Turmeric helps prevent inflammation
Turmeric is a widely used spice in Asia with high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is much less used in Western cuisine. A nutrition expert explains how you can benefit from turmeric in this country and what to watch out for while taking it.
The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, is said to have numerous health benefits. (Image: jintana / stock.adobe.com)
Nicole Hopsecger is a registered nutritionist at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic in the United States. In a recent clinic article, the expert shares her knowledge about turmeric and what to look out for with regular consumption.
Turmeric as a supplement
Turmeric is also known by the names of turmeric, yellow ginger, saffron root, turmeric, yellow root, or turmeric. The plant species belongs to the ginger family. The spice often gives mustard and curry their intense yellow color. As Hopsecger reports, turmeric is not only suitable for cooking, but also excellent as a supplement due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It also makes it easier to incorporate the spice into your daily diet.
Turmeric for intestinal inflammation
The nutritionist points out that some studies have already proven the anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric. For example, people with chronic intestinal inflammation, ulcerative colitis, have been shown to be less symptomatic if they take two grams of curcumin per day in addition to their treatment. “It doesn’t necessarily help during an active flare, but it can help prolong remission,” comments Hopsecger.
Curcumin is said to improve memory performance
In addition, the active ingredient curcumin is said to improve memory performance in healthy people. A clinical study in which participants took 90 milligrams of curcumin twice daily for 18 months showed that subjects’ memory performance improved. Researchers suspect that curcumin reduces inflammation in the brain and that the antioxidant properties lead to a slower loss of cognitive abilities.
“Curcumin could also play a role in preventing Alzheimer’s disease – but this is an area where we need more research,” Hopsecger said.
Reduce arthritis pain with turmeric
Curcumin has also been linked to decreased pain in arthritis and lower cholesterol levels, according to Hopsecger. “But I wouldn’t rely solely on a curcumin supplement,” warns the nutritionist. As the word “adjunct” suggests, evidence-based treatment should be a priority.
Curcumin is more effective as a supplement
You can take turmeric as a dietary supplement or as a spice. “Curcumin is more effective in nutritional supplements because it has already been extracted from turmeric,” says Hopsecger. Even though turmeric alone has less health effects as a spice, it is a great substitute for salt, for example.
This should be taken into account when taking curcumin
Hopsecger recommends checking with a doctor for regular intake of curcumin supplements. This is especially true for people who take medication, as curcumin can interact with other herbs. The following seven tips will make it more effective.
1. Use phytosomes
According to the nutritionist, supplements containing curcumin phytosomes should be used. This type of supplement has 29 times the absorption in the body compared to standard extracts.
2. Do not overdo the dosage
Doctors generally recommend taking 500 milligrams twice a day. The correct dosage, however, depends on the state of health of the individual. “It is harmless to take up to eight grams per day, but my recommendation would be somewhere lighter, ie 500 to 1000 milligrams per day for the general population,” Hopsecger agrees with the recommendation. of the doctor. To improve absorption in the body, healthy fats should also be consumed, for example from avocados, nuts and seeds.
3. Start with a low dose
Most people tolerate turmeric very well, but there are also people with allergies or intolerances from time to time. Slight stomach pain may also occur when you start taking it. For these reasons, Hopsecger recommends starting with a low dose and increasing it gradually.
4. Pay attention to the quality
Turmeric is often contaminated with toxins. Therefore, both when used as a spice and as a dietary supplement, high quality should be guaranteed. A curcumin supplement should also contain as few inactive ingredients and fillers as possible.
Also read: “Turmeric: healthy – but often contaminated with dangerous heavy metals”
5. Do not build up large stocks
Whether turmeric is used as a spice or as a supplement, with repeated contact with air, curcumin increasingly loses its effect. That is why the nutrition expert advises to buy only smaller amounts and keep them in a dark and cool place.
6. Don’t rely on turmeric alone
Turmeric can help supplement conventional treatment and provide useful support for healthy eating. However, those who rely solely on curcumin shouldn’t expect miracles. “If your diet is bad, taking a curcumin supplement won’t do anything wonderful,” Hopsecger said.
7. Listen to your body
“Although the risk of side effects is low and drug interactions are unlikely, you should stop taking turmeric if you experience side effects,” the nutritionist said. For example, turmeric could in some cases cause gas or interact with drugs that help blood to clot. Additionally, curcumin should not be taken by people with gallbladder disease.
Cooking with turmeric
Those who don’t take supplements but still want the health benefits of turmeric can incorporate the spice into many different dishes. Turmeric goes well, for example, in smoothies, soups, curries, scrambled eggs, muffins, rice, and fried vegetables. (v)
Author and source information
This text conforms to the requirements of specialized medical literature, medical directives and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.
Graduate Editor (FH) Volker Blasek
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.