Turmeric adds a kick to food and is said to be a kick-in-the-pants for better health, too. Though it has been around for a few millennia, in the last 20 years, It’s seen a surge in popularity beyond the kitchen. Its wide-spread approval in the western world expanded from its use in Chinese and Ayurvedic medical traditions practiced through the ages. Today, naturally-derived turmeric has made its way into supplement form to support a healthy lifestyle.
Turmeric has been shown to help multiple heath functions in clinical trials throughout the aughts. Notably, in relation to a key chemical, it contains — curcumin, also known as Curcuna longa.
Turmeric Health Benefits
- Turmeric is said to support relieve from inflammation related to joint pain, arthritis, and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
- It’s recognized as an antioxidant, not only for blocking free radicals but is also believed to multiply the body’s antioxidant enzymes.
- Studies have shown that curcumin may possibly contribute to the degeneration of cancer cells, as well as the reduction of metastasis, or the spread of cancer to other areas of the body — particularly those cancers affecting the digestive system.
- Turmeric is thought to help increase the feel-good chemicals in the brain — dopamine and serotonin, and aid against depression.
- A few studies suggest that turmeric can possibly help prevent diabetes as well as improve the issues that contribute to the disease, like high blood sugar, elevated fat levels in the blood, and insulin resistance.
- It is believed to promote better gut health.
Is Turmeric Bad for the Liver?
No. Generally, and in most cases, both turmeric and curcumin are safe, according to a 2019 report from the U.S. National Library of Medicine. While we’re on the topic of liver health — A 2018 study showed promising evidence that turmeric deters non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Turmeric Supplements — Best Uses
Scientific research showed that turmeric is absorbed better into the body when taken with black pepper, which contains piperine, or chili peppers which contains capsaicin. Curcumin in turmeric is fat-soluble, so taking a supplement with a rich and hearty meal may help you get the turmeric boost you need.
Side Effects of Turmeric
There are no side effects when it is consumed in the recommended dosage. Taken in excess, turmeric can result in upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, and headaches.