Turmeric is a tall plant which grows in Asia and Central America, sometimes called Indian saffron or the golden spice.
The turmeric is made of the plant’s ground roots on shelves and in spice cabinets. Processed turmeric’s bright yellow color has encouraged many cultures to use it as a dye. Ground turmeric also constitutes a major ingredient in curry powder.
Capsules, teas, powders and extracts are amongst the commercially available turmeric products.
The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, and it has strong biological properties. Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional Indian system of treatment, recommends turmeric for a variety of health conditions. These include chronic pain and inflammation. Western medicine has started to study turmeric as a healing agent and pain reliever.
This article discusses the nutritional quality of the turmeric as well as some of its negative side effects, how it could help the health.
Nutrition of turmeric
According to the National Nutrient Database of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one tablespoon (tbsp) of the turmeric powder contains:
- 29 calories
- 0.91 grams (g) of protein
- 0.31 g of fat
- 6.31 g of carbohydrates
- 2.1 g of fiber
- 0.3 g of sugar
That same 1-tbsp serving provides:
- 26 percent of daily manganese needs
- 16 percent of daily iron
- 5 percent of daily potassium
- 3 percent of daily vitamin C
Positive side effects
While turmeric is a nutritious nutritious spice to be consumed, it has also been traditionally used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat inflammatory conditions, skin diseases, wounds, digestive ailments, and liver conditions.
The Arthritis Foundation cites many studies in which the inflammation of turmeric has reduced.
This anti-inflammatory capacity can decrease the aggravation that arthritis sufferers feel in their joints.
The foundation recommends taking 400 to 600 milligrams ( mg) of turmeric capsules up to three times a day for relief from inflammation.
Turmeric is considered a pain reliever. The herb is also reputed to alleviate pain caused by arthritis.
Studies for pain relief seem to endorse turmeric, with one study finding that it tended to function as well as ibuprofen ( Advil) in people with arthritis in their knees.
Though dosing guidelines seem to differ, those who took part in the study took 800 mg of capsulated turmeric everyday.
Improving liver function
Because of its antioxidant capabilities, Turmeric has been getting attention recently.
Turmeric’s antioxidant effect tends to be so strong that toxins will stop your liver from getting damaged. This could be good news for people who are taking strong diabetes drugs or other health conditions with long-term use that could hurt their liver.
Possibly reducing the risk of cancer
Turmeric adds flavor to food, which explains its presence in curry powder. But turmeric can also play a significant role in the digestion of that food.
Because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties the spice can contribute to a healthy digestion.
Turmeric is used as a digestive curative agent in ayurvedic medicine. Western medicine has now begun to study how turmeric can help with inflammation of the intestines and intestinal permeability, two digestive efficacy measures.
The spice is even under investigation as an irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) treatment.
Including turmeric in the diet
Turmeric is a highly versatile spice that can be used in a number of ways to meals including:
- Adding turmeric into spice mixtures such as curry or barbecue rub
- Making a homemade dressing using part oil, part vinegar, and seasonings including turmeric
- Changing up your go-to marinades by adding turmeric.
Alternatively, try these delicious , healthy recipes developed by registered dietitians:
- Mason jar lentil salad
- Cumin-lime turmeric vinaigrette
- Mango turmeric smoothie
- Turmeric milk
- Gold rush soup
Turmeric is also available as an add-on in capsules, fluids, extracts, and tinctures containing powder. Bromelain, a protein extract derived from pineapples, enhances the absorption and effects of turmeric in these products, and is often mixed with turmeric.
Turmeric and powder supplements are available for purchase online.
Before you take any supplements you should check with a doctor to make sure they are safe for you to use.
Side effects of turmeric
While turmeric offers potential health benefits, it creates certain risks that should be considered before consuming large amounts.
Upsetting the stomach
When taken in large amounts, the same agents in turmeric which help digestive health can irritate. Some participants in studies that looked at the use of turmeric for cancer treatment had to drop out because their digestion had been so adverse.
Turmeric induces a further gastric acid in the stomach. While this helps digestion in some people, it can have a negative effect on others.
Turmeric ‘s purifying properties can also more easily lead to easier bleeding. The reason for that is not clear. Other benefits suggested, such as lowering cholesterol and lowering blood pressure, may have something to do with the way turmeric functions in your blood.
People who take drugs that thin the blood, such as warfarin ( Coumadin), should avoid taking large doses of turmeric.
You may have heard that consuming curry-seasoned foods will improve labor. While there are few clinical data to back up this claim, studies suggest that turmeric may ease PMS symptoms.
Because of its blood-thinning effects, pregnant women should avoid taking Turmeric supplements. The addition of small amounts of turmeric as a spice into food should not cause health problems.
The inclusion of turmeric in your diet appears to be having health benefits. The golden spice supports immune health, helps relieve pain, and can also help in digestion. Yet due to some of its side effects, for some people turmeric may not be worth taking.
It ‘s important to be careful when deciding if you need to try turmeric. As with any alternative therapy, you should talk to your doctor before using turmeric to treat any health condition you may have.