Turmeric is a spice that is commonly found in all Indian households. But did you know this wonderful spice has many health benefits? Yes! Turmeric belongs to the ginger family and is a flowering plant with anticancer, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants (1). In addition, Curcumin is the bioactive compound that gives the yellow colour of Turmeric. This article will discuss the potential Turmeric health benefits, possible side effects, and nutrition.
What are Curcumin and Turmeric?
The yellow colour of many of our curries comes from the Turmeric spice. It has been considered a spice and medicinal herb for thousands of years in India. Turmeric contains compounds with medicinal properties, making it an ingredient in many traditional treatments, which is now backed up by science (2).
Turmeric comprises curcuminoids, and curcumin compounds are the most important one. Turmeric’s principal active ingredient is Curcumin, a potent antioxidant and powerful anti-inflammatory effect.
Nutritional value of Turmeric:
The nutritional value of one tbsp of turmeric powder is as follows:
- Calories – 29.
- Protein – 0.91grams.
- Fat – 0.31 grams.
- Carbohydrates – 6.31 grams.
- Fiber – 2.1 grams.
- Sugar – 0.3 grams.
- Manganese – 26%DV.
- Iron – 16% DV.
- Potassium – 5% DV.
- Vitamin C – 3% DV.
Health Benefits of Turmeric:
We have presented you with the list of benefits of Turmeric that can be incorporated into your diet easily.
1. Turmeric has Powerful Antiviral Properties:
According to research, Turmeric has a natural compound called Curcumin with antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties that help eliminate certain viruses from your body. In addition, these properties of Turmeric help reduce the growth of many disease-causing bacteria, helping you fight several infections (3)(4).
2. Natural Anti-inflammatory:
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory comes from the Curcumin compound that can help boost heart health by fighting inflammation. Turmeric also protects your body from damage due to oxidation with its antioxidant effects (5). Many inflammatory diseases can be dealt with at the molecular level, and Curcumin plays an important role. Chronic inflammation can result in several health conditions, and Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties help treat these conditions (6).
3. May Help with Type 2 Diabetes:
Curcumin present in Turmeric helps lower blood sugar levels and is considered one of the leading health benefits of Turmeric. It also helps deal with a fatty liver often associated with diabetes. Curcumin might also reduce the risk of diabetic neuropathy (7). Curcumin regulates the high-fat levels in the blood and lowers blood glucose levels. You can also deal with specific cognitive deficits associated with diabetes by using Turmeric regularly (8)(9).
[Read: Turmeric For Diabetes]
4. Relieves Arthritis Symptoms:
Another advantage of Turmeric is that Curcumin modifies the immune system’s responses and reduces inflammation. Curcumin might also help treat osteoarthritis to deal with joint inflammation (10). The treatment of arthritis can also be done with Turmeric supplementation, though more research is needed (11). Turmeric also might help treat several forms of musculoskeletal pain with the help of curcuminoids (12).
5. Relieve Menstrual Cramps:
Menstrual cramps are some of the things many women face every month. Turmeric can be used for pain relief irrespective of its cause of it. In addition, Turmeric has Curcumin that helps modulate neurotransmitters with its anti-inflammatory properties, which helps reduce the PMS symptom severity (13).
6. May Help to Treat Cancer:
Though more research is necessary, turmeric benefits might also include a protective effect against colon, oral cavity, and skin cancers. According to lab studies, Curcumin slows down the spread. In addition, it cuts the risk of Cancer significantly by protecting the healthy cells and making chemotherapy more effective (14). Curcumin also helps scavenge the reactive oxygen species and fight inflammation, which results in the death of cancer cells (15).
7. Turmeric Help Improve Male Fertility:
Like females, infertility is also a common issue among men, and treatment is available for most conditions. However, there might be several reasons why men face infertility, such as low levels of thyroid, poor mental health, stress, and certain medications.
Turmeric benefits for men include increased fertility with the help of a compound called Curcumin. In addition, this compound helps improve performance by reducing anxiety and stress. Using Turmeric helps boost the antioxidants with vitamins E and C, which help with the thyroid levels, aiding male fertility (16).
8. Boosts Immune System:
Turmeric can benefit our health and is a common spice in every household. But unfortunately, many diseases and the mechanisms behind ageing are oxidative damage. The potent oxidant Curcumin in Turmeric helps protect your body from free radicles, naturally boosting the immune system. However, more research is needed in this aspect (17).
9. Fight Against Cold and Cough:
We must have heard our grandmothers say how beneficial a glass of warm milk with Turmeric can be against cough and cold. So whether it is a cough, cold, or other respiratory ailment, the consumption of Turmeric can be beneficial (18). Curcumin might also be essential in treating diseases like bronchitis and asthma, though more human studies are needed (19). In addition, Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties might reduce swelling in the sinus cavities.
10. Good for High Blood Pressure:
According to researchers, Turmeric might help lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients with the help of a compound called Curcumin. This compound also helps improve heart health, stabilize blood sugar, and regulate cholesterol. But if you are already taking medications for blood pressure, consult a doctor before consuming Turmeric supplements.
11. Help You Lose Weight:
Turmeric benefits weight loss by preventing the inflammation related to obesity with the help of a compound called Curcumin (20). Though no research supports this claim, it is believed that Turmeric might boost fat burning. In addition, chronic inflammation and obesity are usually associated with each other. Therefore, by treating inflammation, there is a potential obesity treatment with the help of Turmeric (21).
[Read: Turmeric Milk Benefits]
12. Improve Brain Health:
The compound called Curcumin present in Turmeric helps with Alzheimer’s disease by improving cognitive function with the help of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (22). In addition, Curcumin fights the damage of the degrading nerve cells through oxidative damage and inflammation, aiding in treating Alzheimer’s.
According to studies, Tumerone is another chemical found in Turmeric that stimulates brain cells (23).
13. Preventing Heart Diseases:
Every year, cardiovascular disease accounts for 31% of deaths worldwide. The benefits of taking Turmeric include preventing heart diseases with the cardioprotective, anti-thrombotic, and anti-inflammatory effects of a compound called Curcumin in Turmeric (24). In addition, Curcumin helps prevent heart failure and cardiac hypertrophy with the help of Curcumin, according to animal studies. Turmeric might also prevent arrhythmias and its anti-inflammatory properties (25).
14. Helps to Protect the Liver from Toxins:
According to research, Turmeric is also good for treating liver-related ailments because it is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties (26). Liver damage is usually caused by oxidative stress, which can be dealt with with the help of Curcumin. It also helps boost hepatic health and potentially prevent liver injury (27). You can also deal with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease with the help of Curcumin (28).
15. It Gives You Better Gut Health and Improved Digestion:
The antioxidant properties of Curcumin present in Turmeric might help treat gastric ulcers, GERD, and oesophagal inflammation (29). Although more research is needed to understand the mechanism, Turmeric might help treat ulcerative colitis (30). In addition, including inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer, diarrhoea, and liver disease, Turmeric helps treat many other digestive disorders (31).
16. Help Reduce Acne:
The antibacterial properties of Curcumin in Turmeric make it a good solution for acne and many other skin conditions (32). In addition, Turmeric helps reduce the redness associated with acne by reducing inflammation in your skin.
17. May Slow Ageing:
Studies show a high chance of Curcumin helping slow down ageing signs with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (33). In addition, the antimutagenic properties of Curcumin also delay the signs of ageing by protecting your skin from harmful UV rays (34). Although more scientific research is needed, anecdotal evidence proves Turmeric helps treat hyperpigmentation, dark circles, and dark spots.
Turmeric Side Effects:
Turmeric is one of the commonly found spices in many households. Although this spice is very beneficial, some side effects are associated with overconsumption of Turmeric.
- Although there is no direct proof that turmeric causes any problems in pregnancy and lactate when taken in excess, it is safe to consume the spice in food amounts. But always stick to normal amounts and consult a doctor if you find any adverse reactions.
- When taken in high doses, the 91% oxalate in Turmeric might cause kidney stones. Therefore, it is best to avoid Turmeric if you have a history of kidney stones.
- There is a chance of iron deficiency for overconsumption of Turmeric because it prevents iron absorption, which has been seen in supplements of Turmeric. There is a need for more research to see if ground turmeric has the same effects.
- The anticoagulant properties of Curcumin might cause excessive bleeding or slow down blood clotting in some individuals. So, if you have bleeding disorders or have surgery scheduled in less than two weeks, avoid Turmeric.
[Read: Turmeric Milk During Pregnancy]
Turmeric is an integral part of many households because of its health benefits. It is pretty easy to include this wonderful spice in your food, giving it a beautiful colour and making you want to eat. Consult your doctor if you wish to take supplements. Don’t forget to let us know if you found this article helpful!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based on pure research and not a replacement for medical advice. It is best to seek advice from a medical professional regarding your health.
1. Are there any medications you must not take with Turmeric
Ans: Avoid taking medicines that slow down blood clotting, such as warfarin, because Turmeric does the same thing. Dalteparin, heparin, naproxen, ibuprofen, aspirin are other medications. If you are under any of these medications, consult your doctor.
2. Are turmeric supplements and turmeric powder the same?
Ans: Curcumin forms only 3% of the weight of turmeric powder. In contrast, the concentration of Curcumin can be as high as 95% in the case of supplements. Therefore, you can use turmeric powder in your diet unless you need supplements for any specific ailment.
3. What is the name of Turmeric in other languages?
Ans: Other names of Turmeric in other languages are:
- Haldi – Hindi.
- La Curcuma – Spanish.
- Safran des Indes – French.
- Jiānghuáng– Chinese.
- Kurkuma – German.
- Açafrão- Portuguese.