Life isn’t always easy on our liver. Alcohol, toxins, sugar – they all cause havoc to this vital organ. That’s why it’s important that, as well as eating fewer of these harmful substances, we increase our intake of liver-friendly superfoods. Here we explore how Turmeric could be the key to giving your liver a health boost.
Importance of good liver function
Your liver is responsible for a lot of functions that keep your body in good working order. You might be familiar with some of these jobs, like filtering and detoxifying your blood, but there are hundreds of things that you have your liver to thank for.
Your liver helps your body:
- Metabolise drugs.
- Control the amount of fat, amino acids and glucose in your blood.
- Combat infections.
- Store iron, vitamins and other essential chemicals.
- Make enzymes and proteins that are responsible for blood clotting and repair of damaged tissues.
What is Turmeric?
From the same family as superfood Ginger, Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to treat all sorts of ailments. From heartburn and heart disease to depression and dementia, Turmeric has been used to help prevent and treat a truly impressive range of health problems.
Although the fresh root is available, the Turmeric that we’re all familiar with is a bright yellow powder that is a staple spice in South Asian cuisines. It’s a rich source of manganese iron, fibre, vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium. But the major secret of this ancient spice is curcumin, a compound that is well studied for its health benefits – including its liver cleansing potential.
Turmeric for a healthy liver?
The therapeutic effects of Curcumin have been studied at great length, and there are a significant number of studies focused on how it might impact liver health. Here are just a few ways Turmeric might be able to help:
- Repair liver damage in diabetics
People suffering with severe cases of diabetes often also suffer liver damage and disease over time. However, a new study conducted by scientists in Thailand has found that the livers of diabetic rats were repaired and even regenerated with the help of the curcumin found in Turmeric.
- Protection against liver damage
Turmeric might be able to assist the enzymes that are responsible for flushing out known dietary carcinogens. The result is enhanced protection against liver damage.
- Prevent liver diseases
A study examined the effect of Turmeric on the livers of cows. Stress in cows causes changes that impact liver health in similar ways as stress impacts human livers.
A major stress hormone in the liver was significantly reduced in the group of cows fed the consisting of Turmeric and green tea, suggesting a possible reduction in risk of fatty liver disease.
- Protect against liver cancer
Studies show that Turmeric and Curcumin might be able to decrease risk of liver cancer.
How to enjoy Turmeric in your everyday life
Getting the benefits of Turmeric and curcumin is as simple as eating more foods that feature this vibrant spice. As well as enjoying more curries, you can add Turmeric powder to soups, sprinkle it on vegetables, or add it to smoothies. However you enjoy it, your liver will thank you.