10 Things That Could Happen When You Eat More Turmeric

10 Things That Could Happen When You Eat More Turmeric

Slide 1 of 11: Turmeric is a spice that contains curcumin—an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that is thought to be good for your health. Turmeric does seem to have some health benefits (and beauty benefits as well.) It's important to note that, in general, the spice needs more research and in some cases it's not clear what specific amounts you need to ingest to gain the health benefits. However, experts and some studies point to turmeric as being a healthy addition to your diet for these reasons.Slide 2 of 11: The spice may give your weight loss efforts a boost. Research in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Studies, Frontiers in Pharmacology, and Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders Drug Targets link curcumin to weight loss and a reduction in BMI. According to Patricia Bannan, a Los Angeles-based registered dietitian nutritionist and healthy cooking expert: "While increasing your intake of turmeric alone isn't a great strategy for weight loss, it may help you mitigate the inflammation associated with obesity and give you a slight boost in fat burning." But Bannan stresses it's best to get it from foods—eat more curry, for example. If you do supplement, check with your doctor first. (These supplements can interfere with prescription medications, for example.)Slide 3 of 11: Curcumin is a polyphenol—a type of antioxidant—that contributes to turmeric's anti-inflammatory properties. Several studies, including one in the Journal of Medicinal Food, have suggested that curcumin has the ability to reduce pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints afflicted by arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation even suggests that those with arthritis can try capsules of curcumin extract (not whole turmeric, which can be contaminated with lead) at 500 mg, twice a day. However, registered dietitian Jonathan Valdez, owner of Genki Nutrition and spokesperson for New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says that taking more than 500 mg of curcumin may inhibit iron absorption, which is crucial for the production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Valdez also warns that if you do supplement, you should take curcumin with black pepper—otherwise your body has a tough time absorbing the substance. The Arthritis Foundation notes that high doses of turmeric/curcumin can cause an upset stomach. They recommend avoiding them if you take blood-thinning drugs like warfarin (Coumadin), are scheduled to have surgery,  are pregnant, or have gallbladder disease.

What is turmeric?

Turmeric is a spice that contains curcumin—an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that is thought to be good for your health. Turmeric does seem to have some health benefits (and beauty benefits as well.) It’s important to note that, in general, the spice needs more research and in some cases it’s not clear what specific amounts you need to ingest to gain the health benefits. However, experts and some studies point to turmeric as being a healthy addition to your diet for these reasons.