What are the Health Benefits of Turmeric?

Remember when golden lattes were a trendy thing? No? Well, let me enlighten you with the one piece of information I know about golden lattes that were trendy at one point somewhere in the last three years. 

Golden lattes contain turmeric! Yes, turmeric, the yellow/gold spice that is often used in curries. It may seem odd to put it in a latte, but it was popular for a moment and there’s a good reason for it too. Turmeric is loaded with all kinds of nutrients and health benefits!

In this article we’ll break down all the amazing health benefits of this incredible spice and why you should think about trying a golden latte at least once. 

Ok…that last part may not be true, but we hope by the end of this article you’ll be a lot more interested in incorporating turmeric into more of your diet. 

Keep reading to find out more about:

  • What turmeric is
  • The health benefits of turmeric
  • Ways to add turmeric to your diet

So, what is turmeric?

Turmeric is a spice often used in Indian cuisine to give curry its yellow color. While turmeric has a long history in India as being used as both a spice and a medicinal herb, modern science has only recently begun to provide evidence that backs up traditional claims of turmeric’s medicinal properties.

The main active ingredient found in turmeric is a compound by the name of curcumin. Curcumin is a strong antioxidant with many anti-inflammatory properties. While the amount of curcumin in turmeric is very low (less than 3% of it), turmeric extracts tend to have higher amounts of curcumin than the spice alone. 

Health benefits of turmeric 

Turmeric is more than just a spice to add to trendy drinks or add to curry (though curry is arguably one of the ways to use turmeric). It has many health benefits that are worth noting and there are many ways to incorporate it into your diet and wellness routine to get all the benefits that this amazing spice has to offer. 

Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory properties

As mentioned above, the main active ingredient in turmeric is the powerful antioxidant curcumin which provides many of the anti-inflammatory properties turmeric has to offer. 

These anti-inflammatory properties can aid in the prevention and relief of symptoms for health issues such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Other degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and dementia

Turmeric may help to boost brain-derived neurotrophic factor

Now, you may be asking yourself, or google, what is brain-derived neurotrophic factor? Trust me, I was asking the very same thing. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor is a gene that is involved in making a protein that promotes life in neurons of the brain. 

This protein plays a large role in the memory and learning section of the brain and a decreased amount of BDNF proteins have been linked to depression and Alzheimer's disease. 

Turmeric has many antioxidative properties due to it's curcumin content.
Turmeric has many antioxidative properties because of its main active ingredient, curcumin. 

In a study done on animals, scientists found that a supplement of curcumin improved the condition of brain diseases and age-related decrease of function in the brain, sometimes even reversing the effects of the diseases and decreased function. 

While this research is promising, there is still no evidence that curcumin supplements would have the same effects on humans and more research is still needed. 

Turmeric increases antioxidant capacity and protects against free radicals

Studies have shown that turmeric has properties that boost the production of antioxidants in the body, building up more defenses against free radicals and chronic inflammation, two factors that increase the risk of diseases like cancer and infections in the body. 

Increased antioxidants not only boost the body’s defenses against disease, it can also improve and protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals and environmental toxins. 

Turmeric may help to relieve joint pain

Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties are extremely helpful for relieving pain in joints and symptoms of arthritis. Studies have shown promising evidence that turmeric powders and supplements can help to relieve pain associated with arthritis and may be useful for athletes looking to soothe soreness after workouts. 

Turmeric improves gut health

The anti-inflammatory properties of Turmeric come into play again in the realm of digestive health. Not only does turmeric help to relieve inflammation symptoms in individuals with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) but the antioxidants in turmeric may also help to protect the intestines from bad bacteria and free radicals that enter the body through food. 

Turmeric also helps to relieve acid reflux and aids in the prevention of ulcers. However, taking too much turmeric may cause acid reflux in some individuals so it is important to monitor your dosage. 

How to add turmeric into your diet

While we mentioned the popular golden lattes at the beginning of the article, these delicious drinks are not the only way to get turmeric into your diet. Though they may become your favorite way to get this spice into your system. 

In this section we’ll share a few delicious ways to add turmeric into your diet and what to look for if you want to use a turmeric or curcumin supplement. 

Golden lattes

I promise this is the last time I am mentioning a golden latte. Golden lattes involve incorporating turmeric powder into the steamed milk of a latte either while heating it on the stove or with the use of a milk frother. You can add other healthy spices such as cinnamon or ginger and sweeten it using honey, maple syrup, or sugar. 

Whether you enjoy coffee based lattes or tea-based lattes, spicing up your frothed milk with turmeric and some of your favorite spices makes for the perfect warm drink to start off a brisk morning or settle down after a long day of work. You could even try it iced if it’s too hot for hot drinks!

Turmeric adds a beautiful golden color to any dish, including coffee!
Golden lattes are a great way to get all the benefits of turmeric in one delicious drink!

Turmeric smoothie bowl

Going along with the breakfast trend, smoothie bowls and smoothies are another great way to add a pinch of turmeric to your morning routine. You can add a pinch of turmeric powder into any of your favorite smoothies for a small boost of antioxidants. For even more antioxidant goodness, try adding spinach and kale into the mix as well. 

Juice with turmeric

Like the smoothie, juices are another great way to get turmeric into your diet. For best results it’s recommended to get fresh turmeric root and juice it with the rest of the vegetables and fruits that you are putting in your juice. This not only enhances the flavor of the juice but allows you to get all the nutrients of this delicious spice. 

However you decide to incorporate this brightly colored spice into your diet, you’re sure to see and feel the many amazing health benefits that this ancient spice has provided to humans for thousands of years!