Collaboration post with Goodness Me
If you haven’t heard about turmeric you might be one of very few people. This spice has become increasingly popular lately and can now be found in everything from tea to snack foods (even mustard!) and for good reason. But you might be asking yourself the question “what’s all the hype about, and how do I make sure I’m adding it in correctly in order to reap the rewards?” Let’s find out.
What is turmeric?
This ancient golden yellow spice is officially known as Curcuma Longa and belongs to the ginger family of root plants. It has been used for centuries in many Asian dishes and has an abundance of health benefits.
Who can benefit?
Over the last decade there has been a huge increase in the number of research studies on turmeric and its numerous benefits to human health & longevity. Everything from joint pain, inflammation, liver health, brain function and cardiovascular health can be improved with this powerful spice. Is there anything turmeric can’t do? If you’re convinced on adding it to your daily routine, we should first look at some specifics on how to get the most out of this popular spice.
How to maximize your turmeric intake
Take the right dose
There are two main ways to intake turmeric: as the whole spice or in the form of the potent extract, curcumin. Depending on your health concern, one way may be better than another. In general, for overall health boosting and mild anti-inflammatory support I suggest using the whole spice daily in soups, smoothies or a yummy golden milk. If your health goals include pain management, moderate-to-intense anti-inflammatory action or liver detoxification, choosing the extract of turmeric, curcumin, is the way to go. For many pain and inflammatory concerns, choosing a combination formula of multiple ingredients usually produces the best outcome.
Take it the right way
The problem with turmeric is that it is poorly absorbed in the body from the digestive tract. In fact, many historic uses of turmeric in cooking accounted for this shortcoming by adding in a source of fat and some black pepper to make sure they received the most benefit. Many high quality supplements of turmeric or curcumin are blending it with lipids and/or black pepper to improve absorption rates. This is especially important when consuming turmeric vs. curcumin.
Take it for long enough
Like most natural ingredients, turmeric doesn’t always work overnight. However, if taking a high-dose extract of curcumin, pain relief can be felt within a few hours in some individuals. Either way, being consistent with daily dosing is key. For inflammation support I suggest a trial period of at least 1 month, while concerns for liver or cardiovascular symptoms may take up to 3 months or more. Always work with your naturopathic doctor or functional medicine practitioner to get new blood work tested in order to track your results.
What’s your favourite way to add turmeric to your health routine? Let me know in the comments below!