When I first heard people talking about turmeric, I thought it was just another fad, but there are so many benefits of turmeric and it's simple to add to your diet. Plus, with as little as one teaspoon a day, you can reap these benefits.

If you don't know what turmeric is, it's the main spice in curry and is a common Indian food ingredient. Turmeric is a plant native to Asia and the root is used as a spice. It's easy to spot because of its strong, spicy smell and orangy color. The "active ingredient" in turmeric is curcumin. But don't worry if you aren't an Indian food fan, turmeric can be used in many things. 

1. Anti-inflammatory

cinnamon, relish, condiment, sweet, coffee, turmeric, curry
Sarina Raman

Turmeric has an anti-inflammatory effect, which helps relieve joint and muscle pain. Many athletes eat or drink turmeric after practice and games.

One of my professors told me a story about athletes she worked with drinking turmeric milk to relieve joint and muscle pain. She claims that the flavor wasn't as bad as she expected because of the very bright orange color. Of course, you can use turmeric in other ways to relieve your joint and muscle pain.

2. Lowers LD

soup, cream, pumpkin
Viola Spahiu

LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) is the bad type of cholesterol. You want low levels of LDL and higher levels of HDL. (Think "lousy" and "healthy.") LDL is what builds up and clogs arteries. A little bit of turmeric everyday will lower the amount of LDL in your blood and will reduce the risk of heart attacks or cardiovascular disease.    

3. Kills viruses and bacteria

sweet, juice, honey, jam, marmalade, gelatin
Elyse Belarge

Studies are still being conducted but turmeric may have a link to kill some viruses and bacteria in the body. Adding a pinch of turmeric to your meals can help aid your immune system and fight off the common cold that is inevitable this time of year. Try adding turmeric to your tea or some of these recipes.

4. Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes 

Some studies show that taking turmeric daily can cut down on the risk of T2D. Turmeric has been used to treat diabetes in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for years. The curcumin in turmeric has been known to reduce glycemia and hyperlipidemia. Researchers say this is because of the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant components found in turmeric.

5. Helps with digestion

Turmeric can help with digestion, gas and bloating. Curcumin, found in turmeric, works with the gallbladder to help make bile, which then helps the digestive tract. Turmeric can also help curb heartburn and a general upset stomach.

6. Cleanses your skin

College is stressful, and as you may know, stress can contribute to acne. Turmeric can help cleanse your skin and fight those trouble spots. You can make a turmeric face mask with turmeric and honey. Just two ingredients — that's it!  

7. Heals wounds and scaring

Curcumin has many properties that have been shown to fight bacteria, viruses and fungus. Applying turmeric powder or the actual whole root to a woun can help fight the infection and reduce scaring.

There are many benefits to turmeric for every person. You can add turmeric as a spice to milk, tea, chicken, salads and pretty much anything. Try adding a pinch of turmeric powder to your next meal.