Turmeric is a rhizome that grows under the ground like ginger. It has a rich, bright orange color and is used in many foods. Originally used in Southeast Asia, it’s a vital component for traditional curries. You can find dried powdered turmeric in the spice aisle of just about any grocery store. Sometimes they carry the fresh rhizome too (it looks like ginger root, but smaller).

Turmeric contains an amazing anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compound called “curcumin.” The amount of this bioactive compound is around 3-7% by weight of turmeric. Curcumin has been studied a lot for its health benefits. Many of these studies test curcumin at up to 100x more than that of a traditional diet that includes turmeric.

Health benefits of curcumin

There are dozens of clinical studies using curcumin extract (which is way more concentrated than ground turmeric).

Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory compound. It fights inflammation at the molecular level. Some studies even show it can work as well as certain anti-inflammatory medications (but without the side effects).

Curcumin is an antioxidant compound. It can neutralize free radicals before they wreak havoc on our biomolecules. Curcumin also boosts our natural antioxidant enzymes.

These two functions of reducing inflammation and oxidation have amazing health benefits. Chronic inflammation plays a major role in so many conditions. Including heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, dementia, mood disorders, arthritis pain, etc.

Curcumin has other amazing functions too:

  • Boosts our levels of “Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor” (like a natural growth hormone for your brain) which is great for brain health.
  • Improves “endothelial” function” (the inner lining of our blood vessels) which is great for heart health.
  • Reduces growth of cancer cells by reducing angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumors), metastasis ( the spread of cancer), and even contributes to the death of cancer cells.

Do you think these make turmeric deserve the “miracle spice” title?

How to get the most out of your turmeric

Curcumin is not easily absorbed by your gut. For one thing, it’s fat soluble. So, as with fat-soluble nutrients (like vitamins A, D, E, and K), you can increase absorption by eating it with a fat-containing meal.

The second trick to get the most out of your turmeric is eating it with pepper. Interestingly, a compound in black pepper (piperine) enhances absorption of curcumin, by a whopping 2,000%!

If you want the health benefits of curcumin, you need to get a larger dose of than just eating some turmeric; this is where supplements come in.

Before you take a curcumin supplement, take caution if you:

  • Are pregnant
  • Are taking anti-platelet medications or blood thinners
  • Have gallstones or a bile duct obstruction
  • Have stomach ulcers or excess stomach acid

Always read the label before taking a new supplement.

Conclusion

Turmeric is a delicious spice, and it’s “active ingredient” curcumin is a great health-booster.

Curcumin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which are great to bust chronic inflammation. It also has other amazing health benefits, like brain- and heart-boosting properties, and even cancer-fighting properties.

Curcumin supplements can be great for your health, but they’re not for everyone. Check the label or speak with your practitioner(me?) before taking it.

I want to know: What’s your favorite turmeric recipe? Try my version of “golden milk,” and let me know in the comments below.

Here Are 7 Easy and Delicious Ways To Use Turmeric: 

1. Scrambled Eggs –  One of the easiest way to use turmeric is to put coconut oil in a fry pan and scramble organic eggs with it.  Make sure you add the turmeric while cooking and sprinkle with a little black pepper.
2. Rice or quinoa/Sir-Fry – Turmeric can be added to quinoa or rice.  You can add it to a stir-fry with olive oil and black pepper.
3. Sautéed Vegetables – Add turmeric while cooking with coconut or olive oil
4. Roasted Cauliflower – Coat cauliflower with oil. pepper, salt and turmeric and roast in oven on 350 for 20-25 min.
5. Turmeric Tea – Add a ½ teaspoon of ground turmeric to two cups hot water, simmer 10 minutes, strain and add honey, lemon or ginger.
6. Golden Milk – Great way to get health benefits.  First make a turmeric paste (below), then add ¼ teaspoon of paste to a cup of warm milk (add a few drops of healthy oil, like coconut or ghee for maximum absorption).  Optional – Add honey or maple syrup for sweetness.
7.  Blend it into a smoothie
While fresh turmeric root is especially great in juices and smoothies, a pinch of ground spice is good, too. The slightly pungent flavor is usually well masked in smoothies.

Here is One I would recommend:

https://www.xymogen.com/new-customer/

To order use this practitioner referral  code: beewell123

References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/encyclopedia/food/turmeric/

https://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric/

https://examine.com/supplements/turmeric/

https://leesaklich.com/foods-vs-supps/foods-vs-supplements-the-turmeric-edition/

https://nutritionfacts.org/video/turmeric-curcumin-plants-vs-pills/

https://nutritionfacts.org/video/who-shouldnt-consume-curcumin-or-turmeric/

 

2 Comments

  1. Joyce Allen on February 21, 2020 at 11:59 pm

    As always your posts are amazing! I look forward to them and read all of them. Information is concise and referenced. Thanks!!!

    • beewell_bv38af on February 22, 2020 at 3:38 am

      Thank you for your great feedback! Enjoy 😊

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