If there’s one kind of spice that you should keep in your kitchen that would be turmeric. This spice is commonly used not only in many kitchens at home but also in different cuisines throughout the world.
Aside from adding flavor to any dish, turmeric also offers numerous health benefits to your body. You can find turmeric in its powdered form and it’s perfect for cooking. But, you can also use the extracted one for supplement.
List of Turmeric’s Health Benefits
If you can’t eat turmeric as a food, you can take it as a supplement. Listed below are the health benefits turmeric claim to offer. Those benefits are supported by clinical research.
1. Prevents cancer
This is one of the most definite reason why you should integrate turmeric in your life. This spice is known to be helpful in preventing formation and growth of cancer cells in your body. Research showed that turmeric doesn’t only prevents cancer formation but also keep the condition to get worse (1, 2).
In one study in 44 men with lesions in the colon that sometimes turn cancerous, 4 grams of curcumin per day for 30 days reduced the number of lesions by 40% (3).
If you have a loved one suffering from any type of cancer, you can suggest this spice. But, you can also consume turmeric even if you sound healthy. This will also boost your life’s longevity.
2. Alleviates arthritis symptoms
Arthritis is a common health conditions by most adults. Adding turmeric in your meal or daily diet can alleviate the pain as it contains anti-inflammatory properties (4).
Medical treatment of arthritis is focused on pain management. But, instead of taking medications, you can use all-natural remedies like turmeric.
Turmeric can work best for arthritis if you’ll ingest it. It can soothe the inflammation of the part affected by the pain.
3. Prevents prostate cancer
As mentioned earlier, turmeric is beneficial to any type of cancer. But, research strongly proved that this spice greatly fights prostate cancer that commonly affects most men (7).
To avoid developing prostate cancer, you can use turmeric along with cruciferous vegetables such as kale and broccoli. But, if you don’t have time to cook, you can take it as supplement.
However, you should not depend on turmeric alone. You should also eat foods that can help cure prostate cancer such as pomegranate and green tea.
4. Relaxes upset stomach
Turmeric has been used to cure digestive problems such as upset stomach as shown by scientific research (8). The anti-inflammatory properties of this spice controls the stomach acid, thus improves stomach upset and heartburn.
However, you should take only the right amount of turmeric, otherwise it can also upset your stomach. This makes sense of evaluating your tolerance level so that you can rule out the right dosage that you should take.
5. Supports healthy heart
Likewise, turmeric can also prevent clogged arteries as it has the ability to break fat. To avoid experiencing fatal heart disease, you should eat right, stay active and take turmeric as food or supplement.
There’s no single approach to take care of your heart. You should consult your healthcare provider for the right approach such as taking natural supplements for healthy heart.
Taking regular dose of turmeric can prevent developing arterial plaque, thus achieve healthier cardiovascular system.
6. Prevents Alzheimer’s disease
Research revealed that a spice like turmeric can enhance the function of your brain (11). In fact, turmeric is also known to prevent the progress of Alzheimer’s.
You can enjoy this benefit by taking turmeric supplements in order to obtain enough curcumin. You should also consult your doctor for the right dosage appropriate to your needs prior of starting supplementation.
However, turmeric can be helpful to treat Alzheimer’s provided that the condition is diagnosed earlier. The effect of this spice to reverse the condition once the signs have shown up.
This spice can be integrated to a long-term approach that have been used to prevent Alzheimer’s or to improve the existing condition.
7. Lowers cholesterol
High cholesterol can trigger different heart problems that’s why it’s important to keep the cholesterol at its normal level. There are many ways to keep the cholesterol level normal by adding turmeric in your dish.
The curcumin content of this spice is responsible for lowering the cholesterol levels. It also stimulates the liver to eliminate bad cholesterol in your body (12).
Although there are many medications for cholesterol, but you can ask your doctor if you want an all-natural approach. You can take turmeric supplementation along with exercise and proper diet.
8. Good for the skin
Using all-natural treatment for any skin problems is a smart idea. Turmeric has been used as a staple ingredient in many skin care products.
This spice contains properties that can naturally heal your skin and it can also fight the signs of aging. It works well with skin problems like acne because of its anti-inflammatory property. Likewise, it can also rid skin impurities due to its antiseptic property.
Using turmeric as topical treatment can ward off skin issues like acne, stretch marks and wrinkles.
9. Prevents childhood leukemia
Turmeric is helpful to prevent cancer including childhood leukemia. It is a natural way to prevent the development of such condition.
Research showed that countries who have been using turmeric have lesser incidents of childhood leukemia. The curcumin present in turmeric gives antioxidant property that is valuable to prevent growth of cancer cells.
10. Manages and prevents diabetes
Turmeric works well in keeping the blood sugar level normal or lower. Clinical research showed that this spice is an effective natural remedy for diabetes (13). That’s why you can use it along with other diabetes management and preventive measures.
However, prior of taking turmeric you should talk first to your doctor especially if you’re taking insulin medication to avoid causing additional problems.
People who already suffering diabetes or at risk to developing type 2 diabetes should consider taking turmeric supplementation (14). Make sure there’s an approval of your doctor.
11. Protects from toxin’s damage
As turmeric contains powerful antioxidant, it follows that this spice has the ability to protect your body from free radical damage. Thus, prevents developing diseases and keeps you healthy.
There are other foods that are rich in antioxidants like blueberries, tomatoes and green tea. In the same manner, turmeric is a spice loaded with antioxidant. Thus, you should include this spice in your daily routine to ensure that your body can overcome free radical damage.
12. Improves bowel issues
If you’re experiencing difficulty in eliminating wastes, taking turmeric can improve the condition. Studies revealed that this spice is beneficial to improve Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Crohn’s disease.
Bowel disorder has different severity. That’s why to fully recover the condition you can take turmeric along with lifestyle and dietary changes.
Turmeric soothes the bowels so that they become calm and get them perform their function.
13. Serves as an antiseptic
You can use turmeric to clean a wound as it works as antiseptic. Aside from cleaning wounds, the antiseptic property of turmeric can also kill off microbes keeping infection at bay.
Although there are many pharmaceutical antiseptics available, but using natural remedies is also valuable. Treating wounds with turmeric paste can give the same benefits or more than the antiseptics you buy from pharmacies.
14. Relieves headache
Headache is a very common condition that may fade away on its own. But, you can also treat headache by taking turmeric.
If you’re experiencing headache due to tension or stress, you can take turmeric supplement and expect for faster relief. This spice has anti-inflammatory property that relieves headaches.
There are many factors that trigger headache that’s why it’s important to determine the culprit. This way, you can avoid them and prevent the occurrence of headache.
If you experience headache often, consider taking turmeric first instead of over-the-counter medications.
15. Improves the immune system
If turmeric can prevent several diseases and alleviate pain, it can also improve the immune system. It’s important to ensure better well-being and overall health to avoid getting sick.
A poor diet may cause weak immune system. To boost your immune system, you should eat well, exercise regularly and take supplements such as turmeric.
It is good to invest in improving your immune system as it is integral to life’s longevity and health. Thus, you should ensure keeping healthy immune system and turmeric is the simplest and cost-effective way to consider.
Indeed, using turmeric can make your immune system strong, establish and maintain good health. Likewise, it can also reduce the possibility of acquiring illnesses like flu and other serious diseases.
16. Prevents developing pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer is known to be hereditary. If it seems that most members of the family suffer from pancreatic cancer it makes sense to act on preventing the disease.
It may sound doubtful, but turmeric can help the development of pancreatic cancer. Apparently, this type of cancer is difficult to treat and deadly. Adding natural options in the treatment can be beneficial.
Research showed that turmeric targets the cancer cells and eventually kills them. The turmeric extract is effective to treat this cancer. However, you must consult first your doctor prior of taking the extract.
17. Reduces blood pressure
To ensure overall cardiovascular health, you must keep your blood pressure low. Reducing the blood pressure is possible by taking higher dosage of turmeric supplement.
This spice can make your blood thin that’s why you should consult your doctor before using it particularly if you’re taking medications for high blood pressure (15).
As you want to treat high blood pressure naturally, but turmeric supplement can treat the condition alone. Instead, it only plays a part to your existing approach to lower blood pressure through lifestyle adjustments and dietary changes.
18. Alleviates symptoms of cystic fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is a respiratory disease that requires inhaled medications and antibiotics. But, research revealed that the curcumin content of turmeric is beneficial to cystic fibrosis sufferers.
Although this is supported by scientific research, but you need to consult your doctor prior of starting the supplement.
19. Prevents colon cancer
Colon cancer is another deadly type of cancer as it comes with minimal warning signs. Regular exam is essential to monitor the condition and taking preventive measures can also help.
Curcumin is deemed to prevent the formation of cancer tumors. Colon cancer starts as polyps and taking turmeric can prevent formation of polyps. Likewise, this super spice is also beneficial to the digestive system.
If you’re at high risk of developing colon cancer, the best thing to do is to include turmeric in your treatment.
20. Improves diarrhea
Diarrhea can be either a food-borne or water-borne disease. Turmeric can relieve diarrhea and calm your digestive system. All you have to do is to take the right amount of turmeric at the right time.
You can the spice in your daily cooking to prevent diarrhea.
21. Improves digestion and elimination
Consuming turmeric is really beneficial to the digestive system and it has been proven for many years. It’s essential to keep the digestive system in good health to avoid overworking of the liver.
As it works as diuretic, this spice has the ability to cleanse the digestive system and initiate easier elimination.
What are the side effects of turmeric?
Sometimes high doses of turmeric could cause some side effects:
- Increased liver function tests.
- Hyperactive gallbladder contractions.
- Uterine contractions in pregnant women.
- Increased menstrual flow.
- Increased risk of bleeding.
- Hypotension (lowered blood pressure)
How to use turmeric
Turmeric is a cooking spice, you can get this in three way.
- a supplement
- a fluid extract
- an herbal tincture
There are lots of other ways to eat and drink this spice. Here are some easy ideas.
- Toss it with roasted vegetable especially well with cauliflower, potatoes, and root vegetables.
- Try it with greens like kale, collards, and cabbage.
- Try turmeric with milk and honey to make tea.
- Try pinch of turmeric in a frittata, scrambled eggs, or tofu scramble.
You can take 500 milligrams (mg) of curcuminoids, or about 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder, per day. Don’t take 1,500 mg of curcuminoids, or about 1 1/2 teaspoons of turmeric powder, per day.
Knowing all the healthy benefits of turmeric is a great help to people suffering various illnesses. It may not treat the condition completely, but in a way it can remedy the symptoms and prevents the progress or further development of the disease.
is a registered dietitian with over 10 years of experience in the field of nutrition. She has a Master’s degree in Nutritional Science from Dhaka University and has worked with various clients to help them achieve their health goals through personalized diet plans. Mounota is passionate about educating people on the benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle and has written extensively on the subject for various publications.