Joanne Morgan

By Joanne Morgan

Dietary Advice, Food Facts, Health Advice, Nutrition Lab, Supplementation

The Health Benefits of Turmeric


Turmeric has received a lot of well-deserved attention recently for its extensive range of health benefits. It is almost unbelievable the huge range of benefits this spice can have on the body. It can help to lower cholesterol, aid weight loss, improve skin and aid menstrual pains. It is also an excellent source of manganese and iron as well as vitamin B6, fibre, copper and potassium.

What is Turmeric?

Turmeric is a yellow spice which is best known as one of the ingredients in curry. It comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant which originates in Southern Asian. It has a tough, brown outer skin with a deep orange/yellow flesh. Turmeric is most commonly found in powdered form, but is also available as a supplement in tablet, capsule and liquid form. This spice has a unique flavour and aroma. It has a slightly peppery, bitter flavour with a mild aroma similar to ginger and orange. Its distinctive colour is what gives curry and mustard their yellow appearance. This spice does so much more than just add flavour to your curry dish; it has been used for centuries in Asia for its wide range of health benefits.

Turmeric Health Benefits

Turmeric has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of ailments and conditions in Chinese and Indian medicine. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric and it has many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This is  what helps give turmeric its wide range of potential benefits, just some of which are explained below:

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Turmeric has natural anti-inflammatory properties, which simply means it has anti-swelling and anti-inflammation properties. Inflammation can cause a huge range of conditions in the body, just some of which include: menstrual pains, toothaches, bruising, arthritis and high cholesterol to name but a few. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, helps the body to lower the enzymes in the body which cause inflammation, which in turn can help treat a wide range of conditions.

Antioxidant Properties

Curcumin is also a powerful antioxidant. An antioxidant is a substance which has the ability to reduce the damage caused by free radicles. Free radicles damage the cells in the body which can cause a number of diseases. By adding antioxidant rich foods to your diet, such as turmeric (as well as vitamin A, C and E) you are helping the body fight these free radicles, which minimises the damage they can cause.

Aids Weight Loss

Turmeric is believed to be an excellent natural weight loss aid. This is because the curcumin present can stimulate the gallbladder, which is responsible for bile production.  Bile helps the body to digest fat easier and quicker, which helps the body to control weight.

Helps Lower Cholesterol

Curcumin can also have a positive effect on cholesterol. This active ingredient is thought to help the body reduce the build-up of ‘bad cholesterol’, which is also referred to as low-density lipoprotein (LDL), in the blood vessels. This in turn helps reduce the build-up of plaque in the arteries which is what causes high cholesterol, heart attacks and strokes.

Improves Skin

This has some amazing benefits for your skin because of its antioxidant, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. The antioxidants fight free radicles in the body which contribute to ageing skin. It’s antiseptic and antibacterial properties also make it an effective treatment for pimples, breakouts and acne. This spice adds a wonderful glow to your skin as well as helping reduce the appearance of dark circles, scars and sun spots.

Make a simple and amazing face mask using turmeric: simply mix a teaspoon of turmeric, a teaspoon of raw honey and a drop of milk and apply to cleansed skin and allow it to set for 20-30 minutes to see the amazing benefits for yourself!

Adding Turmeric to your Diet

Turmeric is available in a number of forms and is so easy to add to your diet. The powdered spice can be added to a number of dishes including marinades, sauces, salad dressings, scrambled eggs or grilled meats to add flavour as well as lots of potential health benefits. For an even more convenient way to add this spice to your diet, why not try taking it as a supplement? It is available in tablet, capsule and liquid form so you are sure to find something that suits your needs. Add turmeric to your diet today to see the huge range of benefits for yourself!

Note* The body can find it difficult to fully absorb turmeric, try consuming it with pepper or a dish containing fat as this will help to aid its absorption.