What is Turmeric
Turmeric is a root that comes from a plant of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) native to India and is used as a spice in cooking (3). Curcumin is the main beneficial component of turmeric. Adding turmeric to your food, gives it a yellow appearance and it is a healthier way to spice your food.
Benefits of Turmeric
Research suggests that Curcumin has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce the risk for oxidative stress, arthritis, some cancers and anxiety. It may also help in the management of exercise-induced inflammation and muscle soreness, thus enhancing recovery and subsequent performance in active people. (1,2). It is not a cure for any disease, but it definitely contributes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Curcumin has a low bio-availability meaning, it is not easily absorbed in your body. Consuming turmeric with black pepper helps to improve the absorption by 2000% and better enabling you to experience the benefits of turmeric (5,3). This is a good spice to to enhance the flavour of your food with, instead of using salt or sauces that are high in sodium, sugars and fats. You can add it to mince, chicken, salads, stir-fry, meat, etc. and it does not add extra calories to your diet.
According to the World Health organization, 0-3 mg (per kg body weight) of turmeric daily, is proven to contribute to improved health. Studies shows that 8 g of Curcumin per day for 3 months is the maximum dosage without any negative side effects (4). Negative side effects that can be associated with an overdose of Curcumin are dizziness, stomach upset, nausea and diarrhea. Overall it is important to enjoy turmeric with a healthy balanced diet for optimal benefits (6).
- Dasgupta, A. & Klein, K., 2014. Herbal and Other Dietary Supplements That Are Antioxidants. Antioxidants in Food vitamins and supplements. https://mdanderson.elsevierpure.com/en/publications/antioxidants-in-food-vitamins-and-supplements-prevention-and-trea
- Eichenseher, J., 2018. Peptic ulcer disease. Integrative medecine, Issue 4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK534792/
- Grobel, H. & Murphy, S. A., 2018. Turmeric. Integrative Medicine, Volume 4. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/turmeric
- Gupta, S. C., Patchva, S. & Aggarwal, B. B., 2013 . Therapeutic Roles of Curcumin: Lessons Learned from Clinical Trials. AAPS journal, 15(1), p. 195–218. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3535097/
- Hewlings, S. J. & Kalman, D. S., 2017. Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health. Foods, 6(10), p. 92. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664031/
- WebMD, 2018. WebMD. [Online]
Available at: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-662/turmeric
[Accessed 07 July 2020].