What Are the Benefits of Turmeric?

Turmeric is certainly nothing new.  In fact it’s been used for thousands of years to flavor foods and treat a variety of conditions and concerns.  That said, it’s only recently that this powerful little spice, both fresh turmeric and turmeric powder, has begun to make headlines, thanks to a growing body of research indicating that the antioxidant found in turmeric, curcumin, is a strong ally in health. 

Healthy Food

Q: Is turmeric really as great for health as everyone says?

While there is still much more to be learned about turmeric and its health benefits, it seems that this key ingredient in curry has been shown to help reduce inflammation, not only showing some promise in fighting cancer but also in improving heart health.  Curcumin, the antioxidant in turmeric, has been shown to help bolster heart health in a variety of ways, thanks to its anti-inflammatory qualities. This includes links between curcumin intake and reduced LDL cholesterol and improved triglyceride levels, both key factors in heart health. 

As February is American Heart Month, what better time to sample this increasingly popular spice to reduce inflammation and treat your heart well?  There are several ways to start adding more turmeric to your diet for flavor and heart healthy benefits:

  • Order a curry dish next time you eat out for a dose of turmeric.  Indian restaurants are a great place to start. The added benefit of curries is that they often include a variety of vegetables, which are also vital for heart health and overall well-being.
  • Whip up some Golden Milk Turmeric Tea.  You may have seen this recipe sweeping social media – and for good reason.  It’s an easy and soothing addition to your day with anti-inflammatory benefits to help boost heart health, reduce your risk of certain cancers and even help with some of the aches and pains.
  • Add recipes like these, made with turmeric, to your weekly menu:
    • Spanish Tacos
    • Shrimp with Mango & Basil
    • Moroccan Chicken with Brown Rice and Lemon Sauteed Spinach
    • Dreamy Creamy Turmeric Sweet Potato Hummus
    • Chicken Paella

Turmeric is considered safe to use every day. For adults, professionals generally recommend a dose of 1-3 grams of dried, powdered root per day to achieve anti-inflammatory benefits. This is about ½ to 1 ½ teaspoons.

While turmeric is earning quite a reputation for reducing inflammation and improving heart health, it is not the only food that has been linked to these benefits.