Chronic pain affects over 100 million Americans; that’s more people than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. It can lead to depression, trouble sleeping or concentrating, and is the number one reason for long-term disability care in the U.S. And while everyone reacts differently to pain and its treatments, there can be pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties found in nature and our foods.
Turmeric is a spice that is considered one of the most effective nutritional supplements there is. It’s a spice often associated with Indian foods because it gives curry that yellow color. But what does this spice have to do with Chronic Pain?
Benefits of Turmeric
- It’s an anti-inflammatory. The main active ingredient of turmeric is curcumin, which is an anti-inflammatory. While inflammation is the body’s way of fighting issues, chronic inflammation can play a role in things like cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and chronic pain. That’s why following an anti-inflammatory diet for certain people can be extremely beneficial. And why turmeric is considered as a good way to:
- Lower your risk of heart disease
- Prevent cancer
- Avoid or even treat Alzheimer’s
- Decrease chronic pain caused by inflammation
- It helps arthritis. Studies have shown that these patients respond well to turmeric supplements, reducing both inflammation and pain. It’s suggested that a 500 mg capsule daily can help prevent pain. This can be especially true when long-term use of prescription anti-inflammatories cause other issues, such as in the GI tract or with the heart.
- It helps fight aging and age-related illnesses. Turmeric is a powerful anti-oxidant. Oxidants can cause issues with aging and lead to diseases in the body. So it stands to reason that turmeric can help fight these free radicals throughout our bodies for our skin, our organs, and our hearts, easing issues that lead to chronic pain.
- It can fight depression. Studies have seen evidence that curcumin helps to boost serotonin in the brain and act like an anti-depressant. Chronic pain often leads to things like depression, so this is an added benefit.
Ways to Enjoy Turmeric in Your Diet
*Sprinkle it in your smoothies
*Use it in cooking
*Drink turmeric tea or Golden Milk Lattes
*Take a supplement
The most effective way to take turmeric is with some liquid, so adding to your smoothie or latte, or making a tea are great options!
Golden Milk Latte Recipe
I love to make Golden Milk Lattes. I enjoy them any time of day. Here’s one of the simplest (and yummiest) recipes I have found:
1 c. Plant milk, steamed or warmed on stove or in microwave
1/2-3/4 tsp. Turmeric
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Five Chinese Spice
1 Tbsp. sweetener of choice: Agave, Maple Syrup, Stevia to taste
Steam the milk. Add the other three ingredients and froth to blend together. Enjoy!
Do you use Turmeric?
While I haven’t started taking turmeric supplements yet, I may just start after reading how one woman cured her chronic pain with turmeric here. I have been successful with using other health and diet strategies to keep major fibromyalgia flares at bay, so I have no doubt that turmeric has all of these amazing benefits! I will keep you posted.
Have you tried turmeric for pain relief or to reduce inflammation?