health benefits. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before taking curcumin supplements, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
It is our wish that you find this post enlightening and helpful. If you have any questions or suggestions, we love to hear from you in the comments below. Also, kindly accept our invitation to join our group on Facebook to surround yourself with kindred spirits and post your encouraging messages.