Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic: the amazing benefits of turmeric
Turmeric is the bright, golden-orange spice that adds colour, flavour, and most importantly AMAZING nutrition to our food. Turmeric is a common spice (a relative of ginger, in fact), which comes from the root of the curcuma longa plant. It has long been used in cooking - as well as in ayurvedic and other traditional medicines in countries such as China and India, thanks to its medicinal properties.
So what is it about turmeric that makes it so beneficial? Its active ingredient is actually a polyphenol (a natural compound) known as curcumin. Curcumin brings antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which can help with a range of issues, both in humans but also in our dogs and cats - from arthritis and liver disease to gastrointestinal issues and even cancer.
Here, we take a look at the top medicinal benefits of turmeric and how curcumin really could be a cure for so much!
The root cause of many common health problems and diseases (arthritis, allergies, cancer, dental issues, gastrointestinal problems) is actually inflammation. While inflammation is a crucial part of a dog’s healthy immune system and response (it releases white blood cells to the tissue in the body to kickstart the healing process), when that inflammation becomes chronic, it begins to cause issues. For example, chronic inflammation within the digestive system can cause diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss and nutritional deficiencies.
So where does turmeric come into the picture? Its powerful anti-inflammatory properties (the curcumin works to reduce the levels of two inflammation-causing enzymes in the body) mean that it’s a fantastic ingredient for combatting many of the issues that inflammation can cause. Studies have even shown that curcumin is as effective as ibuprofen - and even outperformed it - in helping people with arthritis.
If inflammation is the root cause of so many health issues then turmeric is definitely the root that functions as one of the best natural anti-inflammatories for our bodies - and our pets!
Turmeric is known for its powerful antioxidant properties. Rich in phytonutrients (compounds which plants produce that can provide health benefits), it can help protect the body by inhibiting cell damage and neutralising free radicals. As a powerful antioxidant, studies have suggested that turmeric can not only help treat cancer by killing cancerous cells, it can also help prevent the disease by tackling the chronic inflammation that can cause it in the first place.
Between the anti-inflammatory properties to combat the chronic inflammation which can lead to cancer, and the antioxidant properties which help fight cancerous cells in the body, turmeric is a powerful anticarcinogenic.
Anticoagulant… antibacterial… antiseptic… the list goes on!
Turmeric’s benefits don’t end there! This ingredient can also help reduce blood clotting (it prevent platelets from clumping together to form blood clots), as well as providing support for issues with the liver through detoxification, and promoting heart health through improved circulation. It’s even a great antiseptic that can be used to disinfect cuts and injuries.
Beyond the curcumin, turmeric also packs a punch of beta-carotene, calcium, vitamin C, fibre, iron, potassium, zinc and more nutrients that can all provide health benefits for your furry friend.
Here at Smack, we love this colourful, beneficial ingredient and include it in all of our recipes. Ready to see what Smack can do for your pet’s health? Check out our raw, dehydrated recipes:
As with any food, too much turmeric could cause issues for your pet. Start with small quantities, and always consult your veterinarian with any concerns or questions.