Increasingly superfoods are gaining recognition as a vital addition to a healthy lifestyle. Research has proved that they indeed can have a positive impact on your mind and body, and even potentially reduce your chances of developing harmful diseases, such as cancer.
A popular superfood that is being linked to combatting cancer is Turmeric Powder. The powdered supplement is believed to have potential cancer-fighting properties, which has grabbed the attention of many superfood-lovers and nutritionists.
Despite the countless studies that have linked turmeric to anti-cancer effects, there is great scepticism that revolves around this sensitive subject, and it is worth careful scrutinising whether a single ingredient can really help prevent the nation’s cancer risk.
Read on to find out if turmeric can really help protect against cancer.
What is Turmeric?
The beloved bright-yellow root powder originates from South Asia, mainly India. Turmeric has been long seen as a powerful superfood for maintaining and supporting good health.
It has been known for helping improve digestion, strengthening the immune system and relieving joint and muscle pain. Moreover, it contains rich anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, helping reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.
To make the most of its impressive health benefits, turmeric is used as a common spice in many sweet and savoury dishes in South Asian cuisines. The fresh root can be included in a variety of dishes, including baked treats, smoothies, salads and curries.
Can Turmeric really help protect against cancer?
Turmeric’s ability to help fight off cancer is thought to be due to its active compound, curcumin, which is believed to help kill cancer cells and prevent them from growing. Its anti-cancer effects can work on breast cancer, bowel cancer as well as stomach cancer and skin cancer cells.
Curcumin is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, however, its potential ability to help fight off cancer cells could lie in its high levels of polyphenols, which may contribute to anti-cancer mechanisms.
When looking at scientific research, cancer rates in India, where people consumed an average of 100 to 200mg of Turmeric powder per day, were recorded to be significantly lower than rates in Western countries. Of course, these figures also depend on life expectancy and changes in lifestyle.
Furthermore, a 2013 international laboratory study revealed that when consuming turmeric alongside chemotherapy, the treatment appeared to be more successful and effective than on its own.
So, can turmeric be a potential cure for cancer?
While there are many studies that have found cancer-fighting properties in turmeric, there is no scientific research that says for certain that the superfood can truly cure cancer. Turmeric should not be considered the secret ingredient to cancer prevention or cancer treatment, or for any other serious diseases, as these health benefits are not currently supported by scientific research.
Nonetheless, it is well worth integrating turmeric into your daily diet, as it is a safe, nutrient-rich and tasty superfood! While it may not be a magic bullet for cancer, and more research needs to be conducted, to understand the true powers of the superfood, we can still add it to our meals to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle, giving our wellbeing a nutritional boost.