Updated: Nov 9
✦ There is more than meets the eye with turmeric. It has powerful healing properties that people are now starting to appreciate.
The beautiful golden spice of Asian cuisine has expanded its reach beyond the kitchen. The curcumin found in turmeric is known to have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and even improve insulin resistance and cholesterol levels. As studies continue into the benefits of turmeric, we may well see this humble spice play a role in medical therapies, and perhaps even take centrestage one day in alternative and even Western medicine.
Turmeric for weight management
Test-tube studies have suggested that curcumin can help suppress some inflammatory markers that play a part in obesity.
People with excess weight or obesity tend to have an elevated amount of these markers. A 30-day study in 44 people who had difficulty losing weight found significant reductions in body weight, body mass index, as well as waist and hip circumference when they supplemented twice a day with 800 mg of curcumin and 8 mg of piperine (black pepper).
There were also increased levels of adiponectin, which is a hormone used to regulate metabolism. Turmeric can help detox a fatty liver, and that can also improve our metabolism.
More studies are required before one can say with full confidence that turmeric is your go-to for losing weight. Nevertheless, with its wide range of health benefits, there is no harm adding a bit of turmeric to your cooking as a supplement.
Moving beyond losing weight, turmeric is also gaining ground in the effect it has on managing diabetes.
Turmeric for diabetes management
You may have heard in health circles that turmeric may help in the prevention of Type 2 diabetes. Research is being carried out to extract more evidence, and so far what we are seeing is looking positive.
240 people diagnosed with prediabetes went through a trial where half got supplements of curcumin, while the other half received placebos. After nine months of treatment, 16% of subjects in the placebo group got full-blown diabetes. And guess how many in the curcumin group got diabetes?
In fact, the curcumin group noticed a significant improvement in fasting blood sugars, glucose tolerance, haemoglobin A1C, insulin sensitivity, pancreatic insulin-producing beta cell function (measured two different ways), and insulin sensitivity.
While one cannot say that turmeric is the solution for prediabetes, studies so far have shown the positive benefits of adding turmeric to one's diet, on top of following a healthy plant-based diet or one that has been recommended by one's doctor.
Research has shown that turmeric may help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. Curcumin exhibits a positive effect on high blood sugar and improves insulin sensitivity. It may also help reduce the risk or severity of some complications related to diabetes.
Diabetes can lead to other problems such as heart disease, and research has also been conducted which show that turmeric and help lower both total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein i.e. bad cholesterol.
Disclaimer: Always speak to your doctor before starting a supplement to ensure it is safe for you. Turmeric should not be the only treatment you use to prevent or manage diabetes. It can be part of a comprehensive diabetes treatment plan that includes good blood sugar level monitoring, a healthy diet, and plenty of exercise.
World Diabetes Day
That falls on 14 November, and this year's theme is Access to Diabetes Care - Know your Risk, Know your Response. This year's campaign is focused on the importance of learning about our risk of Type 2 diabetes in order to delay or prevent the condition, and to highlight the impact of diabetes-related complications, and to have access to the right information and care to ensure timely treatment and management.
Learn more about World Diabetes Day in our blog here.
Including turmeric in your diet
One can spend hours just reading up literature on the Internet about all the research that has been carried out on turmeric, and many have shown very positive results.
For some people, turmeric is already a part of their diet because they use it in cooking. Those who wish to take turmeric as a health supplement, there are some key points to note. In spite of all the strong evidence about the benefits of turmeric, it is not a medication and should not replace a comprehensive diabetes management plan, or weight loss plan or any other medical situation. Apart from speaking to your doctor, you can also consult a dietitian for help with planning your meals.
If you wish to take turmeric to help manage diabetes, make sure you get a turmeric supplement that has been treated to increase its bioavailability. Our bodies do not absorb turmeric easily, that is why people add black pepper to turmeric to give it a leg up so our bodies can fully benefit from turmeric.
Apart from medical help, people with diabetes can adopt the following lifestyle changes to manage the disease:
eat a healthy diet with lots of nonstarchy vegetables and fibre
manage your stress levels
get quality sleep
If you wish to add turmeric to your meals, there are some simple ways to do it. Sweet or savoury, experiment with turmeric by adding just a small teaspoon first to see if you like the flavour, and to see if your body is able to accept this ingredient.
Turmeric can be drunk as a tea, or added to your favourite smoothie. Some people also add a dash of turmeric to scrambled eggs in the morning, or put a pinch of it to rice before cooking. Turmeric gives a gentle spice to a vegetable stew, perfect for a cold winter's night.
Check out The Turmeric Lady, Alison Carroll's website for some beautifully delicious recipes using turmeric. They sound so good that health benefits aside, one just wants to have a go at making these healthy dishes! We especially love her Turmeric4U Golden Milk Tea Recipe, which is a comforting bedtime drink to help ease you into restful sleep!
One can go on and on about the amazing healing powers of this little spice so commonly found in curries. Read about how turmeric and also help with women's health and wellbeing.
AC Healthy Solutions
p/ +61 406 036 845
Pick up location: 18 Morton Street, Wauchope
Buy from me at the markets: https://achealthysolutions.com/#markets
Note: When consuming any health products, please consult your doctor or GP first, especially if you are pregnant, are taking anti-platelet medications or blood thinners, have gallstones or a bile duct issue, suffer from stomach ulcers or excessive stomach acid.
Nutrition Facts by Dr Michael Greger
Advertise with Brilliant-Online
✦ Brilliant-Online is the only publication that offers a single interactive multichannel advertising package.
✦ The purpose of Brilliant-Online is to push for a better world in the digital era.
✦ Brilliant-Online is an empowering read for progressive individuals and dynamic businesses.
✦ For all enquiries about advertising with Brilliant-Online, please contact us here.