Do you like the taste of curry? The spice found in many Indian and Middle Eastern dishes is truly a health marvel. The secret nutrient in curry is a bright yellow spice called turmeric. And turmeric contains curcumin, a naturally occurring chemical compound found in the spice turmeric (Curcuma longa), which is a member of the ginger family.
Read on for the health benefits of curcumin AND a delicious recipe plus ways to get curcumin with supplementation.
Here are just some of the cardiac benefits of curcumin
Improve Lipid Levels:
Curcumin has been investigated for its potential to lower cholesterol levels. This article found 7 studies that show LDL improvements with curcumin supplementation.
Studies have shown that curcumin has potent anti-inflammatory effects. Many studies, including this one. show improved markers of inflammation in those who use curcumin containing products. Lower inflammation means lower cardiovascular risk.
Curcumin is an antioxidant, so it can neutralize free radicals and their damaging effects. High levels of oxidative stress through tests like MPO and lipid peroxides are linked to cardiovascular disease. Here is an excellent article about the protective benefits of curcurmin regarding oxidative stress and mitochondria.
Improvement of Endothelial Function:
Blood vessels are lined with endothelial cells, making sure blood flow is normal and providing protection against artery damage. Damage to the endothelium leads to high blood pressure and vascular disease. Curcumin can support healthy endothelial cells, according to this article showing increased nitric oxide availability.
Blood Pressure Regulation:
Some research indicates that curcumin may have a blood pressure-lowering effect, including this 2019 study. Improving endothelial function, improving oxidative stress, and lowering inflammation are likely factors contributing to the success of curcumin.
Reduced Risk of Atherosclerosis:
Atherosclerosis is the buildup of plaque in the arteries, leading to narrowed and hardened blood vessels. Curcumin may help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis by influencing various factors, including inflammation and oxidative stress. This extensive 2021 review article discusses the evidence of curcurmin on atherosclerosis.
According to this study and others, curcumin may have mild antiplatelet effects, interfering with the coagulation system of the body. Think of it like a natural and more mild form of aspirin.
How to get curcumin into your life
There are many ways to get curcumin into your diet, including through food and supplementation. Let’s start with food, then I will give 3 supplements that contain curcumin.
If you love Indian food, or the taste of curry, you are in luck. Most recipes for Indian food contain curry, which in turn contains curcumin. Yes, you need to consume a lot of curry to get high levels of curcumin, but your taste buds will love you for it.
One of my favorite recipes is very simple. You can sub out the shrimp for chicken or beef, or make it vegan with just vegetables.
- Wild shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Organic curry powder
- Organic coconut oil- 1 tbsp
- Organic bell peppers, sliced
- Organic onion, diced
- Organic garlic, minced
- Organic coconut milk- 1 cup
- Organic lime juice- 1 tsp
Instructions: Sauté onions, garlic, and bell peppers in coconut oil. Add curry powder, then shrimp. Stir in coconut milk and lime juice. Simmer for about 10 minutes until shrimp is cooked. Add in a little mushroom if you like. I do!
If you prefer supplements to curry in food, or looking to ensure maximal intake of curcumin, check out our 3 products: