10 Things You Didn’t Know About Turmeric
Find Out Why This Spice Is Taking Sports Performers Worldwide By Storm

Categories: SUPPLEMENTATIONPublished On: January 15th, 2024

Turmeric is a Hindi spice, very common in Asia, from where it has expanded all over the world. It is full of active ingredients that cause numerous different effects. Ground turmeric root produces a spice orange in colour and with a very peculiar taste, used as an additive and branded by the EU as E-100.
To many Western people, turmeric might seem just another kind of more or less exotic spice, yet Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine have been using it for almost 4,000 years due to its excellent properties.

Anti-oxidant, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-cancerous…

All of these alleged health-boosting properties comprising various fields within medicine make us wonder: Why haven’t we heard of this before? Defenders of turmeric recommend its use as a natural remedy to treat and prevent some illnesses and claim its intake provides the following benefits:

  1. Anti-oxidant: turmeric protects our cells from free radicals that cause them to age and decay.
  2. Antiseptic: it helps fight acne, and boosts a smooth and youthful complexion combined with its anti-oxidant effects.
  3. Digestive: when used in cooking, turmeric improves digestion, helps reduce gas, bloating and prevents ulcer.
  4. Anti-depressive: turmeric acts as a natural stimuli to our body’s production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates our mood, and simultaneously inhibits the production of cortisol, also known as the stress-hormone, which contributes to tear down our muscles.
  5. It protects the nervous system: turmeric extract contains natural agents that block a certain peptide (beta-amiloid) from reproducing. This peptide is closely linked to the appearance of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s, as well as Parkinson’s, are two increasingly common diseases that currently don’t have a cure, but research points towards turmeric helping prevent both.
  6. Anti-inflammatory: it stimulates the suprarenal glandules into producing anti-inflammatory hormones. Their active components help inhibit the synthesis of the prostaglandins (compounds of fatty acids that stimulate the nerve endings into sending pain signals to the brain), kind of like anti-inflammatory drugs, but without the side effects. Defenders of turmeric recommend the use of the spice for chronic conditions like migraine, rheumatism, arthritis and even premenstrual and menstrual syndrome.
  7. It improves respiratory diseases: it has a capacity to help eliminate accumulated bronchial secretion, thereby relieving the lungs and opening the airways to expel phlegm when we have a cold.
  8. Detox effect: some of its active ingredients have a significant detoxifying capacity, especially in liver and gallbladder. This makes turmeric a perfect supplement to diets high in protein, such as Bodybuilding athletes’ diets.
  9. Anti-cancerous: as of yet, there is no cure for this terrible disease; nonetheless, some studies reveal that turmeric’s active components interfere with the ability of cancerous cells to develop, reproduce, survive and invade healthy tissue. At the same time, the use of turmeric over time seems to enhance the therapeutic effect of cancer treatment and reduce its side effects to a certain extent.
  10. Energizing: it reduces the generation of glucose in the liver and favours the process of glucose turning into glycogen in the muscles, thereby helping us improve our training capacity.

The Best Way To Consume Turmeric:

Traditionally, turmeric has been consumed in foods, as a spice, and even diluted in milk, known as golden milk, in order to take advantage of its hugely useful properties. Nonetheless, it has been proven that the human body’s capacity to absorb the turmeric it consumes is not as efficient as we would like.

That’s why we must optimize our turmeric intake. One way to do this is combining it with black pepper, which favours its absorption. Turmeric is also fat-soluble, so it’s an ideal spice to fatty meals in general, including a Mediterranean salad seasoned with plenty of olive oil.

We must also bear in mind that most of turmeric’s beneficial properties are destroyed at high temperatures, hence, if we really want to make use of these properties, we should consume turmeric in raw foods, or add it just at the end of the cooking process.

Regardless of the above, nowadays and especially for Fitness and Bodybuilding performers, the best way to consume turmeric is as a food supplement in the form of pills, whereby you can easily control the amount of intake. However, if you’re a fan of its one-of-a-kind taste, remember: consume turmeric with fatty foods and/or black pepper and don’t cook it.

Side Effects And Use Limitations

In spite of its many wonderful and healing properties, the use of turmeric does not come without its potential hazards. It is not an ideal supplement for everybody, so if you have questions or doubts, please ask your doctor.

It is generally not recommended for people with gallbladder issues. If you have gallstones, turmeric can cause renal colic, which is extremely painful. You should never use turmeric to get rid of gallstones without medical supervision.

Patients with liver conditions such as jaundice, fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, etc, should talk to a doctor before starting to use turmeric as a supplement, since, in spite of its being liver detoxifying, it is not always compatible with liver conditions.

As safety measures, it might be wise to take into account the following warnings when consuming turmeric:

  • Do not use during pregnancy or children under the age of 3.
  • Do not use before being operated on, as it can affect blood coagulation.
  • Always use in sensible amounts, as it is one of the spices with highest known levels of mycotoxins.