Benefits Of Turmeric - How To Use This Spice?

Turmeric is a multipurpose spice that provides various health benefits. (Image via Unsplash / Dyah Miller)
Learn the many benefits of turmeric. (Image via Unsplash / Dyah Miller)

The benefits of turmeric have been treasured for centuries in many cultures. If you’ve ever eaten Indian food or listened to the lyrics of a hip-hop song from the late ’80s, you’re already familiar with turmeric. This bright yellow spice is one of the most popular herbs in India and has been used both as a food additive and in traditional forms of medicine for thousands of years. Also known as curcumin, it is frequently used today to aid digestion and improve joint health.

Turmeric has been getting a lot of hype lately, but what's the deal? Is it worth adding to your diet? Are there benefits to taking supplements versus adding turmeric to your meals? We'll answer these questions and more below.

Top 15 Health Benefits of Turmeric

Benefits of turmeric root. (Image via Freepik)
Benefits of turmeric root. (Image via Freepik)

Here are 15 health benefits of turmeric that make great reasons to add this spice to your diet.

1) Natural anti-inflammatory

The benefits of turmeric can be used to treat skin inflammation. Chronic inflammation is known to contribute to the development of several common health conditions, such as allergies and asthma. Curcumin, which has been shown to suppress many molecules involved in the inflammatory response, may help ease such conditions if its bioavailability can be increased. Turmeric also helps with inflammation and recovery.

2) Antioxidant properties

Curcumin is naturally found in the spice turmeric and has been shown to neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure. Further studies are needed in humans to confirm these benefits.

3) Lowers risk of heart diseases

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and around the world, and turmeric may be a simple way to prevent it. Curcumin reduces oxidation and inflammation, which lessens the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular issues.

4) Promotes Weight Loss

Curcumin may help support a healthy weight, especially for those with a metabolic disorder. The active ingredient in turmeric may help regulate metabolism and control the storage of fat tissue. It may also improve the body's sensitivity to insulin, which can help keep blood glucose levels stable.

5) Aids Digestion

Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it an excellent digestive healing agent.

6) Improves Skin Health

Benefits of turmeric for the skin. (Image via Freepik)
Benefits of turmeric for the skin. (Image via Freepik)

If you're looking for a unique way to help your skin, try adding turmeric to your skincare routine. The spice has been shown to reduce oxidative stress, which can cause inflammatory conditions like acne.

7) May Prevent Cancer

Cancer is the growth of cells in the body that don't respond to normal controls. The benefits of turmeric have been found to reduce the spread of cancer throughout the body and kill cells that have grown out of control. In addition, turmeric may prevent cancer altogether by preventing some cancers from occurring in the first place.

8) Cognitive Health

It is also good for the brain because it keeps you sharp and helps you retain your memory, no matter your age. The benefits of turmeric work by countering age-related decline and stress-induced decline, while also reducing inflammation in the brain.

9) Detoxification

Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, has also been found to help heal the liver. This is because it interrupts the inflammatory pathways that damage the liver and stimulates bile production, which helps eliminate waste from the body.

10) Reduces Headaches

Use turmeric for headache relief. (Image via Freepik)
Use turmeric for headache relief. (Image via Freepik)

Suffering from chronic headaches or migraines? Curcumin may be the solution you've been looking for. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric can help reduce the occurrence of headaches and migraines.

11) Boosts Immune Systems

Even in small doses, the benefits of turmeric boosts the body's ability to fight viruses and other harmful pathogens. This means you're less likely to catch a cold or the flu.

12) Eases PMS Symptoms

Curcumin, an active ingredient in spice turmeric, has anti-inflammatory and neurological effects. One study helped to reduce the symptoms of PMS, including menstrual cramps and mood swings.

13) Faster Recovery

The benefits of turmeric speeds up the healing of wounds and helps to prevent infection. It also reduces post-operative pain and fatigue.

14) Manages Diabetes

The benefits of turmeric are particularly beneficial for those with type 1 or type 2 diabetes as they help to control blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. It may also help lower the risk and severity of diabetes.

15) Regulates Cholesterol

Curcumin is a spice that can help reduce high cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease. It can also remove excess cholesterol from the liver, which reduces the risk of fatty liver disease.

Are There Any Notable Side Effects of Turmeric?

Turmeric is likely safe for most people when taken short-term in amounts of less than 4 grams daily. Mild side effects are more common at higher doses (up to 8 grams daily). These side effects include stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, or diarrhea.

How to Use Turmeric?

This spice comes in several forms, including as a cooking spice and in beverages like golden elixir, which is made by heating milk and turmeric. It can be consumed in Indian cuisine as part of tea with black pepper and other ingredients like honey, ginger, olive oil, and coconut oil.

Some human studies suggest that only higher doses of turmeric, such as those found in curcumin supplements or extracts, may be beneficial for health.

Difference between Curcumin vs. Turmeric

Know the difference between turmeric and curcumin. (Image via Freepik)
Know the difference between turmeric and curcumin. (Image via Freepik)

Turmeric, a spice that gives curry its yellow color and has been used in Indian cuisine for thousands of years, is not only a tasty addition to many dishes but also contains compounds with medicinal properties. Curcumin is one of the main active compounds in turmeric, and makes up about 3% of the dried turmeric root.

Curcumin is an active ingredient in turmeric and has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. and is a very strong antioxidant. Curcumin is the ultimate superfood for your health.

How to Use Turmeric for Maximum Health Benefits?

Reaping the benefits of turmeric and proper usage. (Image via Freepik)
Reaping the benefits of turmeric and proper usage. (Image via Freepik)

Here are some simple ways you can improve the maximum absorption of this spice:

1) The most effective way is to combine curcumin and black pepper. Adding black pepper increases the body's absorption of curcumin by 2,000%! Your liver actively tries to get rid of curcumin.

Adding even just a pinch of pepper helps to suppress this process, allowing curcumin levels in the bloodstream to rise. In traditional Indian cuisine, turmeric is eaten with black pepper in curries, which could be why cancer rates are lower in India than in Western countries.

2) Combining curcumin with healthy oil, such as coconut oil, enables the curcumin to be directly absorbed into the bloodstream through the lymphatic system, bypassing the liver. This makes it stay in your body longer.

3) Mixing raw honey with ground curcumin packs a double punch of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. When heated, turmeric becomes more bioavailable.

Whether you are adding turmeric root, powder, or supplements to your diet, always choose organic because of the potential for additives and treatments that kitchen spices sometimes go through. Keep it pure and organic to avail the most benefits of turmeric.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1) Is it healthy to take turmeric every day?

Currently, there are no long-term studies that show whether it’s safe to take turmeric every day. In smaller doses, it is safe to consume, but be aware that high doses or long-term use may cause gastrointestinal issues in people who have these issues. It may also interfere with certain medications or health conditions.

2) Can turmeric burn belly fat?

Recent studies have shown that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, can help with weight loss. In test-tube studies, curcumin has been found to lower inflammatory markers associated with obesity. Animal studies show that the benefits of turmeric may help promote weight loss and decrease fat tissue growth. It may also help curb weight regain and help you overcome insulin resistance.

While it won’t help you shed pounds, it has numerous other benefits. Turmeric can lower your risk of brain conditions and signs of heart disease, among other health benefits. Be sure to tell your doctor about any supplements you’re taking, including turmeric and curcumin.

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Edited by Soniya