Writing Sample #2 - Dietary Supplement Article



10 Ways to Supercharge Your Health with Turmeric

Though most people have heard of curry powder, few know what spices make up this marketed seasoning mix. Of all the players in it who tingle your taste buds, Turmeric offers a rich, earthy flavor that mellows out the bold tastes of cumin, coriander, pepper powders, and fenugreek. But Turmeric is so much more than a simple layer of flavor in curry.

In ancient Indian and Chinese culture, this golden bright spice was used as a highly effective anti-inflammatory as well as a dye for cloth. It was sometimes called “Indian saffron”. It’s the fresh root of the Curcuma longa plant.  This dark root looks similar to ginger, but sells for almost triple the price. It’s more cost effective in the purest form of organic turmeric powder or as a supplement.

Turmeric gets its intense yellow coloring and healing abilities from a molecular-level ingredient called Curcumin. Turmeric supplements contain higher levels of this bio-nutrient than turmeric powder alone, so if you are serious about adding this health-helping ingredient to your daily diet regiment consider the pills rather than getting its benefits strictly from food. Bottles of the supplements range for $15-$50.

Unfortunately, curcumin needs some help absorbing into our body. Since its fat soluble, taking it with a fatty meal is one way to aid it into your bloodstream. Another is pairing it with piperine (sometimes called bioperine), an element found in black pepper. Some turmeric pills have the piperine in them already, so be sure to check the label.

Below are 10 reasons you should consider adding a Turmeric supplement to your lively lifestyle.

1.    Preventing Cancer

Curcumin and its derivatives have been found to affect the body’s tissue. For example, the colon’s gastrointestinal tract’s tissue is more vulnerable to unmetabolised Curcumin than many anti-cancer treatments.  Several study outcomes point toward Curcumin as a preventer of cancer for this reason.

Curcumin seems to slow down cancerous cell division and growth, and stop D.N.A morphology and cell death. Curcumin can reduce a tumor’s ability to grow new blood vessels and aid white blood cells in killing their cancerous counterparts. Many scientists proclaim that this evidence is enough to blatantly believe that Curcumin prevents cancer from occurring at all and can even reverse it.

2.    Bolstering Your Body’s Anti-Oxidation Process

Humor me while I give you a short chemistry lesson. External pollutants to our bodies such as smog, cigarette smoke, harmful chemicals and toxins in beauty and cleaning products, and even excessive sunlight can create free radicals. These unstable chains of atoms enter our bodies looking for an electron to steal from our cells, causing oxidation.  This oxidation is primarily degenerative aging, but can also lead to DNA mutation and even cancer.

Turmeric works like vitamins E and C. They are all anti-oxidants that bind to free radicals and prevent them from preying on our cells. Turmeric’s Curcumin is an especially potent antioxidant due to its chemical structure. Aside from outright stopping the free radicals, Curcumin also boosts our body’s natural defense enzymes as they fight the over-reactive molecules.

3.    Battling Arthritis

Arthritis has become normal and expected in Western culture. Over 100 types of arthritis inflict pain on 46 million adults in the United States, and it’s expected to increase. The two most common kinds are osteoarthritis, the normal wear and tear of cartilage as we age or over use a joint, and rheumatoid arthritis, which is caused by inflammation.

Studies have found that curcumin seeks out and destroys nitric oxide and inhibits COX-2, a substance that causes inflammation in the body. One double blind study comparing curcumin to steroid based arthritis drugs found that patients had far less pain, swelling, and morning stiffness. This same study even noticed that patients using turmeric supplements were about to walk faster when their other symptoms were reduced.

4.    Easing Joint Pain and Muscle Cramps

Termeric’s natural mineral content makes it a superhero for your joint pain and muscle cramps. It contains manganese, potassium, iron, vitamin B6, copper, and fiber. The combination of the trace element manganese and nutrient potassium maintain muscle and nerve function, as well as bone strength. And as we saw above in the arthritis section, curcumin also greatly reduces pain and swelling with its bio-nutrient Curcumin.

5.    Aiding Digestive System and Lowers Cholesterol

Turmeric works with your digestive system to lower cholesterol and keep the stomach in good shape. Specifically, turmeric detoxified the liver by elevating the abilities of two liver enzymes. Keep in mind that detoxing and anti-oxidation (see section 2) are two different processes, and turmeric can do both. In addition to bolstering the livers enzymes, Turmeric increases the fabrication of messenger proteins that control bad cholesterol receptors. These receptors sweep out bad cholesterol from the body. So turmeric raises the ability to get rid of your bad cholesterol.

The citizens of Indian have used turmeric for centuries as an upset stomach reliever. Aside from its anti-inflammatory skills, turmeric also restricts excessive stomach acid and sooths heartburn and gas, as well as general tummy aches. Just don’t take too much. Overdoing it could make tummy troubles worse.


6.    Manages Cortisol and Helps weight loss

Here comes the big claim: Turmeric can help you lose weight! It’s not going to magically melt pounds away or anything. But by controlling cortisol and enhancing your metabolism to burn fat, Turmeric can push you closer to your weigh goals.

Cortisol has been dubbed the “stress hormone”. It’s the cause of that fat in the belly area that we can’t seem to get rid of. Well, all our fat retention really. It’s also linked to low blood sugar and sleeplessness. Curcumin counteracts and regulates cortisol in our bodies, thereby helping us achieve a healthy weight.

We’ve all heard about how important our metabolisms are. By adding turmeric to your fitness plan, you can quicken your metabolism and allow your body to burn more fat no matter how active you are.

7.    Improves Brain Function while Combating Depression

The process of brain neurons forming new connections is driven by a growth hormone known as BDNF. When there are decreased levels of this hormone, the brain develops disorders, including Alxheimer’s disease, depression, memory degradation, and decreased brain performance. Interestingly, Turmeric’s wonder ingredient Curcumin heightens BDNF levels in the brain, thus preventing these disorders.

Turmeric boosts the brain’s centralized immune responses, crossing the brain-blood barrier, and breaks down the protein plaques that cause Alzheimer’s. By keeping the plaques clear and reducing inflammation and oxidation, turmeric prevents this yet-uncurable disease from appearing at all.

Further evidence was revealed in a controlled experiment that curcumin is an effective antidepressant. Curcumin increases the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, and works nearly as well as Prozac minus the side effects.

8.    Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

The number one man killing disease in the world is heart disease. For decades, it’s various and intricate contributing factors have been studied. The most inspected factor is the dysfunction of blood vessel lining called endothelium. When it malfunctions, blood pressure isn’t regulated and blood clots occur. Curcumin reverses various steps in the process of heart disease, but most importantly, it improves endothelial function so blood can flow properly and prevent plaque from building up in the body’s blood vessels and heart.

9.    Superior Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-parasital

The hydroxyl and phenol molecular groups in turmeric make it very anti-inflammatory and anti-parasital. All that science talk to say infections and parasites don’t stand a chance in a body protected by turmeric. In studies conducted in the last ten years, turmeric held its own against cortisone, phenylbutazone, and even over-the-counter drugs like Motrin. Even ring worms and hook worms don’t stand a chance with Turmeric, who out-perform the most common parasite exterminators tinidazole and metronidazole.

10. Treats the Skin Like Royalty

Turmeric can lavish your skin in many ways.  It lessens redness, eases signs of aging, smooths-out wrinkles and lightens stretch marks, as well as fights skin problems such as acne and rosacea. It reduces production of melatonin and its antibacterial and antioxidant properties bless the skin. You can even use it for cracked palms or heels. Taking turmeric supplements works on these problems from the inside out, while a topical application nurtures the skin directly.

Best of all Turmeric can be a natural alternative to the chemical-rich skin care products on the market today. Turmeric will give you the smooth, fresh, and healthy skin you’ve always wanted.

Use the recipe below to make your own turmeric-packed skin paste:

Ingredients:
8 T. Turmeric powder
4 T. Cucumber water
1 T. Olive or seseme oil

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. This can be kept in fridge up to a week. Some recipes call for raw honey and a dash of milk instead of cucumber water, which makes for a thicker paste.

Note: Remember me mentioning that Turmeric is used for dye? Its pigment is strong, so use rags and wear clothes you don’t mind getting stained. If you accidently use a plastic bowl or wooden spoon and can’t get the yellow tint off with soap and water, soak the item in white vinegar. It tends to loosen the stain.

Experiment with the above ingredients until you find the mix that is right for your skin. Just remember that Turmeric is the key to perfecting it!

Conclusion

It’s obvious that Turmeric is one of the best choices of herb to use in supplement form to help almost every system of your body function at optimal levels, from your skin to your liver.

If my modest list of ten reasons to better your health with turmeric still has you on the fence, please do a little research. You’ll find that this barely scratches the surface of what turmeric and its super nutrient curcumin can do. Discuss its use with your doctor or personal trainer.  Either of them will be able to answer your questions and recommend the right dosage.

Be sure to keep this article handy for future reference and if nothing else, experiment with turmeric in meals and snacks. Every little bit helps.






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