Many health websites are these days flocking with information about turmeric and turmeric supplements. Health enthusiasts worldwide are talking about the health benefits of turmeric and ways to consume it for maximum health advantages. Some of these information would be part of the marketing campaign carried out by turmeric extract suppliers, whereas some would be provided by health websites as a part of their awareness campaign. Lot has been said and discussed about this humble spice, and that has led to some amount of confusion amongst consumers about what to take and how to take!
To make your health journey easier, here are all key factors that you need to know about turmeric and its supplement.
Turmeric and its composition
Turmeric is the stem of the plant named curcuma longa and it grows underground. It is basically a root stem or rhizome belonging to ginger family. A typical turmeric is half to one inch in diameter and about 3 to 4 inches long. This root has pale orange color initially, which turns into bright yellow when processed and powdered. It is backed by about 5000 years of history and has been used in traditional Indian and Chinese medicines due to its amazing health benefits. The spice is also used in regular cooking due to its distinct flavor and aroma.
Turmeric and its forms
Turmeric can be found in various forms. The fresh turmeric known as turmeric root looks just like ginger with some variation in color. The root is the perfect blend of nutrient, fiber, and oil. It contains vitamin B, vitamin C, minerals like potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, and iron, and good amount of dietary fibers. The root is then processed to get turmeric oil and turmeric powder. The oil in turmeric has therapeutic properties and is formed from the liquid present in the root. Powder is composed from the pulp.
Turmeric powder has bright yellow color, which is offered by the curcuminoids present in it. The health benefits of turmeric are mainly attributed to curcuminoids. Studies have shown that there are 3 types of curcuminoids – Curcumin, desmethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Amongst all three types, much has been talked about curcumin and its benefits!
Significance of curcumin
When so much is being talked about turmeric, it is important to know that it is curcumin present in turmeric that is responsible for all health benefits. However, curcumin is just 3% to 6% of total turmeric and hence consuming turmeric in whole or powdered form may not offer desired results. Research has proven benefits of curcumin in turmeric and hence pharmaceutical companies are coming up with pure curcumin extract or turmeric supplement that offers desired health benefits in short period.
Curcumin extract and health benefits
In order to avail the health benefits of turmeric, companies are coming up with pure curcumin extract containing about 95% curcumin for faster results. These extracts come with dosage instruction to ensure results without any side-effects. These supplements also contain other compounds that increase its bioavailability for good absorption. Curcumin intake without increasing bioavailability would not offer results due to poor absorption.
Some of the health benefits offered by curcumin extract are: –
- Boosts immunity.
- Purifies blood.
- Weight loss.
- Prevents ageing.
- Works for cancer prevention.
- Eases the symptoms of arthritis like swelling, inflammation, and joint pain.
- Lowers cholesterol levels.
- Fights many types of allergies.
- Reduces chances of Alzheimer’s disease.
There are many other health benefits offered by turmeric due to its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Key points to note before buying curcumin extract
- Opt for only pure curcumin extract to get satisfactory results.
- Take turmeric in its natural form along with curcumin extract to get faster results.
- Add some black pepper or fat to the turmeric powder to increase the effect of curcumin due to higher bioavailability.
- If taking turmeric powder, then add it to heated fat, water, or milk for greater bioavailability.
- Start with small dosage of curcumin extract if taking it for the first time.
This will give your body time to adapt to this new supplement. Take the recommended dosage once your gallbladder and stomach are accustomed to the new supplement. This will ensure that you don’t come across any side-effects in attempt to get health benefits.
Turmeric and turmeric supplements have many health enriching properties that can prevent several health problems. However, if you are looking for long term use then it is recommended that you continue using turmeric powder in cooking or consume it as natural medication. For more specific problems and faster results, one should opt for curcumin extract and turmeric supplement as per recommended dosage. Turmeric is a wonder spice, have more to gain more!