We hear the word inflammation a lot these days. But how many people out there know what it means? Did you know that it’s actually a good thing? Inflammation is a self-protective response against harmful pathogens, damaged cells or irritants within your body’s tissues. The overall purpose is to protect your body and initiate tissue repair. Sounds pretty good, right? Here’s the problem, it actually ends up producing negative results over time. And can we talk about long term chronic inflammation? Woah, Nelly.
Inflammation can be a real jerk sometimes. Acute inflammation begins rapidly and becomes severe rapidly. Here’s an example – a cut on the skin or a sore throat from a cold. Chronic inflammation is a tricky one. It’s long term and can last from months to years. You may have some signs of an acute inflammation at first, but most of the time, you won’t know until it sneaks right up on you. Here’s an example – swelling within your joints, also known as Arthritis.
Generally, inflammation will show up in 5 key signs called “PRISH”
This is where the need for anti-inflammatory relief comes in. Most of the time with acute inflammation, you can treat it pretty quickly and efficiently. But what about that sneaky chronic inflammation? Well, that’s when we bring out the big guns. I want to talk about one of my favourite anti-inflammatory superfoods – Curcumin!
Before I dive into the wonderful world of Curcumin and all of it’s benefits, I want to address something about chronic inflammation. The main question you should be asking yourself is why it’s there in the first place. Your body is obviously reacting to something by putting protective defence mechanisms into place. So, addressing the root cause of the issue should be your priority. Good thing Curcumin has so many great preventative measures to offer on top of it’s anti-inflammatory role!
So, what is Curcumin? It’s the yellow pigment found in Turmeric, which is the primary member of the ginger family. It has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to treat inflammatory conditions. Curcumin has powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties that support neurological, cardiovascular, and cellular health.
Supplementation is generally recommended, rather than just eating Turmeric alone, in order to ensure the best possible absorption. One of the top Curcumin supplements on the market is Theracumin by Natural Factors. One capsule is equal to 16,000 mg of regular Curcumin powder. Studies have shown that Theracumin is the most bioavailable, or highly absorbed form of Curcumin.
“Theracumin is 300 times more bioavailable than regular curcumin powder, ensuring more absorption and a therapeutically effective level in the blood,” advises Dr. Michael Murray, ND, and Director of Product Science and Innovation for Natural Factors. “Laboratory research has confirmed that curcumin can reduce inflammation, provide antioxidant protection to cells, and reduce risk factors for chronic degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer”, statess Dr. Murray.
Here are a few more reasons why Curcumin is one of the best superfoods out there:
Heart Health – Due to the high antioxidant capacity, Curcumin can help to prevent LDL Cholesterol (the bad kind) from becoming oxidized which can damage the arteries leading to atherosclerosis (hardening of the ateries). It can also help to prevent plaque formation and inhibit blood clots.
Joints & Muscles – Once again, this is where the anti-inflammatory benefits kick in. Curcumin can reduce tissue damage and pain caused by the results of inflammation. Also great for post-exercise recovery, it can help to reduce oxidative stress on the muscles and joints.
Cancer Prevention – Curcumin enhances the body’s production of cancer-fighting compounds such as the potent antioxidant, Glutathione. It can also improve the Quality of Life Scores in cancer patients.
Liver Support – Curcimin promotes the liver’s detoxification of cancer-causing compounds and improves and protects overall liver function.
In order to fast track this superfood into your cells, I would also recommend ingesting Curcumin alongside a fat molecule. Meaning, to make sure that you’re taking your supplement with a meal that contains some good fats like coconut oil, nuts and seeds or an avocado to further enhance absorption.
Make sure to follow along with the #CatherinesCabinet Instagram account! For more information and helpful tips, make sure to stay up to date with all things Health & Nutrition on my website, Catherine’s Cabinet.
Catherine Sugrue, CNP
Photos: Natural Factors