Exotic things fascinate us. And there is nothing more spectacular than the bright yellow hue of turmeric. It is a spice steeped in ancient Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian food, society and medicinal history. While adding turmeric in curry is common (turmeric adds the lovely colour there), it’s time to expand your horizons. Let us tell you about some uses of turmeric that will surprise you.
Turmeric is a flowering plant that belongs to the ginger family. Among the various uses of turmeric, the most common use is its usage as a spice. In addition, people use the rhizomes of turmeric for cooking. Apart from this, turmeric has been used as a medicinal herb globally for thousands of years.
Recent research says that the medical quality of turmeric is due to a particular compound, curcuminoid. It is the most active ingredient in turmeric. In addition, it is a powerful antioxidant and has potent anti-inflammatory effects.
Nutritional Facts of Turmeric
A tablespoon of turmeric contains 29 calories, 1gm of protein, 2gm fibre and 6gm carbohydrate.
In addition, 100gm of fresh turmeric rhizomes contain calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, iron, zinc and potassium.
Now, science has started studies to back the traditional claim that turmeric has medicinal properties. It is because turmeric contains curcuminoids, compounds with therapeutic benefits. The most important compound is curcumin. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties and is a potent antioxidant.
This superfood can surprise you if you use it correctly. This article will talk about the various uses of turmeric, its health benefits, and skin benefits.
Uses of Turmeric for Health and Skin Benefits
Using Turmeric for Health Benefits:
1. Prevention against heart diseases and ageing
Curcumin present in turmeric can improve endothelial functions. Endothelial is a thin membrane that covers the inner part of the heart and blood vessels. The primary function of this membrane is to regulate blood pressure, prevent heart diseases and ageing. Thus, curcumin can help protect against age-related issues and reduce the risk of having heart diseases.
Let us look at the results of research on some postmenopausal women. One group had to go through an eight-week aerobic exercise. At the same time, the other group had to add curcumin to their diet for improving endothelial functions. Scientists found that both groups saw equal improvements.
People who have diabetes also have a risk of heart disease. whose condition can be improved via the use of curcumin.
2. Prevention against certain types of cancer
Cancer is a deadly disease characterised by uncontrolled cell growth.
Curcumin rich foods can help prevent different types of cancer. Adding turmeric to your diet may result in the death of cancerous cells. In addition, it may also reduce angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in the tumour). The use of turmeric may also reduce the metastasis (spread of cancer).
Inflammation is also one of the factors responsible for tumour growth. Anti-inflammatory compounds such as curcumin play a significant role in treating and preventing various cancers. These are pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer and gastric cancer. Curcumin-rich foods can prevent cancer, especially digestive system cancers like colorectal cancer.
3. Prevention from Alzheimer’s disease
Curcumin rich foods like turmeric protect the brain from common degenerative diseases. As a result, it can delay or reverse Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is related to lower brain-derived neurotrophic Factors (BDNF). BDNF is a protein found in the brain and the spinal cord. In addition, it keeps neurons or nerve cells healthy.
So, adding turmeric to your diet may help increase BDNF levels. As a result, it can prevent Alzheimer’s.
4. Treatment for depression
Depression is a widespread issue in today’s world. It is a serious problem as it is related to our mental health. Like Alzheimer’s, depression is also related to lower levels of BDNF. Turmeric shows promise as an effective antidepressant. You can consume turmeric to help fight depression and cure it.
Phytotherapy Research on 60 random people suffering from major depressive disorder proves the claim. The research was done on three different groups. One group received 20mg of fluoxetine, the second group was given 1000mg of curcumins, and the third group was given both. After six weeks, all the groups saw improvements. Hence, it has been proved that curcumin is an effective remedy for treating depression.
5. Prevention against eye degeneration
Glaucoma is a medical condition. And it is one of the leading causes of blindness in people over 60. Once the vision is gone due to glaucoma, you can never restore it. So much research is done to observe the effects of various compounds on eye degeneration.
One research concludes that topical curcumin can help protect the eyes against degeneration. A proprietary curcumin eye-drop solution was given to rats twice a day for three weeks. By the end of the research, researchers saw that the untreated rats experienced a 23% reduction in retinal cells. At the same time, the loss was prevented by the curcumin treatment.
Using Turmeric for Skin Benefits:
Turmeric is one of the first cosmetic ingredients in the ancient beauty regime.
1. Consuming Turmeric Improves Skin Health
Turmeric has medicinal and antibacterial values. When you apply it on cuts or wounded spots, they heal fast. In India, turmeric also has a connection with rituals. Before any festival or marriage, it is often seen that turmeric is applied to the skin to give a natural glow.
Turmeric is rich in antioxidants. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Therefore, it effectively treats various skin conditions like acne, eczema, photoaging, and psoriasis.
2. Applying Turmeric to the Face adds Glow to the Skin
Turmeric as a skin-glowing agent has been used in India and other south Asian countries for many years. So applying turmeric paste to your skin may lead to glowing skin naturally. Not to worry, it is 100% healthy.
Adds flavour to the food:
Using an adequate amount of turmeric can add flavour and smell to your food. It makes the food look better and also taste delicious. Turmeric has a slightly strong taste which adds depth to the flavour. Generally, people add turmeric with curries to enhance the flavour.
Probable Side Effects of Turmeric:
Generally, turmeric has no side effects. But each individual reacts differently to different things. The most common side effects of turmeric are gastrointestinal. It includes constipation, dyspepsia, diarrhoea, distension, gastroesophageal reflux, vomiting, yellow stool, and stomach ache.
If you ever face any of the above issues using turmeric, consult a doctor or a dietician.
Forms and Ways of Turmeric to Use
1. Turmeric Root
The turmeric roots look like ginger. You can easily find it in the grocery stores. Keep it refrigerated to use it for a long time.
2. Adding Turmeric to Tea or Milk
Add turmeric powder to water or milk with other spices like black pepper, or buy turmeric tea bags.
3. Using Turmeric as a Spice
Add turmeric as a spice to your food. Not only does it give colour to your food, but you add a healthy ingredient to your diet. Store it in a cool, dry place.
4. Using Turmeric as Supplements
For added strength, you may choose a turmeric supplement readily available at health stores, grocery shops, and online. These are ready in formulations like soft gels and capsules.
We can consume turmeric in any way we want. Still, the best way to consume turmeric is by consuming the turmeric roots. Grating the dried turmeric roots and then using them fresh is the best way to consume turmeric.
Best Ways to Consume Turmeric at Different Times of the Day
There is a perfect time for everything to do. So let us look at the best time intervals of the day to have turmeric the right way.
- Starting the day with a glass of warm water with a pinch of turmeric is an excellent start to your day. Then, add half a lemon and a bit of black pepper. The concoction helps cleanse the system well.
- Turmeric milk is a soothing post-dinner addition in many households.
- Of course, you can add turmeric to your meals, be it lunch or dinner.
- Turmeric and honey together improve build immunity against cold during winters.
Thus, to conclude, you can have turmeric at all times of the day.
Recipes Using Turmeric
1. Turmeric Milk
Turmeric Milk, or Haldi Doodh (as we call it in India), is an ancient recipe. It is used to treat several diseases. Turmeric milk can help reduce joint pain, control blood sugar, improve memory & brain function and help recover wounds. In addition, it can relieve cough and cold and help give you better sleep. Since milk contains calcium and vitamin D, it also helps strengthen bones.
It is a straightforward homemade recipe and has many natural qualities.
Ingredients (for one glass of turmeric milk):
- Low fat or double-toned milk – 3/4th glass
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tbsp
- Jaggery Powder(optional) – as per taste
- Boil the milk in a pan
- If required, add jaggery powder to the milk while boiling
- Pour the boiled milk into a glass
- Add two tablespoons of turmeric powder to the milk
- Serve it hot
Turmeric milk or golden milk is good for health. However, people having gallbladder problems, bleeding disorders, diabetes, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), infertility, iron deficiency, liver disease, hormone-sensitive conditions and arrhythmia should avoid having it.
2. Turmeric Water
Another easy way of adding turmeric to your diet is turmeric water or Haldi Wala Paani (as we call it in India). The recipe is simple and does not take more than 2 minutes.
Ingredients (for one glass of turmeric water):
- Water – 1 glass
- Turmeric Powder – ½tbsp
- Take a glass full of water and put it in a pan
- Boil the water and let it cool to make it drinkable
- Add turmeric powder to it
- Drink warm
Uses of Drinking Turmeric Water:
There are many benefits of drinking turmeric water. First, it is perfect for your heart as it reduces cholesterol levels. In addition, it prevents atherosclerosis. Turmeric water also protects against blood clots and plaque build-up in the arteries.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What are the health benefits of eating turmeric?
A. Turmeric is good for heart health. Traditionally, people in India used it to cure colds, coughs and related issues. In addition, it is suitable for digestion, contains anti-ageing properties and can help prevent cancer and other illnesses.
Q. What does turmeric cure?
A. Turmeric can cure diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s and many more. In addition, it can help heal wounds faster.
Q. What is turmeric bad for?
A. Turmeric can be harmful to people with gallbladder issues, infertility, liver disease or hormone-sensitive conditions. In addition, it may add post-surgery complications in people with bleeding issues.
Q. What are the side effects of turmeric?
A. Generally, turmeric has no side effects. However, the most common side effects are gastrointestinal. The results can be constipation, dyspepsia, diarrhoea, distension, gastroesophageal reflux, vomiting, yellow stool, and stomachache.
Q. Is it OK to take turmeric every day?
A. Yes, it is safe to take turmeric daily. However, you can consume it in adequate quantities.
Q. How much turmeric should I take daily?
A. Yes, it is safe to take turmeric daily. Eight grams per day is okay to take. However, you should take it with heart-healthy fats like oils, avocado, nuts and seeds for optimal absorption.
Q. Can turmeric burn belly fat?
A. Yes, optimum use of turmeric can burn belly fat coupled with positive lifestyle changes. Drinking turmeric tea regularly increases bile production in the stomach. Bile emulsifies fat and boosts metabolism.
Q. Is turmeric bad for your liver?
A. No, turmeric improves liver function by protecting the liver from being damaged by toxins. However, pure turmeric could directly lead to liver damage. More research is needed to conclude this. You should consult your doctor if you have liver disease.
Q. Is turmeric bad for kidneys?
A. Yes, turmeric contains oxalates which can increase the risk of kidney stones. However, it happens only with over-consumption.
Q. How long does it take for turmeric to work on inflammation?
A. It depends on body mass and condition. But usually, in around 4-8 weeks, you can notice improvement.
Q. What medication should be avoided with turmeric?
A. Blood thinners like Heparin, Coumadin, Aspirin, Plavix, Advil, Motril should be avoided with turmeric.
Q. What does turmeric do for males?
A. Turmeric may increase blood flow in men. It also helps muscles virility and increases testosterone production.
Q. Is turmeric good for testosterone?
A. Yes. It helps increase blood flow. Thus, it is suitable for testosterone.
Q. What is the best way to use turmeric?
A. You can consume turmeric with milk and water. In addition, you can apply it directly to your skin.
Q. Can turmeric cause liver damage?
A. No, turmeric improves liver function by protecting the liver from being damaged by toxins, but pure turmeric could directly lead to liver damage.
Q. What happens if I drink turmeric milk every day?
A. Turmeric Milk, commonly called (Haldi Doodh) is an ancient practice of treating several diseases and has many natural qualities. Therefore, having a glass of turmeric milk every day is beneficial.
Q. Is it good to drink turmeric milk at night?
A. Yes, it is good to have Turmeric milk at night, especially for people who get restless during sleep. It gives them a restful sleep.
Q. Does turmeric milk make skin fair?
A. Since turmeric is rich in antioxidants, it may help make your skin glow. However, skin health is a function of overall health and lifestyle management. So, one needs to pay attention.
Q. What are the disadvantages of turmeric milk?
A. Though Turmeric Milk or Golden milk is good for health. Still, people having gallbladder problems, bleeding disorders, diabetes, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), infertility, iron deficiency, liver disease, hormone-sensitive conditions and arrhythmia should avoid having it.
Q. What are the benefits of drinking milk with turmeric?
A. Turmeric milk brings you the goodness of turmeric and milk. So apart from all the advantages of turmeric, it also helps strengthen your bones.