Long before the discovery of common medicines, our prehistoric ancestors only had nature to turn to for the remedies they were looking for. A combination of herbs and spices were used to alleviate common ailments they were faced with. However, not many of these natural remedies have stood the test of time quite as well as turmeric has. The golden spice has been in use for centuries and doesn’t seem to be leaving our spice rack or medicine shelves anytime soon thanks to the various health benefits it has to offer. From curbing inflammation to improving brain function, this sunshine spice is bound to put a pep back in your step. If you are curious about how this spice can help you, then keep reading to find out more about the benefits, dosage, and when the best time of the day to take turmeric is.
What Makes Turmeric So Potent?
Turmeric is derived from the root of the Curcuma longa, which is part of the ginger family. Most people are familiar with the vivid orange powdered spice, but in its natural form, it looks more like ginger root, with a more golden yellow hue.
Turmeric contains over 300 beneficial natural plant compounds and nutrients including calcium, fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C, niacin, iron, potassium, magnesium, and other nutrients. But the secret behind turmeric’s amazing superpowers is an active polyphenol compound called Curcumin. Curcumin is what gives the spice a rich golden color and has been the subject of multiple studies in the health industry especially for its positive effects on fighting inflammation and cancer prevention.
The Benefits Of Turmeric
The use of turmeric dates back to almost 4000 years ago in India and was used as the main component in religious ceremonies, a fragrant spice, a dye, and as an Ayurvedic medicine to relieve various ailments. The earliest studies date back to 250 BC, where the Susruta’s Ayurvedic Compendium, an ancient Sanskrit text recommended using an ointment made of turmeric to relieve symptoms brought on by poisoned food. To this very day, turmeric is still a popular ingredient in Ayurvedic and western herbal medicine and still carries the nickname ‘the spice of life’ due to its incredibly potent healing properties. Here are a few benefits the golden spice is best known for:
Inflammation is an important part of the human anatomy. It helps us to fight off foreign pathogens and signals the body to begin the healing process. While short term, acute inflammation is beneficial for us, it can cause a few issues when inflammation becomes a chronic problem and starts to attack the body. In some cases, long term inflammation can lead to various diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease.
Taking an anti-inflammatory can help combat chronic inflammation and turmeric has proven to be just as effective as some synthetic drugs, without any of the common side effects. Research has revealed that turmeric fights inflammation on a molecular level by blocking NF-kB, a protein responsible for inflammatory responses within the genes as well as the production of inflammatory cytokines. NF-kB has also been linked to various other chronic diseases.
Fights Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress has been linked to a multitude of diseases and premature aging. It is caused by harmful free radicals that react negatively with DNA, proteins, and fatty acids, all of which are important for the cells. This is why it is important to get enough antioxidants in your diet. Due to the chemical structure of curcumin, it acts as a potent antioxidant that helps to neutralize harmful free radicals. Turmeric also helps to enhance the body’s natural antioxidant enzymes.
Improves Brain Function
While there is no specific treatment for progressive disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease, prevention is always better than cure. Thanks to the potent antioxidant properties of turmeric, it helps to fight oxidative stress in the brain. The powerful anti-inflammatory properties also help to reduce the risk of developing these neurological disorders.
In addition to this turmeric has also been found to increase levels of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which is a growth hormone that has been linked to improved memory and decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s and depression.
Other Incredible Benefits Of Turmeric
- Reduced risk of heart disease.
- Relieves inflammation in Arthritis patients.
- Fights against depression.
- Delays aging and combats age-related disorders.
- Lowers LDL “bad” cholesterol.
- Improves IBS symptoms
- Reduces premenstrual cramps
- Prevents frequent headaches and migraines.
- It helps to fight against viral infections such as flu and herpes.
There are hundreds of ways to take turmeric every day. Some advise you to take a spoon of turmeric and milk in the mornings while others recommend chugging a shot with coconut oil. Unfortunately, adding turmeric to every meal or simply eating the spice alone does not give you the maximum benefits of the magical plant. This ultimately comes down to absorption.
Curcumin has a low absorption rate and low bioavailability, meaning that while turmeric is loaded with beneficial compounds, the body has a hard time absorbing and utilizing it. The spice only contains 3% curcumin, which may take a very long time to see any results.
Fortunately, turmeric now comes in handy capsule form so you don’t have to worry about downing a shot of the spice sans the delicious curry. The difference between supplements and the spice is the percentage of curcumin and the absorption rates.
Good quality turmeric supplements like Turmeric MD™ contains 1000mg of turmeric extracts that are standardized to contain 95% of natural curcuminoids.
In addition to this, high-quality supplements like Turmeric MD™ also add in another ingredient such as BioPerine® (Piperine) to enhance absorption, making it easier for the body to transport the nutrients and utilize them. Piperine is a bioactive alkaloid naturally found in black pepper, which helps to boost the absorption of curcuminoids by a whopping 2000%.
When Is The Best Time Of The Day To Take Turmeric?
To reap the maximum benefits of turmeric without suffering from common side effects such as indigestion and GI discomfort, it’s important to know when the best time of the day to take turmeric is. Many people turn to turmeric supplements in order to improve cognitive function, boost antioxidants, and alleviate depression as well as to improve overall mood, which is why the best time to take turmeric supplements is in the morning followed by a second dose in the afternoon so you can experience the full effects of the supplements during the day – when you need it the most.
Should I Take Turmeric On An Empty Stomach?
Turmeric supplements work best on an empty stomach and should be taken at least 30 minutes before meals. Turmeric is also fat-soluble, which means that it can only be dissolved in fat. After the 30 minute window, eat a healthy meal that includes fatty foods like avocado or coconut oil to ensure the turmeric is easily dissolved and absorbed in the bloodstream for optimal results.
How Long Does It Take Turmeric To Work?
Since turmeric is a fat-soluble, it takes a bit longer to feel the full effects in comparison to water-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble nutrients first need to be absorbed by fat globules in the intestines before being transported to the rest of the body. Due to this process, it will take a while to reap the benefits, but once curcumin levels start to build up, you should feel noticeable results within 4 to 8 weeks depending on your current state of health and body mass.
The Bottom Line
If you have ever wondered what turmeric is beneficial for, the simple answer is that it is beneficial for almost every common ailment. The golden spice of life has been the topic of multiple modern-day studies and has demonstrated just how well-tolerated and effective it is against inflammation, depression, and fighting oxidative stress. If you are considering including a turmeric supplement in your daily regime, always make sure you opt for a high-quality supplement like Turmeric MD™ to ensure you get a safe and effective dose in every bottle!