Turmeric, or “haldi”, is a standard constituent in Indian food. It is used as an antiseptic, to enhance flavor and also as a colouring agent. The benefits of this plant are never-ending- it can cure stomach related disorders, like diarrhea, bloating and loss of appetite, and also cure jaundice, heartburn, liver and gallbladder problems. It also is good for the skin, and reduces inflammations and infections. It comes as no surprise that it has been used as a medicinal herb in our country for millions of years!
But why is turmeric especially good for runners?
1. It reduces inflammation in the joints, especially knees- Turmeric contains over 20 anti-inflammatory compounds, including ‘curcumin’ that has been proven to be more effective than pharmaceutical drugs when it comes to reducing swelling. It has also been used to cure arthritis in early stages.
2. Cuts down the risk of a heart attack- The ‘curcumin’ that was mentioned earlier also reduces the risk of heart attacks, especially for runners who have undergone bypass surgeries in the recent past. Turmeric helps in easy blood flood to the muscles, bringing down the risk of damage to heart muscles as well.
3. It increases metabolism and serves as a great anti-oxidant. It also helps neutralize those by-products that are linked to diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease. The chemical tumerone in turmeric has been shown to stimulate stem cells to produce new brain cells that prevents neuro-degenerative conditions. It was also proven to prevent Type 2 diabetes amongst people who were at risk.