5 Ways A Single Spice Can Effectively Fight Cancer

What if fighting cancer came down to a single spice? According to scientists, this might be the case. Turmeric, also known as Curcuma longa, is one of the most honored spices in Ayurvedic medicine. It’s all because of curcumin, the primary active compound of turmeric.

Curcumin also gives the spice its bright yellow shade.1 The color is so vibrant that it can stain bowls and spoons! But after learning about how it can combat cancer, those yellow stains might not seem so bad after all.

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How Does Turmeric Fight Cancer?

Turmeric owes its talents to curcumin. This compound is a potent antimicrobial, but when it comes to cancer, it definitely steals the show.2

1. Conquers Oxidative Stress

Turmeric Fights Against Oxidative Stress

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Oxidative stress is a harmful process caused by free radicals. It damages the DNA, forcing cells to change in a way that triggers cancer growth.3 But as an antioxidant, curcumin has the ability to find and kill those free radicals.4 As for molecular pathways that lead to oxidative stress? Curcumin puts an end to those, too.5

2. Reduces Inflammation

Consume Turmeric To Suppress Inflammation

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Inflammation is right up there with oxidative stress. Curcumin, however, is a powerful regulator of pro-inflammatory proteins called cytokines. At the same time, it stimulates immune cells like macrophages and monocytes. This also blocks off cytokines, helping the body get a handle on inflammation.6

3. Prevents Carcinogenesis

Turmeric Modifies Cellular Pathways To Prevent Carcinogenesis

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Carcinogenesis takes place when healthy cells turn into cancer. Thankfully, curcumin can stop it in its tracks! It prevents carcinogenesis by modifying cellular pathways needed for carcinogenesis to happen. In turn, cells are left to be healthy and normal.7

4. Suppresses Tumor-Inducing Enzymes

Curcumin Fights Against Tumor-Inducing Enzymes

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In the body, enzymes are the catalysts behind every chemical reaction. This includes the formation and growth of tumors, but not when curcumin is in town. Specifically, it inhibits lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase, two enzymes that facilitate tumor progression.8

5. Inhibits Angiogenesis

Turmeric Inhibits Angiogenesis And Destroys Cancer Cells

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Want to destroy cancer cells? Cut off their blood supply! Angiogenesis, or the process of new blood vessels forming from pre-existing ones, fuels cancer cells. But according to a 2013 animal study in BioMed Research International, curcumin may prevent it from happening.9

How To Take Turmeric For Cancer Protection

Consumption Of Turmeric A Must To Prevent Cancer

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Turmeric might be toxic for cancer cells, but it won’t harm normal ones.10 This is exactly what makes turmeric so amazing. To reap the benefits, check out these 5 ways to eat this spice.

1. Smoothies

Turmeric is a popular ingredient for anti-inflammatory smoothies. If you love a zesty kick, pair it with ginger and lemon. Combine turmeric with banana, pineapple, and blueberries to sweeten things up.

2. Tea

Love tea, but don’t want caffeine? Brew yourself a cup of warm turmeric tea. It works well with honey, lemon, cinnamon, and cardamom.

3. Golden Milk

This trendy beverage has quickly taken over sugary lattes. In a pot over medium heat, combine 1 cup coconut milk, 1 tablespoon honey, ½ teaspoon turmeric, and 1 teaspoon ground ginger. Once blended, sip and enjoy.

4. Ice Pops

Cold golden milk and turmeric smoothies can be frozen into ice pops. Save it for a summery day, or whenever you want a sweet treat. You can even add fresh fruit to the molds.

5. Cooked Meals

From pasta to omelets, almost every meal could use a dash of turmeric powder. Use it to spice up roasted veggies or salmon. Add to soup for a warming effect.

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