A small orange-looking root with lots of perks for health, weight loss, and wellness. Learn more about the benefits of turmeric and more importantly, how to use it in your diet frequently.
Fun Fact: I am not a medical professional and this information is for informational purposes only solely sourced through my own reading. You should always consult your doctor before using any superfoods or supplements. Especially ones that can react with other medications.
What Is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a small, orange looking root you can find in just about every grocery store. And while it may seem simple, it's not. Turmeric is part of the ginger family and is a wonderful, nutrient-dense powerhouse and quite a few turmeric health benefits have been shown
But this potent root is so much more than that. Turmeric comes with an array of vitamins and minerals and health claims.
If you follow Chris Beats Cancer you'll know that there actually studies of turmeric on cancer prevention and regression which is outstanding!
Turmeric comes from the Curcuma Longa plant. While the turmeric root itself doesn't contain as much curcumin as ideal- if you use a turmeric extract or curcumin capsules you're getting even more turmeric health benefits from the root.
That said, I heard a few years ago that turmeric supplements (like in a capsule) should be paired with black pepper to help it better absorb the curcumin. So if you're shopping around- that's one thing to take note of!
There have been claims that turmeric powder can do almost anything (almost like apple cider vinegar haha). So proceed with caution.
Below I outline the most common benefits of turmeric.
But of course, many of the claims depend on the person, the potency and the protocol. Chat to a doc to learn more.
Inflammation due to processed foods, habits, and intolerances is a slippery slope for disease development.
Ensuring the ingestion of anti-inflammatory foods and herbs regularly (like in this turmeric parley smoothie) can help keep this inflammation at bay. Turmeric powder, specifically curcumin, has been said to drastically lower inflammation within the body.
External Healing Properties
Turmeric has actually been shown to help speed healing, and reduce acne.
I haven't fully delved into whether this is fully based on applying the turmeric directly or if taken internally but it's something to check out!
Can Help Alleviate Arthritis Pain
This one I can chat about personally! I have a lot of issues in my wrists and taking a turmeric powder supplement and increasing turmeric in my diet has helped a lot in regards to range of motion and pain.
Helps Promote Weight Loss
A lot of weight gain and obesity stems from chronic inflammation of the bowels.
Since turmeric has such high anti-inflammatory properties, it's been shown to help promote weight loss and help control issues like colitis and IBS.
That said, focusing on quality food, water and reducing processed food will have the biggest bang for your buck.
There's no "magic pill". it's everyday habits and choices that will help weight loss.
While there are many contributors to heart disease, curcumin has been shown to improve the function of the lining of the blood vessels.
This makes your body better able to regulate blood pressure and prevent clotting.
Turmeric For Depression
It seems this is just recently being studied but it seems promising that turmeric can work as an anti-depressant.
One of the major benefits of this is that traditional anti-depressants come with an insane amount of side effects, making it much more natural, healthy, and wise to give this root a try first along with other practices (check out how one man used to exercise and food to scale down his depression)
Boosting The Immune System
Perhaps the biggest thing that I focus on when it comes to turmeric root and turmeric powder.
Turmeric, along with ginger, garlic and onion are one of the roots that help boost your immune system and keep you healthy!
Consuming turmeric on a regular basis is a great way to keep your immune system high and fight off colds.
I use turmeric powder along with the immune-boosting recipes below to help me through cough and cold season.
- Elderberry cough syrup
- Honey and garlic elixir
- Homemade cough drops (if I feel a scratchy throat already here)
- Kitchari: a rice-lentil porridge that follows Ayurvedic principles
The fact that root has the potential to heal so effectively with so little drawback only pushed me more towards believing how essential it is in our day-to-day lives.
If you haven't checked out the book How Not To Die it's also an awesome resource on healing through food!
How To Use Turmeric
After diving into the benefits of turmeric within the last few years I've grown accustomed to using it daily.
Below are just a few of the ways I implement turmeric powder into my diet.
One of my favorite ways to boost my turmeric powder intake during the cooler months!
Turmeric tea lattes are healthy, nourishing, and absolutely delicious.
Regarding turmeric, I use it in just about everything but outside of cooking with it, you can also take it in with turmeric-based loose leaf teas!
Read about the benefits of loose leaf tea and grab a turmeric blend to boost your intake.
While turmeric powder is easy to boost, it's not always as easy using the root. However, homemade fire cider is one thing that I am religious about when we go into cold and flu season.
Fire cider not only uses turmeric root but also onion, ginger, garlic, and apple cider vinegar.
It's a fermented concoction that I use as "immunity shots" and when mixed with raw honey it can even be tasty. Grab my homemade fire cider recipe and watch the exact way I make it below.
What Does Turmeric Taste Like?
I find it tastes a bit peppery but most people describe it as earthy. It’s a spicy, earthy flavor and a little goes a long way.
Below are a few delicious ways to use turmeric in food.
- Turmeric protein shake
- Anti-inflammatory smoothie
- Turmeric energy balls
- Turmeric chicken and rice
- Ginger turmeric lemonade
- Turmeric roasted potatoes
How To Use Turmeric On Skin
Another way to reap the benefits of turmeric is to use it on your skin and in beauty products! The most popular way to do this is with a turmeric face mask.
It can help reduce redness, bumps, spots – basically any irritation.
It can also be whipped into a turmeric salve for healing cuts.
Frequently Asked Questions About Turmeric And How To Use It
Just as when it’s taken internally, turmeric is great to improve skin inflammation. It can help achieve a “natural glow” and is most used with acne.
There is no one best way. Turmeric comes in a variety of forms from the root as a whole that can be used in cooking, to a powder made from the root which is easier to use in things like smoothies or tea. It also can be taken in capsule form and is best absorb when paired with black pepper. And finally, many people find good use when using turmeric essential oil in some way.
Typically turmeric is used most in curries when paired with other spices like garlic and ginger. It is most commonly paired with a grain like rice or quinoa but can also be used in a marinade for poultry.
One more reminder: I am not a doctor. And while turmeric is generally considered safe for use in medicinal amounts, it's important to talk to a doctor before using it. Both due to your own body as well as how it may react with other medications.