Turmeric - Is It Really A Midlife Miracle Spice?

I love using turmeric in everything from smoothies and lattes to the more usual curries. But does it live up to its superfood image? This blog covers the uses and health benefits of turmeric, some of which are very impressive. And it also covers how to get the maximum benefit from turmeric in your cooking. midlifemenu.com/blog/turmeric-uses-and-benefits

Turmeric - Is It Really A Midlife Miracle Spice?

I love turmeric! Especially fresh turmeric root which has got a slightly citrusy edge to it. But is it all it’s cracked up to be?

Turmeric has gained a bit of a superfood reputation over the years. It’s that bright yellow spice often used in curries, mustards and even lovely lattes (like my hug in a mug version right here) . 

Why All the Buzz about Turmeric?

The reason for the buzz is that turmeric contains an anti-inflammatory antioxidant compound called curcumin. It fights inflammation at a molecular level. Some studies even show it can work as well as certain anti-inflammatory medications (but without the side effects). 

Not everyone agrees and recently there has been some doubt cast on its super power properties. But, that said, most nutritionists do, including me, agree that using colourful spices to liven up your food is a lot more beneficial than sugar or salt.

Health Benefits of Curcumin

There are dozens of clinical studies using curcumin extract. (Bear in mind that curcumin extract is way more concentrated than ground turmeric and therefore you might not be consuming the quantities used in the research studies)

Reducing inflammation and oxidation (another claimed benefit) have amazing health boosts for midlifers. Chronic inflammation plays a major role in so many conditions that may be affecting you, including heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, dementia, mood disorders and arthritis pain. I discuss inflammation in more detail in this blog post. 

Curcumin has other benefits including:

  • Boosting levels of "Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor" (like a natural growth hormone for your brain) which is great for brain health.

  • Improving “endothelial” function” (the inner lining of our blood vessels) which is great for heart health.

  • Reducing growth of cancer cells by reducing angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumors), metastasis (the spread of cancer), and even contributes to the death of cancer cells.

Given those claims, it’s no wonder turmeric has the “miracle spice” tag!

How To Get the Most out of Your Turmeric

The bad news is that curcumin is not easily absorbed by your gut. For one thing, it’s fat soluble. So, as with fat-soluble nutrients (like vitamins A, D, E, and K), you can increase absorption by eating it with a fat-containing meal.

The second trick to get the most out of your turmeric is eating it with black pepper. Interestingly, a compound in black pepper (piperine) enhances absorption of curcumin, by a whopping 2,000%! 

A Word of Caution

If you’re thinking of taking a curcumin supplement, think twice if you:

  • Are taking anti-platelet medications or blood thinners

  • Have gallstones or a bile duct obstruction

  • Have stomach ulcers or excess stomach acid

Always read the label before taking a new supplement. And, as always, ask for advice from your GP if you’re not sure.

Try Turmeric Today!

If turmeric has passed you by or you weren’t too sure about the benefits, why not try my delicious turmeric latte recipe and let me know what you think. 

And why not sign up below to receive more inspiring and healthy recipes every week, delivered straight to your inbox? I’m going to be sure to include another turmeric-containing recipe soon in my weekly email.

Content Disclaimer

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Midlife Menu Ltd disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.