You may know it as the vibrant yellow spice used in Indian curry, but turmeric has been touted as the ultimate superfood in the past few years, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Of course, it’s not a new discovery. A member of the ginger family, the common kitchen spice has been used in Ayurvedic medicine (traditional medicine native to India) for thousands of years, but only became popular in the Western world in recent years, with the spice now popping up in supermarket health food aisles everywhere.
If you’re yet to jump on the turmeric bandwagon and are wondering what all the fuss is about, we’ve done the hard work for you and looked into its health benefits and how to easily incorporate it into your daily routine.
Turmeric is credited with preventing and fighting diseases, improving memory and attention span and helping with aches and pains. And, yes, there’s a number of studies to back up these claims.
A 2020 study published in the academic journal Annals of Internal Medicine found the spice may help relieve pain from knee osteoarthritis. And, according to another study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, curcumin, a substance in turmeric, assists with everything from anxiety to muscle soreness, inflammation and arthritis.
Aside from managing pain, turmeric may also improve brain function, lower your risk of heart disease and help prevent cancer, multiple studies suggest. One study published in Precision Oncology in 2017 found several natural compounds in food such as turmeric, apple peels and red grapes could halt the growth of prostate cancer.
While there’s strong evidence for its effectiveness, many studies also suggest that the spice is more beneficial when mixed with black pepper and oil. Turmeric is oil soluble, meaning it needs oil for your stomach to be able to digest it properly and for your body to absorb the benefits. Black pepper is another effective way to get the best results from the spice.
According to leading nutritionist Teresa Mitchell-Paterson, it’s safe to have turmeric every day, but the amount depends on what form it comes in. In its powdered form, she says it can be used in cooking at a level of one to two teaspoons per day. “In Ayurvedic medicine, it was added to milk and ghee or coconut oil as a medicine for gastric upset of any form, and as an anti-inflammatory in arthritic conditions,” she says.
And if you’re taking certain medications such as blood thinners, Mitchell-Paterson says it’s best to speak with your healthcare professional first before trying. “As with all herbal medicine, there’s no one-size-fits-all and there may be some interactions with certain medications such as blood-thinning medications,” she says. “Turmeric in tablet form may cause an additive effect to blood thinners and increase the risk of bruising and bleeding under the skin.”
While you can easily add the spice to your favourite curry, or sprinkle it over some roasted vegetables every now and then, it’s best to include it in your diet most days of the week to reap its full benefits. And no, we’re not saying you have to eat curry every night to do so! Turns out, there’s a slew of turmeric-based products on the market that you can choose from. Not sure where to look? Starts at 60 stocks a range of turmeric products on our Marketplace – just click here!
If you’re on the go most mornings or looking to cut back on your coffee or sugar intake, the Turmeric Latte Blend is the perfect choice. All you have to do is add half a teaspoon of the blend to your milk and stir well. The blend contains black pepper to increase the body’s ability to absorb the good-for-you extract, as well as cinnamon and ginger, both of which have their own health benefits, ranging from soothing an upset stomach to lowering blood sugar in people with diabetes. The Turmeric Latte Blend can be purchased on the Starts at 60 Marketplace from $13.46.
If drinking turmeric isn’t your style, we also have Turmeric Joint Relief Capsules. It’s recommended that you start with one capsule per day, taken with a meal or a drink, because turmeric is best absorbed with fats. The Turmeric Joint Relief Capsules, which are approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, come in a three pack that can be purchased for $67.37 on the Marketplace.
Love to bake? You may want to try the Turmeric 95% Curcumin Extract Powder. It’s cocoa flavoured and contains curcumin, one of the main active ingredients in turmeric, which is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory effects. So, how does it work? All you have to do is add one teaspoon of the powder to your morning coffee, yogurt or cereal. You can even include it in your favourite slice or cupcake recipe for an extra health kick!
Can’t find what you’re after? You can find more turmeric-based products here.
Q: What is turmeric?
A: Turmeric is a spice that comes from the turmeric plant. It’s commonly used in Asian dishes.
Q: What are the health benefits of turmeric?
A: Turmeric is credited with everything from preventing and fighting diseases, improving your memory and attention span and helping with aches and pains.
Q: Is it safe to take everyday?
A: Yes, it is safe to take a small amount every day.
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IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.