pixel

15 Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric: a vibrant spice that deserves a spot in any respectable kitchen cupboard. But it’s not only useful for its warm and earthy flavour: it’s also got some incredible health benefits.

This root has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine, and modern science is finally starting to uncover its vast potential. From its anti-inflammatory properties to its potential role in improving your mental health, turmeric is more than just a staple ingredient in your curry.

The main benefit of turmeric is its curcumin content. It's this component that gives turmeric its yellow colour and most of its health benefits. Backed by an increasing body of research, curcumin benefits virtually every aspect of our health. Read on to find out more!

 

In this article:

15 Health benefits of turmeric

How much turmeric do I need?

How to eat more turmeric

Want an easy way to get a daily dose of turmeric? Try our award winning greens + multinutrient!

 

15 health benefits of turmeric:

It’s got anti-inflammatory properties:

Inflammation isn’t bad — it’s a natural part of your body's healing process. The problem comes when inflammation is long-lasting, where it can contribute to heart disease and other health conditions.

The curcumin found in turmeric possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties. This means it helps to interrupt the process of inflammation at a molecular level, blocking molecules that initiate inflammatory responses. This effect has been likened to some anti-inflammatory drugs, offering a more natural approach for those looking to manage chronic inflammation (without the side effects of drugs).

It’s high in antioxidants:

Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells in your body in their search for stability — a process known as oxidative stress. Antioxidants are compounds that neutralise these free radicals, meaning they reduce oxidative stress. Curcumin not only acts as a powerful antioxidant but also boosts your body's antioxidant enzymes. This boosts your body's natural defence mechanism against oxidative damage, contributing to overall health and well-being.

It can boost brain function:

One of the main drivers of brain ageing and degenerative diseases is a decrease in Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), a type of growth hormone. Research suggests curcumin can increase BDNF levels, which could lead to a delay or even reversal of cognitive decline and memory loss.

It may reduce cancer risk:

Preliminary studies suggest that turmeric may reduce the spread of cancer at a molecular level and inhibit the growth of tumours. Of course, it’s crucial to remember that while promising, these findings don't suggest that curcumin can prevent or treat cancer, and more research is needed to fully understand its potential role in cancer prevention and treatment.

It can help to manage depression:

By influencing neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, curcumin may be able to alleviate symptoms of depression. Of course, if you need support, turmeric isn’t a substitute for professional mental health treatment — but it can be a simple addition to your daily routine that can help support your mental health.

It can support heart health:

Research suggests that curcumin could improve the function of blood vessels, reducing the risk of heart disease. As we’ve mentioned, it also decreases inflammation and oxidative stress: two key factors that contribute to heart disease.

It can improve joint heath:

The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin can help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Some studies have found curcumin to be more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs in this regard.

It may help prevent Alzheimers:

Neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer's present significant challenges for our society. Curcumin, which can easily cross the blood-brain barrier, has shown promise in delaying or reversing neurodegenerative processes. While more research is needed, the potential for turmeric to contribute to the fight against Alzheimer's is pretty exciting.

It can improve digestion:

Digestive health is foundational to our overall health. Turmeric may aid digestion and alleviate symptoms of digestive disorders thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric can help to reduce gut inflammation and improve gut permeability (meaning how well you absorb nutrients).

It’s good for your skin:

Turmeric isn't just beneficial internally — it can also improve your skin. The anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties of curcumin may help treat a range of skin conditions, offering a natural alternative to chemical-laden creams and lotions.

It can boost your immune system:

Turmeric could also be a potent tool in fortifying our immunity. The curcumin in turmeric can regulate the activation of various immune cells, enhancing the body's immune response. This is vital in fighting off pathogens and preventing illness.

It can help with weight management:

With obesity being a major health issue worldwide, natural aids in weight management are sought after. Interestingly, research suggests that turmeric could play a role in helping to manage our weight. Some studies show that it might promote fat loss by inhibiting the growth of fat tissue. Obviously a teaspoon of turmeric won’t do much if your diet is poor — so consider it a supplemental addition, not a solution!

It can help manage diabetes:

Turmeric could have a role in managing type 2 diabetes. Curcumin appears to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, reducing the risk of complications from diabetes.

It can improve your eye health:

Emerging studies suggest curcumin may help protect against common eye conditions such as macular degeneration and glaucoma. Its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects may help protect the delicate structures of the eye from damage.

It can support the liver:

The role of turmeric in detoxification is gaining attention. The liver is our main detox organ, and turmeric supports liver function and enhances its detox capacity. This can help rid the body of harmful toxins and contribute to overall health and vitality.

How much turmeric do I need?

When it comes to turmeric, the daily intake varies depending on the purpose and your weight. For general health maintenance, the World Health Organisation suggests up to 3mg per kg of body weight of curcumin. But when dealing with specific health conditions, healthcare professionals may advise higher doses, potentially up to 1,000mg of curcumin per day.

1 teaspoon of ground turmeric weighs around 2-2.5 grams. This means that to meet the World Health Organisation's recommendation for a 70 kg individual (about 210mg of curcumin), you'd need to consume approximately 2-3 teaspoons of turmeric per day. Remember that this is a rough estimate, as the curcumin content can vary depending on the quality of the turmeric.

If you're using turmeric for its health benefits, remember to pair it with black pepper, which enhances the absorption of curcumin.

How to eat more turmeric

Turmeric is traditionally used in curries, but you can also add it to flavoursome stews and soups; or to start your day with this super spice, blend it into a smoothie.

We wanted to make it as easy as possible to get a good source of turmeric in your daily routine. That’s why we added a high-strength turmeric extract to our award-winning greens and multinutrient, THRIVE.

Just one scoop of THRIVE each day will ensure you’re getting all the curcuminoids you need, without having to worry about consuming so much powdered turmeric!

On top of that, it's packed full of essential plant based vitamins and minerals; live cultures, fruits, greens, and brain boosting herbs. It’s the most nutrient dense greens powder on the market, and goes much further than just turmeric alone.

 

Like all our products, THRIVE is third-party tested for heavy metals, herbicides, pesticides, and other contaminants.

 

Try THRIVE

You can get your daily dose of turmeric, vitamins and minerals for less than £1.50 per serving with our THRIVE Greens and Multinutrient. With our subscription service, you'll get our best price and carbon-neutral delivery straight to your door.

Try it today.

Sources:

 

Funk, J.L., Frye, J.B., Oyarzo, J.N., Zhang, H., and Timmermann, B.N. (2006) ‘Turmeric Extracts Containing Curcuminoids Prevent Experimental Rheumatoid Arthritis’, Arthritis Research & Therapy, 8(1). doi: 10.1186/ar2062.

Menon, V.P., and Sudheer, A.R. (2007) ‘Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin’, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 595, pp.105-125. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-46401-5_3.

Small, G.W., Siddarth, P., Li, Z., Miller, K.J., Ercoli, L., Emerson, N.D., Martinez, J., Wong, K.P., Liu, J., Merrill, D.A., Chen, S.T., Henning, S.M., Satyamurthy, N., Huang, S.C., Heber, D., and Barrio, J.R. (2018) ‘Memory and Brain Amyloid and Tau Effects of a Bioavailable Form of Curcumin in Non-Demented Adults: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled 18-Month Trial’, The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26(3), pp.266-277. doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2017.10.010.

Anand, P., Sundaram, C., Jhurani, S., Kunnumakkara, A.B., and Aggarwal, B.B. (2008) ‘Curcumin and cancer: An "old-age" disease with an "age-old" solution’, Cancer Letters, 267(1), pp.133-164. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2008.03.025.

Lopresti, A.L., Maes, M., Meddens, M.J., Maker, G.L., Arnoldussen, E., and Drummond, P.D. (2017) ‘Curcumin and major depression: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial investigating the potential of peripheral biomarkers to predict treatment response and antidepressant mechanisms of change’, European Neuropsychopharmacology, 27(1), pp.38-50. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2016.11.012.

Usharani, P., Mateen, A.A., Naidu, M.U., Raju, Y.S., and Chandra, N. (2008) ‘Effect of NCB-02, atorvastatin and placebo on endothelial function, oxidative stress and inflammatory markers in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, 8-week study’, Drugs in R & D, 9(4), pp.243-50. doi: 10.2165/00126839-200809040-00004.

Daily, J.W., Yang, M., and Park, S. (2016) ‘Efficacy of Turmeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials’, Journal of Medicinal Food, 19(8), pp.717-29. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2016.3705.

Chattopadhyay, I., Biswas, K., Bandyopadhyay, U. and Banerjee, R.K., 2004. Turmeric and curcumin: Biological actions and medicinal applications. Current Science, [online] 87(1), pp.44-53.

Chuengsamarn, S., Rattanamongkolgul, S., Phonrat, B., Tungtrongchitr, R. and Jirawatnotai, S., 2012. Reduction of atherogenic risk in patients with type 2 diabetes by curcuminoid extract: a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, [online] 24(2), pp.419-424.

Ejaz, A., Wu, D., Kwan, P. and Meydani, M., 2009. Curcumin inhibits adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and angiogenesis and obesity in C57/BL mice. The Journal of Nutrition, [online] 139(5), pp.919-925. Jagetia, G.C. and Aggarwal, B.B., 2007. "Spicing up" of the immune system by curcumin. Journal of Clinical Immunology, [online] 27(1), pp.19-35. Available at: Liu, A. and Chang, J., 2020. Curcumin's effects on the prevention of retinal degeneration. International Ophthalmology, [online] 40(3), pp.765-779.