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Last Updated on January 21, 2021

6 Health Benefits of Turmeric (And How to Take It for Good)

6 Health Benefits of Turmeric (And How to Take It for Good)

Turmeric has been hailed as a superfood, and it’s all thanks to its powerful active ingredient—curcumin. Curcumin is what gives turmeric its yellow color, as well as the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and health benefits of turmeric.

Numerous scientific studies have shown curcumin to have potent anti-inflammatory properties[1], which are similar to pharmaceutical drugs, such as hydrocortisone but without the harmful side-effects.

Turmeric has even been shown to treat arthritis, metabolic syndrome, pain, and even degenerative eye conditions.[2]

Here’s a breakdown of the many health benefits of turmeric.

1. Potent Anti-Inflammatory Effects

One of the most powerful health benefits of turmeric comes from its ability to reduce inflammation in the body. It works by scavenging different forms of free radicals, including both reactive oxygen and nitrogen species.

Curcumin also helps to modulate the activity of your body’s detoxifying enzymes. This plays a major role in reducing inflammation because inflammatory cells “free up” many reactive species at the site of inflammation. This process leads to oxidative stress and, consequently, inflammation.

Curcumin can also increase your body’s levels of antioxidants, as shown by a recent systematic review of taking turmeric supplements that contained purified curcuminoids. It was concluded that curcumin has a powerful effect on all levels of oxidative stress in the body.

Because inflammation is one of the hallmarks of chronic disease, turmeric has important benefits for many people suffering from painful or inflammatory health conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.[3]

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2. Antifungal and Antimicrobial

Turmeric may be a helpful treatment for fungal or bacterial infections in the body. Studies have shown that curcumin was able to completely inhibit the growth of Candida albicans, as well as several other fungal strains[4].

Curcumin has even been shown to prevent Candida from adhering to human cells more effectively than the commercial antifungal drug fluconazole[5].

In one study, researchers found that using ascorbic acid alongside curcumin potentiated its antifungal effects by up to 10 times. This suggests that taking vitamin C supplements with curcumin may help kill off fungal infections much more quickly.

Turmeric is even being used as a food-safe antibacterial agent thanks to its ability to invade the cell of a bacterial species and eliminate it from within. Applying turmeric formulas to food preparation surfaces such as chopping boards, knives, and countertops has been found to kill harmful bacteria.

3. Relieves Pain Caused by Inflammation

Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties may be able to relieve the pain of inflammatory conditions, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Curcumin works by inhibiting NF-KB, a molecule that controls your body’s production of inflammatory proteins called cytokines[6]. This essentially means that curcumin can “turn off” a bunch of inflammatory molecules.

In fact, the corticosteroids that are often prescribed to treat arthritis symptoms work by inhibiting NF-KB. New research shows that turmeric supplements can have a similar effect. Similar research shows that curcumin may also target specific inflammatory cells and block some types of enzymes that cause inflammation.

Studies involving people with osteoarthritis of the knee found that taking a curcuminoid supplement every day for six weeks resulted in significant reductions in pain. The participants’ physical function also improved greatly. Their systemic oxidative stress was also shown to improve.[7]

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The researchers suggested that this was due to Curcuminoids providing potent local anti-inflammatory effects. It appears that taking standardized turmeric extract over several weeks could be enough to reduce arthritis symptoms of pain and inflammation and may even provide similar relief to ibuprofen and diclofenac sodium.

4. Alleviates Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome

Curcumin has been shown to help treat the issues associated with metabolic syndrome, including insulin sensitivity, fat accumulation, high blood pressure, inflammation, and oxidative stress. The curcuminoids in turmeric extract have also been found to help reduce triglycerides and bad cholesterol while boosting levels of good cholesterol.[8]

Researchers tested the effects of turmeric by giving a group of patients with metabolic syndrome 1g of turmeric extract (with piperine to aid absorption) for 8 weeks. The patients experienced significant improvement, including reduced overall LDL cholesterol and higher HDL cholesterol. They also showed positive changes in serum lipids and glucose levels, as well as reduced inflammation.

The authors concluded that turmeric was a natural, safe, and effective treatment for improving the health of those with metabolic syndrome, mainly by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, making this one of the most impressive health benefits of turmeric.[9]

5. Improves Cardiovascular Health

Curcumin may help to reverse many factors involved in the progression of heart disease by improving the lining of blood vessels, known as the endothelium. Endothelial dysfunction is a major driver of heart disease as it’s involved in regulating blood pressure and blood clotting.

Several studies have now indicated that curcumin may be highly beneficial to endothelial function. Some evidence suggests that curcumin supplements may provide similar benefits to the drug Atovastin, while other studies show it may be as effective as exercise. Curcumin also appears to reduce both inflammation and oxidation, which are major drivers of heart disease and dysfunction.

A study involving people undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery found that taking curcumin before and after surgery lowered the risk of experiencing another heart attack by 65%.[10]

6. May Slow the Effects of Aging

Although there is no possible way to stop the body aging, it may be possible to slow down its negative effects. Turmeric’s antioxidant properties may be an important means of reducing the lifelong accumulation of molecular damage and oxidation.

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As a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, curcumin may be able to slow down aging. It boosts the level of antioxidant enzymes in your body while also scavenging free radicals that cause oxidative stress.

It also helps prevent these free radicals from causing lipid peroxidation—the oxidation of fats in the cell membrane, which leads to death of the cell.

How to Take Turmeric

Here are ways you can take this helpful spice to maximize the health benefits of turmeric.

1. Golden Milk

Add coconut milk, almond milk, ground turmeric, ground ginger, a cinnamon stick, coconut oil, black pepper, and a pinch of stevia to a small saucepan.

Whisk to combine all ingredients thoroughly, then place over medium heat. Heat until hot to the touch but not boiling, while stirring continually. This should take about four minutes.

Turn off heat and taste. Adjust flavor if necessary with more turmeric or ginger for greater intensity, or more sweetener.

Serve immediately. This recipe should make enough for two glasses. You can store leftovers in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and reheat on the stovetop.

2. In Your Meals

Turmeric is often added to curry powders for flavor, color, and the many health benefits of turmeric. Here are some examples of tasty recipes that include turmeric:

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  • Vegan Low Carb Eggplant Curry[11]
  • Cauliflower Curry[12]
  • Golden Baked Chicken and Leeks[13]

3. Turmeric Tonic

Add turmeric, ginger, lemon juice, and leftover lemon rind, chosen sweetener, black pepper, and filtered water to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer (don’t boil!) over medium to medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Turn off heat and pour the tonic through a small strainer into two mugs.

If the tonic is too strong, dilute with more hot or warm water. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat on the stovetop until just warm.

4. Turmeric Supplements

If you wish to take turmeric as a supplement, look for a quality product that includes BioPerine. Bioperine is a compound from black pepper that maximizes the bioavailability of curcumin.

It’s also important to choose a supplement that’s standardized to 95% curcuminoids. This means that it will provide a highly concentrated dose of curcuminoids. Watch out for turmeric supplements that claim to be turmeric extract but only contain a tiny amount of it or you won’t receive all of the health benefits of turmeric.

Final Thoughts

There are numerous health benefits of turmeric, and anyone who wants a healthy diet should consider including it in their meal plan. I hope this article helped you know more about the benefits of turmeric and convince you to try it out, along with the various ways you can take it for a healthier body.

More About Turmeric

Featured photo credit: Osha Key via unsplash.com

Reference

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Lisa Richards

Nutritionist, Creator of The Candida Diet, Owner of TheCandidaDiet.com

How to Stop Overeating the Healthy Way (Step-by-Step Guide) 8 Best Natural Energy Drinks For An Instant Energy Boost 6 Health Benefits of Turmeric (And How to Take It for Good) 7 Homemade Diet Foods That Are Good For Your Health 25 Best Weight Loss Breakfast Ideas for Busy People

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Published on April 5, 2021

9 Best Energy Supplements To Fight Fatigue And Tiredness

9 Best Energy Supplements To Fight Fatigue And Tiredness

When it comes to energy levels, the solution is relatively simple. Make sure you get ample sleep, exercise regularly, and have a well-balanced diet. But as much as those things are simple, performing them on a regular basis can be difficult.

Worse, you could be doing these and still find energy levels draining quickly.

Fortunately, there are several options out there to help you with pushing back fatigue and tiredness. Most of these solutions stem from supplements. These little pills pack all kinds of helpful nutrients to get you through the day. Below we’ve selected some of the best energy supplements available.

Before getting to the list, here are some of the criteria that we used to determine what are the best options to offer you:

  • No fillers – One of the big issues with supplements is that they contain needless fillers in them that provide you with no benefit. We’ve checked many of these products to ensure they are from natural and pure sources and that these companies don’t put in fillers.
  • Improve mental functions – Fatigue isn’t just a physical thing, it’s mental too. The supplements we recommend help you in overcoming both sides of fatigue.
  • Metabolic benefits – These supplements are known to help burn energy stored in fat while preserving energy in your muscles.
  • Energized without the side effects – When people think of energy, they also keep in mind the downsides like crashing, jittering, irritability. These are known side effects for energy boosters, but they’re not part of these supplements.

Now let’s dive into the 9 best energy supplements for fatigue.

1. Fish Oil

One of the best energy supplements on the market is fish oil. Fish oil supplements are able to provide a wide variety of benefits to individuals. It’s essentially the supplement to be using if you’re looking to improve brain or heart function or both.

We recommend Infuel Fish Oil as they make a perfect blend of fish oil and Omega 3 healthy fats which directly support development of our brains, eyes, nervous system and maintaining a healthy heart. All of these feeds into our energy levels because these supplements provide us with essential fats that our body can use. Furthermore, stronger brain development is an invaluable tool to fighting off fatigue.

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2. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is one of the most important medicinal herbs in the Indian Ayurveda and it’s one of the world’s oldest medicinal systems. Over the years of its study, researchers have been able to uncover that Ashwagandha is able to increase our body’s resilience to both physical and mental stress.[1]

Because stress is one of those aspects that drains our energy levels physically and mentally, it stands to reason that having supplements of this nature can provide us with more energy. Beyond that, there is also research that suggests we can alleviate fatigue associated to exercise with this too.

NaturaLife Labs supplement of Ashwagandha comes to mind as a reliable source. It’s organic, vegan, and gluten free. Each capsule provides 2,100 mg with nothing but ashwagandha root powder and extract, making it highly potent compared to other brands.

3. Rhodiola Rosea

Another notable herb grounded into supplement form is rhodiola rosea. It grows in cold, mountainous regions and is used as a natural substance to enhance our coping abilities with stress.

From that research, there have also been a small collection of studies that looked into the physical and mental fatigue aspect too. Out of the vast majority of those studies, there was evidence of rhodiola rosea enhancing both physical performance and easing mental fatigue.[2]

Out of the various brands that provide this supplement, Bronson’s Rhodiola Rosea is a great fit. It’s gluten and soy-free and provides 1000 mg of 100% natural rhodiola rosea. These are also safe for vegans and vegetarians alike.

4. CoQ10

CoQ10 stands for coenzyme Q10 and is something that our body makes naturally. They are found in all of our cells though our heart, kidneys, and liver have the highest levels of this. What CoQ10 does though is produce energy for us and also protects themselves from oxidative damage.

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So why bother with having specific supplements of these? Well as we get older, things start to decline and our cells may not be able to produce as much energy as before. If we want our body cells to stay in shape, providing these supplements can help.

One of the best ones out there to look at is Nature Made’s CoQ10 vitamins. These supplements are gluten free and only contain soybean oil, gelatin, glycerin, water, and soy lecithin, making them ideal for most individuals. They also provide great benefits to those who take Statin as statin drugs are known for reducing CoQ10 levels. This replenishes them and doesn’t conflict with the use of those drugs either.

5. Vitamin B12

Vitamin B is a typically good vitamin to have. But if you’re looking for the best energy supplements in this category, B12 is the best. B12 is all about helping your body transform food into energy that you cells can then use.

Beyond that, studies have found the vitamin helps with the body’s nerves and blood cells. It also prevents a type of anemia that can render you weak and tired.

A lot of people are deficient in this area which is to be expected since not everyone is eating a lot of animal proteins like meat, fish and dairy products. It’s particularly bad amongst vegans and vegetarians.

Fortunately, there is a good option for everyone to get their vitamin B12 they need — Naturelo’s Vegan B12 vitamin. Their protein is solely plant-based and provides a high among of B12 – 1000 mg per capsule. The main source of their B12 vitamin comes from Spirulina which is a rich, plant-based source of natural B vitamins, protein, and various minerals, giving you a clean supplement to boost your energy levels.

6. Iron

Our body also needs iron in order to function too. With a lack of iron we develop anemia which can then lead to sensations of weakness and fatigue. Iron is essential because it fights off that by providing red blood cells carrying oxygen to the body’s tissues.

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Overall, iron is able to help you with fighting back fatigue because of this essential function. The only issue is that a lot of iron in food sources stem from meats and seafood.

When looking for a pure and helpful supplement to look for, Naturelo Iron is the one. This particular supplement is appealing because it also provides you with vitamin C. Vitamin C is able to prevent iron deficiency so it pairs nicely with the iron supplement. Along with purse ingredients made from iron-rich whole foods and great absorption, you’re able to combat fatigue easier with these supplements.

7. Melatonin

Melatonin is a natural hormone that our brain produces that puts us to sleep. When we wake up, there are very low levels and it goes up over the day. But if you’re trying to stop feeling tired why would a supplement that produces this sleepy drug be helpful?

Well, melatonin also serves as a way to fight off insomnia. Many people have sleeping issues because of high amounts of screen time (which disrupt the cycle of releasing melatonin). This insomnia leads to people feeling more exhausted physically and mentally.

So by increasing your melatonin through a supplement, you’ll be able to get sleep when your body actually needs it. This process alone will be able to recharge you and energize you.

And it’s not like you need a lot of melatonin in your body for it to work. Take Nature’s Bounty Melatonin. They provide 3mg of it per capsule and it’s more than enough for individuals to fall asleep to. Best of all, these supplements are suitable for vegetarians as well.

8. Tyrosine

Tyrosine is an amino acid that our body naturally produces as well. They are essentially the drugs behind making the chemicals that send messages from our body to the brain. Those chemicals are believed to decrease when we are in mentally or physically demanding activities. This leads to us being unable to concentrate and eventually feeling tired physically and/or mentally.

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As such, being able to supplement our tyrosine levels will be able to help us fight off feeling tired and mentally exhausted. And one particular brand that can assure this is Swanson Tyrosine. Their Tyrosine supplement is Non-GMO and each capsule provides 500 mg, a healthy amount to keep you focused and mentally energized.

9. L-Theanine

The last on our list is L-Theanine. It’s an amino acid that is actually commonly found in tea and mushrooms. Considering the fact that tea – and coffee – are able to keep us energized, it makes sense that L-theanine provides similar perks.[3]

What’s also nice about this particular supplement is that it also works well with coffee. Coffee has caffeine which naturally boosts our energy levels as well. The problem is coffee also provides side effects like nervousness, irritability, restlessness and a crash after a power boost. L-theanine with coffee though seems to prevent those side effects.

One particular supplement of L-theanine we found beneficial was Nature’s Trove L-Theanine. They use natural ingredients and are made in the US, GMP NSF Certified and Kosher Certified. They’re also suitable for vegetarians as well.

Final Thoughts

Life does have a way of taking a toll on our bodies and there will be days where we are completely drained. There are several ways for you to combat this with working on a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting a proper amount of sleep.

But for those looking to maintain higher energy, these supplements will provide a good opportunity for you to maintain higher energy levels and give you the natural boost that you need.

More on Energy Boosting

Featured photo credit: Aditya Saxena via unsplash.com

Reference

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