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Do You Know This Powerful Yellow Powder Is What You Need In Your Healthy Diet.

Do You Know This Powerful Yellow Powder Is What You Need In Your Healthy Diet.

Turmeric, Curcuma longa or “Indian saffron” has been a part of the healthy dieting trend for quite some time, and it isn’t without a good reason. Traditionally Asian, the plant belongs to the ginger family and it gives curry its yellowish color and warm, bitter taste. With an amazing array of health benefits it offers, it is no wonder that it has been quickly adopted by the health conscious eaters around the world.

Originating in Southern Asia, traditionally, turmeric root (usually dried and cooked and turned into powder) has been used as a spice for dishes in the traditional cuisine, fabric or food coloring aid, and for medical purposes due to its anti-inflammatory effect and great aid in curing bruises, blood in the urine and toothache. With numerous clinical trials testing its active compound curcumin, turmeric has now been proven to improve brain health, cardiovascular health and tissue health. [1] [2]

Turmeric main nutrients

Serving Size: 1 tbsp (7 grams)

  • Calories 24
  • Calories from Fat 6
  • Total Fat 1 g 1%
  • Saturated Fat 0 g 1%
  • Trans Fat
  • Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
  • Sodium 3 mg 0%
  • Total Carbohydrates 4 g 4%
  • Dietary Fiber 1 g 6%
  • Vitamin C 3%

With no sugar, 16% of iron and 1g of protein per 7 grams, turmeric is a beneficial aid in daily nutrition.

Health benefits of turmeric

Turmeric improves digestion

Turmeric has positive effect on the digestion. As the 2015 research shows [3], turmeric and ginger help in curing stomach ulcer. Stomach ulcer develops as a result of an imbalance between digestive fluids in the stomach and duodenum and a Helicobacter pylori bacteria that cause pain in the stomach lining. According to the research turmeric “inhibited ulcer by 84.7%” adding that “ethanol-induced lesions such as necrosis, erosion and hemorrhage of the stomach wall were significantly reduced after oral administration of essential oils”.

Turmeric aids in depression treatment

A study [4] published in the Journal of Affective Disorders shows that turmeric has the potential for treating major depressive disorder. A randomized, placebo-controlled study found a significant antidepressant effect of turmeric on people with major depressive disorder. A 2007 study [5] also found that turmeric could be an effective anti-depressant agent.

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Turmeric treats rheumatoid arthritis

In a 2012 randomized, pilot study [6] the effects of turmeric on rheumatoid arthritis were tested and they showed surprisingly great results. Turmeric actually showed better results of improvement of the condition than the traditionally used drug diclofenac sodium.

Turmeric regulates lipid levels

A 1992 study [7] shows that active compound of turmeric, curcumin, taken daily, can help regulate the lipid levels in humans by increasing “good” cholesterol and decreasing “bad” cholesterol. Namely, “a significant decrease in the level of serum lipid peroxides (33%), increase in HDL Cholesterol (29%), and a decrease in total serum cholesterol (11.63%) were noted” after healthy volunteers were taking 500 mg of curcumin per day for 7 days. Additionally, curcumin from turmeric was proven to have better effect on regulation of lipids than vitamin E, as the study [8] shows.

Turmeric improves antioxidant mechanisms

The ability of curcumin to stimulate the antioxidant mechanisms was tested and proven in a number of studies. [9]

This means that curcumin aids in the process of fighting free radicals that cause aging and many diseases.

Turmeric aids in prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

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Additional studies need to be conducted in order to test the ability of curcumin to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease, yet a study [10] has found that curcumin can help to clear the buildup of protein tangles called Amyloid plaques which are one of the main causes for the disease.

Turmeric accelerates the wound healing process

A 2006 [11] and a 2014 [12] studies have found that curcumin in turmeric has great potential to speed up the wound healing process. Namely, the active compounds in turmeric can help to soothe irritation and oxidation, improve wound contraction and and increase tissue strength and cell proliferation around the wound.

Turmeric side effects

As with any type of food, it is important to consume turmeric in moderation, as any overuse can lead to possible side effects. Turmeric side effects include

  • Nausea and diarrhea – curcumin in turmeric can cause the irritation in the intestinal tract [13]
  • Increased risk of bleeding – Turmeric can slow blood clothing, and in combination with some medicine, can even cause excessive bleeding
  • Hyperactive gallbladder contractions – Turmeric has the potential of increasing the levels of oxalate in urine
  • Hypotension (lowered blood pressure) – High dosages of turmeric can significantly lower blood pressure
  • Uterine contractions in pregnant women – Pregnant and breastfeeding women shouldn’t take turmeric other than spice in food, since supplement turmeric can cause serious side effects

Allergic reactions – Possible allergic reactions to turmeric include mild, itchy rash after skin exposure

Fresh or dried, powdered turmeric

There are two forms in which you can find and use turmeric, therefore, there are some suggestions on how to pick the right one for your needs.

Fresh turmeric is a root turmeric that resembles ginger. A 2015 study [14] has shown that fresh turmeric has more bioavailability, meaning that the body will use its most effective compounds more easily. Fresh turmeric can be used to make tea; you can grate it into soups, salads or vegetables before roasting; it can be blended into smoothies and juiced into juices.

Dried turmeric is made by peeling, drying and grounding into powder. Even though some of the healthy ingredients are lost during the process, several studies show that boiling and heating actually increase the curcumin levels and enhance the antioxidant properties of the compound. [15]

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Turmeric uses, side effects and recommended daily consumption

Turmeric is especially recommended for patients suffering from dyspepsia (upset stomach), osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, according to WebMD.

However some conditions don’t respond well to turmeric and its active compound curcumin, therefore turmeric might not be safe for

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women
    People with
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Hormone sensitive disorders
  • Iron deficiency
  • Who are preparing for surgery or who have recently undergone one

Recommended dosages of turmeric for adults according to University of Maryland Medical Center

Cut root: 1.5 – 3 g per day

Dried, powdered root: 1 – 3 g per day

Standardized powder (curcumin): 400 – 600 mg, 3 times per day

Fluid extract (1:1) 30 – 90 drops a day

Tincture (1:2): 15 – 30 drops, 4 times per day

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Healthy and super easy turmeric recipes for you to try at home

Here are some suggestions on how to make healthy and simple turmeric meals and beverages at home.

Cauliflower Steaks with Ginger, Turmeric, and Cumin

    Add a bit of turmeric warm and healthy flavor to your regular roasted vegetables for a perfect dinner.

    Vegan Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup

      Quick and easy recipe for a perfectly creamy, warm and slightly spicy soup.

      Turmeric-Ginger Tea

        Super easy and extremely powerful warm beverage to fight even the nastiest cold.

        Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

        Reference

        [1] SOURCE: Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.Chapter 13Turmeric, the Golden Spice. 
        [2] SOURCE: The targets of curcumin.
        [3] SOURCE: Gastroprotective activity of essential oils from turmeric and ginger.
        [4] SOURCE: Curcumin for the treatment of major depression: a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled study.
        [5] SOURCE: Behavioral, neurochemical and neuroendocrine effects of the ethanolic extract from Curcuma longa L. in the mouse forced swimming test.
        [6] SOURCE:A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis.
        [7] SOURCE:Effect of oral curcumin administration on serum peroxides and cholesterol levels in human volunteers.
        [8] SOURCE:Spice Up Your Lipids: The Effects of Curcumin on Lipids in Humans
        [9] SOURCE: Curcumin induces glutathione biosynthesis and inhibits NF-kappaB activation and interleukin-8 release in alveolar epithelial cells: mechanism of free radical scavenging activity.
        [10] SOURCE: Curcuminoids enhance amyloid-beta uptake by macrophages of Alzheimer’s disease patients.
        [11] SOURCE: Curcumin improves wound healing by modulating collagen and decreasing reactive oxygen species.
        [12] SOURCE: Curcumin as a wound healing agent
        [13] SOURCE: Role of curcumin in systemic and oral health: An overview
        [14] SOURCE: Enhanced absorption and pharmacokinetics of fresh turmeric (Curcuma Longa L) derived curcuminoids in comparison with the standard curcumin from dried rhizomes
        [15] SOURCE: Effect of Boiling and Roasting on the Antioxidants Concentrations in Extracts of Fresh Ginger (Zingiber officinale) and Turmeric (Curcuma longa).

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        Last Updated on December 9, 2019

        5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

        5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

        Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

        Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

        Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

        1. Get Rationally Optimistic

        Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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        This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

        In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

        The result: no more mental stress.

        2. Unplug

        Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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        How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

        It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

        Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

        3. Easy on the Caffeine

        Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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        Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

        4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

        That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

        How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

        • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
        • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
        • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

        While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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        5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

        This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

        The result: mental stress will be gone!

        So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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        Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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