Turmeric has been long used in the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years, that it was even introduced by Early European explorers as one of the most important spices to the Western world during the 14th century. And, though there has been no clear evidence as to when it was first used for its distinct kick of piquant pepperiness in dishes, it has been recorded by historians that it was mainly utilized in ancient times for its medicinal properties. It was noted that it became a folk treatment for toothaches, common eye infections, to dress wounds and burns, chest pain, jaundice, colic, and other various medical conditions. Now, it has become one of the most highly-valued spices globally. And, thousands of studies and clinical trials have been made revolving around the efficacy of turmeric.
Basic Turmeric Nutrition Facts
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database enlisted the nutrients that we can get from a tablespoon of turmeric powder. Check below:
- 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
- 26% of daily manganese needs
- 16% of daily iron
- 5% of daily potassium
- 3% of daily vitamin C
Although the recommended daily serving of curcumin is still a widely-researched issue, the World Health Organization (WHO), recommends that one may consume 1.4mg per pound of body weight an acceptable daily intake.
When in doubt, talk to your personal doctor about whether turmeric is safe for you. Enjoy benefits from taking turmeric if appropriate for you.
Benefits of Turmeric
- Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is non-irritant, thus providing a soothing effect to inflamed gastric tract areas while healing it.
- Reduces the risk of cellular damage by eradicating free radicals.
- Protects the liver by slowing down its neurological aging process thru lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (bad cholesterol), and increasing HDL cholesterol also known as good cholesterol.
- Inhibits cancer cell proliferation.
- Prevents Alzheimer’s disease by inhibiting the accumulation of destructive beta amyloids and breaks up existing plaques.
- Curcumin also modulates the various transcription factors involved in energy metabolism that may also affect element binding protein, estrogen response element, and others. Thus, making it highly beneficial for patients who are suffering from osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, and dyslipidemia.
- It can improve digestion which can be attributed to its high content of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Curcumin also suppresses fat tissue growth which means that it can be an added boost to your weight loss plan.
Highlights on Studies about Turmeric and its Efficacy
Turmeric has received great interest both from the culinary and medical world due to its high source of polyphenol curcumin, the active compound responsible for almost all health benefits highly publicized nowadays.
On one of the studies made by Hewlings and Kalman in their journal titled, Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health, 2008, since it aids in the management of oxidative and inflammatory conditions, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, anxiety, and hyperlipidemia, it may also help in the management of sport-induced inflammation and muscle soreness, thus enhancing recovery and performance in active people.
They also noted in their journal that it targets affected areas at a cellular level which supports its claims of multiple health benefits.
In the study entitled Recent Developments in Delivery, Bioavailability, Absorption and Metabolism of Curcumin: the Golden Pigment from Golden Spice, authored by Sahdeo P. et al., 2014, which focused on the spice’s bioavailability posits that the following are the three main reasons why curcumin is not easily absorbed in the bloodstream:
- Poor aqueous solubility
- Poor absorption
- Extensive metabolic conversion
The journal also discussed different delivery of curcumin, and how it’s metabolized.
- Oral delivery - best way to take curcumin if you are looking to decrease inflammation, and showed that cancer patients consuming 6.0 g of oral curcumin daily reduced the severity dermatitis in breast cancer patients. It is also the best delivery if one is looking to improve diabetic conditions as it attenuated intolerance of diet-induced glucose, and elevated oxidative stress in skeletal muscle.
- Subcutaneous delivery- it has been shown in studies conducted on animals that it has marked anticancer effects, and has provided effective and sustained tissue concentrations.
- Intraperitoneal (IP) delivery - inhibits inflammation, collagen degradation, and reduced fibrotic progression; it also suppresses thickening of the walls of ventricle in the lower chamber of the heart caused by LPS (lipopolysaccharide).
- Topical Delivery - effective mostly on inflammation on target organ, wound healing, skin infections, and cancer. It also inhibits UVB-induced tumor formation
- Nasal Delivery - direct nose-to-brain transport; study reveals that intranasal delivery may prevent airway inflammation and asthma bronchoconstriction without noted side effect.
*For more information on how to increase absorption of curcumin, check this link: ( link for landing page What happens to the body when you take turmeric?)
- Turmeric has been used since the antiquity not only because of its unique flavor but also because it has been known to cure a lot of medical conditions
- Thousands of studies had been made proving how powerful the healing properties of turmeric are
- Turmeric can cure a plethora of medical conditions because it works in a cellular activity, and has higher bioavailability than other herbs
- There have been no proven bad side effects of taking turmeric
- Recommended daily serving of 500mg-1000mg can be taken thru small servings and in different ways
Did You Know…
Turmeric also increases body heat, which may improve metabolism and promote weight loss?