You may not know it, but the easiest way to treat symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, such as joint inflammation and loss of mobility, isn’t with steroids–it’s with a special compound, called curcumin.
Curcumin is a substance found in tumeric, a spice commonly used in dishes in India and southern Asia.
Some osteopaths believe it contains antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and even anticancer properties.
“Curcumin, a substance in turmeric, may help to reduce inflammation,” says WebMD.com. “Several studies suggest that it might ease symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, like pain and inflammation. Other compounds in turmeric might also be medicinal.”
As recently as 2012, studies have found curcumin may be highly effective for joint inflammation, a common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. The study, which was conducted by researchers in India, had 45 participants diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis take either a 500 mg dose of curcumin, an over-the-counter pain reliever, or a combination of the two.
Those who only took curcumin saw the highest improvements in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
“Subjects in the curcumin alone group showed the greatest improvements in Disease Activity Score and American College of Rheumatology criteria for reduction in tenderness and swelling of joint scores,” says the study’s authors. “Curcumin was found to be safe and no adverse effects were noted.”
The news couldn’t be greater for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis: Traditional treatment options, such as steroids, often carry a slew of unwanted side effects, making it an unappealing option for most people.
But with just a daily dose of turmeric powder, you could alleviate your joint pain–side effects need not apply.
How to Get More Curcumin in Your Diet
Want to alleviate symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis without the drugs? Then it helps to get your daily dose of curcumin from tumeric, say researchers–but what’s the best way to supplement? Here’s how to integrate it into your diet:
Add it in casserole. Just a touch of tumeric in a cheese-based casserole instantly adds a touch of exotic flavor to any bland dish; cooks recommend pairing it with broccoli or hash browns as a more interesting way to enjoy dinner.
It tastes great in stir fry. For a quick and healthy way to fill up on curcumin, try this: Add a touch or two of tumeric into a stir fry of bell peppers, chicken, and carrots to add a zest of Indian flavor. Other spices, such as chili powder, also add a fat-burning component to keep your weight in check.
Add it in a glaze or sauce. Alfredo sauce mixed with tumeric isn’t just a great way to keep your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms in check; it can also boost its flavor and make it a wonderful addition to any meal, from salmon to grilled tofu. Pairing it with other healthful spices, such as cumin, can also enhance its pain-relieving properties.
Sources: Supplement Guide – Tumeric – WebMD.com
Curcumin Study – VitaSearch.com