What Are The Turmeric & Curcumin Health Benefits
Spices play an important role in making your food taste delicious and flavorful. But, did you know that spices also offer some impressive health benefits? Turmeric is a spice that has been used in Asian and Indian cooking for centuries. It’s also been a staple in ancient Ayurvedic medicine and is known for its anti-anti-inflammatory properties and healing benefits. From helping reduce the pain of headaches or minimizing the effects of gastrointestinal disorders, Turmeric can be a powerful tool in managing certain health issues. But, like all natural supplements or ingredients, Turmeric should not be used in place of medications or used to diagnose a disease. Instead, look to incorporate Turmeric into your diet for its natural health benefits as a supplement to traditional medical treatment. And don’t forget to discuss adding it into your diet with your doctor to ensure there are no issues with medications or supplements you are already taking.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a plant that is a part of the ginger family. When dried, ground, or cut into, the plant has a golden hue. This is one of Turmeric’s trademarks. And, it’s one of the many reasons that Turmeric is a commonly used spice today. It’s most often used as a flavoring or to color foods like mustard and cheese. So, when you see a cheese that is yellow in color, chances are it has Turmeric in it. Turmeric is so popular that it is often referred to as the “Indian Saffron.”
What is Curcumin?
Turmeric’s health benefits come directly from a compound found in the plant called Curcumin. This antioxidant is what helps make Turmeric known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers have studied Curcumin and have noted that even though it may help reduce inflammation naturally, the amount of Curcumin found in Turmeric isn’t actually that high. So, using Turmeric in your food may not be the best way to get Curcumin into your diet. Studies have shown that concentrated versions of the antioxidant, like supplements, may be the best way to make sure you’re getting the best health benefits from Curcumin and Turmeric.
The Health Benefits of Using Turmeric & Curcumin
Because Turmeric has been used in Eastern medicine for over 4,000 years, it’s no surprise that researchers have been interested in finding out what the potential health benefits of Turmeric are. Here are a few of the health benefits of using Turmeric and Curcumin that have been explored by researchers and in research studies. Most recent studies focus specifically on the potential health benefits of Curcumin.
It’s Naturally Anti-Inflammatory
One of the most commonly researched health benefits of Curcumin is anti-inflammation. Studies have shown that whether you have arthritis or a gastrointestinal disorder like Crohn’s Disease, Curcumin can play an important role in helping reduce the inflammation your body faces on a daily basis. Of course, Curcumin can’t cure these diseases and conditions. But, it may help minimize the symptoms and long-term effects on the body. Studies have also been conducted on the use of Curcumin to reduce inflammation and trauma when recovery from a surgery too.
It May Improve Brain Function
In progressive diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease, brain cells don’t function the way they are supposed to. Curcumin has been studied how it impacts the growth of neurons and affects other brain function. Although there is currently insufficient research evidence to make definitive statements about the positive effects from Curcumin on brain function, it may become an important tool in the future for reducing the risk or helping manage degenerative brain functions.
It May Help Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide. So, looking for ways to keep your health healthy is important. Because Curcumin is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, it is often thought of as a supplement to include in one’s diet. It has been studied to see how it impacts cardiovascular health and has shown some evidence that it can support heart healthy functions.
It May Help Lower the Risk of Cancer
While adding Curcumin into your diet, won’t necessarily prevent you from getting cancer, there are studies that have shown that it may help lower your risk of certain kinds of cancers.
It May Help Delay the Aging Process
Research studies have shown that Curcumin contains natural antioxidants. In particular, studies have explored the use of Curcumin as a topical agent applied directly on the skin to keep it healthy.
As you can see, there are a lot of potential health benefits to using Turmeric and Curcumin. This list is just a few of the health benefits that have been associated with using Turmeric and Curcumin. You’ll find that there are many potential health benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin in addition to the ones we’ve covered here.
The Risks of Using Turmeric & Curcumin
While using Turmeric and Curcumin may have positive effects on your health, like most things, they are not without potential risks. Here are a few risks to be aware of when considering adding Turmeric and Curcumin into your diet.
Don’t Take if You’re On Blood Thinners
Turmeric and Curcumin are known to affect the blood clotting process. So, if you’re taking medications that already thin your blood, you’ll want to stay away from Turmeric and Curcumin.
Avoid Supplements When Pregnant or Breastfeeding
Turmeric when used as a spice is not restricted when pregnant or breastfeeding. But, it is recommended that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid taking Turmeric or Curcumin supplements. That’s because the risk of taking these supplements has not be heavily researched. So, it’s not a bad idea to avoid these types of supplements throughout the pregnancy and breastfeeding process.
Be Cautious When Taking Blood Pressure Medication
Turmeric and Curcumin are known to help reduce blood pressure. But, if you’re on blood pressure medication, you may need to avoid these in certain foods or avoid taking them. Do speak to your physician about Turmeric and Curcumin before taking them if you are on blood pressure medication.
Watch Out for Stomach Troubles
Although Turmeric and Curcumin have a reputation for being naturally anti-inflammatory and are thought to be beneficial to those with digestive disorders, they can also cause gastrointestinal distress. This means when taking higher doses of Turmeric and Curcumin supplements, you may experience diarrhea, nausea, and even GERD symptoms.
Avoid if You Have Ginger or Food Coloring Allergies
Since Turmeric is a part of the ginger family, anyone with an allergy or sensitivity to ginger will want to avoid this. The same is true for those who have allergies to certain food colorings. That’s because Turmeric is often used in certain food coloring agents.
Adding Turmeric and Curcumin into Your Daily Diet
Now that we know a bit more about the potential health benefits and risks of Turmeric and Curcumin, let’s take a look at ways you can incorporate them into your daily diet. From different food preparations to supplements there are a lot of options to get the best health benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin.
Use as a Spice in Food and Drink
Adding Turmeric into foods and drinks can be an easy and simple way to incorporate the spice into your diet on a more frequent basis. Add to your soups for some added spice or sprinkle on vegetables for a pop of color and added nutrition. If you enjoy curry, ordering or making curry based dishes are an easy and simple way to add Turmeric into your diet. For a unique preparation, try making Golden Milk by adding Turmeric to dairy based or non-dairy based milks. The options to add Turmeric into foods and drinks are endless. So, let your food creativity run wild.
Use Fresh Turmeric Chopped or Grated in Dishes
Like ginger, Turmeric can actually be grated or finely diced and used as a seasoning in dishes like salads and stir-frys. This makes for a unique way to add it to dishes. One word of caution. Don’t forget that Turmeric is a natural dye. So, be sure to wash your hands and cutting surfaces well after dicing or grating.
Use as a Tea
Like Golden Milk, Turmeric can be added to a variety of beverages. One of the most common is tea. Turmeric has a peppery taste to it. So, it works well in blends that contain other spices that compliment it like pepper, clove, and ginger. In addition to making your own tea blend, you can also buy Turmeric tea bags at your local health food store. Tumeric Tea, like other teas such Jiaogulan Tea, are often used in Asian cultures for their potential health benefits.
Take as a Supplement
As we’ve learned, the amount of Curcumin found in Turmeric is not typically thought of as a strong enough amount to be considered beneficial for overall health and wellness. That’s partially because Curcumin is not easily digested by the body. In place of adding the spice and plant into a diet, you can also take Curcumin as a supplement. But, do be sure to research the kind of supplement you buy. That’s because research has shown that most commercial Curcumin supplements are not actually as effective as they could be. So, be sure to look for a variety of Turmeric and Curcumin supplement options before adding them to your diet. Don’t forget to discuss taking these supplements with your physician too before you begin taking them.
Using Turmeric & Curcumin for Health Benefits
With a long history of being used in Eastern medicine and recent medical studies, there is some evidence that Turmeric and Curcumin can offer a variety of health benefits. By doing a bit of research and discussing it with your physician, you may find that Turmeric and Curcumin can be helpful in adding to your diet. As, we’ve learned Turmeric is a versatile plant that is not only a popular cooking staple but can provide a variety of health benefits to anyone who uses it.
Are your ready to try Tumeric & Curcumin?
Now that you know some of the benefits, are you ready to experience them yourself?