Turmeric And Health – So Many Benefits To Discover
Turmeric is said to be beneficial for your health and overall well-being. The regular consumption of the root should be accompanied by numerous healing effects. Today, I’ll get to the bottom of it and tell you everything you need to know about turmeric and health, its effects, uses and some tasty beverages you can make with this South Asian root.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric belongs to the ginger family and resembles the popular tuber strongly by its looks. If you cut the root open, however, you recognize that instead of the pale yellow coloring a bright yellow to orange coloring exists. This is due to the contained curcumin, which makes up to three percent of the ingredients of the root.
Originally the color rich root comes from South Asia. Due to the high demand, it’s now also grown in the tropics. Nevertheless, India is one of the largest cultivating areas of the “miracle tuber.” Its tradition, there, is very long and reaches back 4000 years. This is how long the root already was used for consumption in India.
Turmeric also has an extended history in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. There, it is one of the most essential spices and should, among other things, have a cleansing and energy-enhancing effect. Authentically, it is used as an antibiotic, for rheumatism and digestive disorders.
While the tuber has long played an important role within the healing arts in India and also in China, its health effects have only been known in the Western world for a few years.
There, the spice was used predominantly as a component of curry powder and as a coloring agent for foods such as mustard.
The dried root, which is mostly ground and available in powder form, is, furthermore, used as the number one ingredient in Southeast Asia.
Curcuma does not please everyone’s palate. The dried powder tastes a bit bitter, while the fresh variant has a resinous note. Nevertheless, many people like to use turmeric as a spice. It is much cheaper than saffron, but similar in color intensity.
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Ingredients of Turmeric
Although turmeric contains many great ingredients, its naturally occurring dye, curcumin, is the most important element for medicine. The phytochemicals have some healing properties, but the human body does have difficulties to absorb them.
This is due to the low water solubility of the substance. It can, therefore, only be absorbed in moderation via the intestine. Thus, despite its growing popularity, turmeric tea is not very effective.
Turmeric also contains important nutrients such as vitamins A, C, E, and K. B vitamins are also included in the root. Minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc are also found in the exotic tuber.
In addition, the plant has almost five percent of essential oils, which can have a calming effect on the gastrointestinal tract.
Effects of Tumeric
Turmeric is said to have numerous effects. So it should provide improvement and relief for a variety of physical ailments and complaints. These range from depression to elevated cholesterol until arthritis.
For many of these claims, there is still no clear scientific evidence, yet many users report positive experiences. Let me introduce the effects of the super-tuber below.
Turmeric for Gastrointestinal Discomfort
Unlike regarding many other discomforts, the effect of turmeric is proven in gastrointestinal disorders. So, it has a strong digestive effect and can relieve complaints such as flatulence and bloating after eating.
In this case, they already use it medically. One can, furthermore, utilize it to treat chronic irritable bowel syndrome.
In addition, it should have a stimulating effect on gastric juice production. It also has a cholagogue effect (increased gall function). Studies on animals and humans have already confirmed this several times.
According to one study, turmeric helped to increase bile juice production an average of 439 percent using a substance isolated from the turmeric essential oil.
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Several studies have also shown efficacy against cancer cells. Thus, a study on the effectiveness of curcumin in colon cancer could detect an anticancer reaction. They detected the turmeric active substance both in tumor tissues and healthy intestinal tissues.
In other types of cancer, it was also possible to find turmeric potency. Since most of the studies were conducted on a small scale, however, their informative value is limited. Nevertheless, it seems as if turmeric is an alternative method of treating cancer in the future.
Although there are many studies regarding the anticancer effects of turmeric, its effectiveness in this area is not well established yet. A treatment should, therefore, always be discussed with a doctor in advance.
Turmeric the Antioxidant
Curcumin has an antioxidant property. An antioxidant such as curcumin protects the cells from harmful changes caused by free oxygen radicals. As free-radical scavengers, they fight against free radicals, which can lead to oxidative stress and so can not only promote premature skin aging, but also the development of serious diseases such as cancer.
Antioxidants can avert these effects by reducing or even preventing the oxidation of other substances. Free radicals are produced, for example, by UV radiation or pollutants in the air. I must add, though that most of the healing effects of the root go back to its antioxidant effect.
Even harmful habits like smoking can release free radicals. For helpful tips on how to stop smoking, and or stopping without gaining weight, continue reading here:
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Turmeric has an Anti-Inflammatory Effect
The secondary plant substance curcumin is said to also have an anti-inflammatory effect. This is probably due to its ability to inhibit enzymes that promote inflammatory processes in the body.
This way, it can have a preventive reaction on carcinogenesis. It can also produce a positive response to arthritis and rheumatic diseases.
Prolonged inflammation can cause considerable damage to the body and further the development of chronic diseases.
That is why it is vital to control inflammatory processes in the body as quickly as possible.
This works best with preparations containing the anti-inflammatory curcumin in higher concentrations.
Plain turmeric is mostly used in too small amounts and can, therefore, develop little effectiveness.
Preventive of Alzheimer’s
Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, the “super-tuber” should even have a preventative effect on Alzheimer’s. This is, however, not scientifically proven yet. The contained curcumin is supposedly positively influencing the cross-linking of nerve cells.
If one slows down or disturbs the process, it can cause brain dysfunctions such as Alzheimer’s. With its effect on the nerve cells, turmeric can prevent such diseases.
Turmeric for Weight Loss
Turmeric is also suitable for detoxifying your body. It can support the liver and, thus, cleanse the body effectively. Since it stimulates bile flow, it can also help with fat digestion.
Nevertheless, the tuber is not a miracle cure. Just by eating turmeric, you won’t get rid of excess pounds. An effective diet includes not only a healthy eating habit but also sufficient exercise. Sports such as yoga, pilates or tennis are suitable for this purpose.
Low-carb diets are recommended for a quick decrease in body weight. If you want to lose weight healthily, it’s best to remove unhealthy foods such as sweets and ready-made products from your diet plan. If you’re interested in a Ketonic diet, then please enjoy my following article:
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For Beautiful and Strong Teeth
Turmeric in combination with coconut oil is supposed to provide for healthy and white teeth. To do this, you simply use the two ingredients as toothpaste.
It works like this: You mix a knife tip of pure turmeric powder with a teaspoon of coconut oil and add the yellow paste to your toothbrush. Distribute the paste evenly in your mouth. This works best if you just brush your teeth normally.
After that, you let everything work within your mouth for about five minutes. Afterward, you can brush your teeth once more and dispose of the paste by spitting it into your wastebasket. In hindsight, it is important to rinse your mouth well so that all residues are removed.
You probably can’t see much difference the first time. Apply the method regularly to get a brighter smile. Turmeric can help you to get plaque detached from your teeth. This, however, requires more frequent applications.
Side Effects of Turmeric
Although turmeric is generally very tolerable, some side effects may occur. In high dosages, the tuber can cause bloating, nausea and pain in the gastrointestinal tract instead of preventing it.
In some cases, turmeric also triggered allergic reactions. Pregnant and nursing women should refrain from using turmeric, as should patients with gallstones.
An overdose of turmeric can lead to long-term gastric mucosa inflammation or gastritis, which can at least irritate the gastric mucosa. The recommended daily amounts of Turmeric lie between 8 to 12 grams. In no case should this intake be ever exceeded.
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Purchasing your Turmeric
Turmeric is now available as a spice in many supermarkets, organic shops and drugstores. There are, both, spice mixtures containing turmeric and pure turmeric spices. In addition, the root is contained in various tea assortments as well.
Turmeric latte is also very popular, similar to Matcha latte. Sometimes you can also get tablets and capsules with turmeric, which you can take as a dietary supplement. These are often lactose- and gluten-free and are, therefore, also suitable for intake with lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance.
The price of different products can vary considerably. Depending on the quality and type of the product. However, some offers can be even more expensive. Online, you have the widest choice.
There, you can best compare the individual items and choose the best value for money. In addition, most do have numerous reviews, so you can better assess the quality.
Turmeric Capsules and Tablets
The quality of turmeric capsules and tablets can vary greatly, yet many products contain wholesome ingredients and have great reviews. The preparations are dosed at disparate levels. Thus, the amount of turmeric content can vary greatly.
While you only need to take one or two tablets a day from some tablets, you should take up to six pieces a day from others. The duration of ingestion can also vary considerably.
For some preparations, a duration of 30 days is recommended, while you should take others over a period of 80 days to get the desired effect.
Some preparations contain additives that can increase the intake of turmeric in the body. These include, for example, black pepper or piperine (an alkaloid from the outside of the pepper berry). The intestinal tract experiences difficulties absorbing curcurmin.
The combination of black pepper with the turmeric facilitates this process. This effect lasts only briefly, however, as black pepper is excreted relatively quickly via the liver.
Turmeric tea is also commonly offered for sale. By now, you can get it in numerous supermarkets, drugstores, and organic shops. It is suitable, for example, for the preparation of turmeric latte or in combination with similar spices such as cinnamon or ginger.
Turmeric tea, however, is more suitable as a stimulant than for medical purposes. Since curcumin is only slightly water-soluble, it is, as above mentioned, though to absorb it through the intestinal tract, especially when used in the form of a tea.
Turmeric powder is particularly versatile. You can use it as a dietary supplement, for cooking and baking. Many people, including myself, enjoy it in smoothies and combine it with other superfoods like cinnamon and Ashwagandha. You can easily find Turmeric powder online, where you will find products of very different quality and quantities.
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The turmeric spice is ideal for use in the kitchen. Especially Indian dishes can be refined with this spice. You can mix it into homemade curry sauces and refine rice, vegetables and meat dishes with it.
It also fits perfectly in drinks made from cow or plant milk. Combined with spices and sweeteners, similar to Manuka honey, it can give the beverage a particularly spicy, exotic touch.
Turmeric Paste and Recipe
With turmeric paste, you can easily make your own turmeric latte. You can either purchase it ready to eat or prepare it yourself. To do this, you’ll use fresh turmeric, which you can get in some Asian stores.
To prepare the paste, peel the turmeric and cut it into small cubes. You can now puree the dice into a paste using a blender. If there is a coarse paste, you can add some water to create a finer consistency.
You can repeat this until you get a pleasant paste consistency. Now, put the paste in a saucepan and cook it at a low temperature for a few minutes so that it thickens.
Finally, add a dash of black pepper so that your body can absorb the active ingredients of the turmeric well. You can also add sweeteners such as Manuka honey and other spices such as cinnamon and ginger. Taste and season it after your liking.
If this procedure is too expensive or time-consuming for you, you can also purchase a pre-prepared paste. You can get these in individual organic shops or online.
The paste is much cheaper than tablet or capsule preparations, especially if you make them yourself.
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This beverage, also called “golden milk” because of its color, is a healthy cocoa substitute. In many cases, you can completely do without sugar here, because, in addition to the turmeric spice, many spice mixtures for the golden milk also contain black pepper, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg.
This compilation develops its own taste. The vanilla gives the spice a natural sweetness, so you can do without other sweeteners. You can add the spice mixture in cow’s milk as well as plant milk. It is also suitable for yogurt, cottage cheese, and mueslis or cereals.
Fresh Turmeric – The Turmeric Root
In the meantime, you can buy turmeric not only in Asian stores but also in traditional supermarkets and organic shops. You sometimes have to allow yourself a little time to find the root.
Sometimes a visit to several grocery stores and organic shops is necessary before you will encounter it. You can also get fresh turmeric online. The root, however, is probably fresher from the supermarket.
With the fresh root, you can not only make a turmeric paste but also put it into homemade curries and other vegetable dishes. As with ginger, it is best to remove the shell carefully with a knife before use. Since turmeric is very flavorful, you should chop it into fine pieces for cooking.
By the way, turmeric also fits well into wholesome and detoxing smoothies. Here’s an article I wrote about the powerful benefits of especially green smoothies. I also included a recipe, it’s so healthy and delicious – you should try it.
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Dosage of Turmeric
For the daily intake of turmeric, a dose of two milligrams of curcumin per kilogram of body weight is recommended. However, this amount is often not sufficient to produce a healing effect.
In many studies, this recommendation has been exceeded. While a short-term increment in most cases hardly causes any side effects, a permanent accretion of the dosage recommendation can lead to side effects and intolerances.
I hope you enjoyed reading about Turmeric and health and that the information will be of great help to you.
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Wow, such a thorough and knowledgeable post Keryn. One thing that stands out to me is the presence of 5% of essential oils in turmeric. I had no idea. The fact that this also helps the digestive tract too, shows how valuable the turmeric root is. I love your suggestions for how to incorporate turmeric into the diet. I haven’t tried it with milk or in cottage cheese yet. This would be a great way to add it in. I do tend to add it to as many dishes as I can get away with because I know how beneficial it is to my family’s health. Thanks for sharing such a valuable and helpful post.