What Tumeric Does For Your Heart

Filed Under: Heart Health, Food and Nutrition, Nutrients and Additives
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

The spice turmeric is best known as an ingredient in Indian curry and yellow mustard, but it has been a part of my cardiovascular nutrition plan for years.

Its yellow color comes from curcumin—a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that’s been found to reduce the excess platelet aggregation that occurs in sticky, clot-forming blood. Curcumin also helps keep NF-kappa B, a protein complex involved in the body’s inflammatory reactions, in check.

Curcumin has an impressive list of positive research findings. In fact, two intriguing animal studies suggest that curcumin may offer a good deal more protection against cardiovascular problems than previously thought.

In one study, researchers at the University of Toronto found that curcumin blocks a wide range of biochemical reactions involved in cardiac hypertrophy (enlargement of the heart chambers), inflammation, and fibrosis. These are undesirable developments associated with heart failure.

In another study, investigators at Japan’s Kyoto Medical Center found that curcumin helps support healthy blood pressure in addition to preventing cardiac hypertrophy. They concluded that curcumin “may provide a novel therapeutic strategy for heart failure in humans.”

I recommend that you cook with plenty of turmeric. You can add it to rice, soup, chicken, or tofu dishes, or you can blend it with melted butter and drizzle it over cooked vegetables. If you don’t like the taste of turmeric, curcumin is available in supplement form. As a nutritional supplement, take 500 mg of curcumin daily.

For more information on cardiovascular nutrition, visit www.drsinatra.com.

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