The Many Benefits of Turmeric

From wellness shots to lattes and dinner recipes, turmeric is having a moment. As a member of the ginger family, this plant has been a key player in Ayurveda and other forms of traditional medicine for thousands of years, and has frequently been used in cooking. But besides adding a flavorful punch to dishes like curries, soups, and stews, this ingredient has quite a few benefits for your overall health.

Let’s get into it!

The Benefits of Turmeric

One component of turmeric is responsible for a lot of its benefits, and that’s curcumin, a polyphenol that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Like other plant-based foods, turmeric is also rich in phytonutrients, which may protect the body against free radicals and disease.

1. Reduces Inflammation 
Inflammation in the body can be caused by a variety of factors, including chronic stress, an infection or injury, exposure to toxins, or too many high intensity workouts in a row. Acute inflammation is short-lived (a few hours or days), and chronic inflammation persists over long periods of time. Arthritis, for instance, is an example of chronic inflammation. 

Thanks to curcumin, turmeric helps ease this inflammation. In fact, in one study that looked at turmeric supplements for osteoporosis in the knees, researchers found that it did just that (and also relieved the pain associated with this condition).

2. Helps Relieve Pain
Whether from workout soreness, PMS, or conditions like arthritis, pain can be incredibly frustrating, especially when it feels like you can’t find relief. Inflammation and pain are closely tied, meaning a turmeric supplement can help relieve those cramps and sore, achy muscles. We recommend taking a turmeric supplement and pairing that with a balm or cream for topical relief. This combination helps address pain from all angles, so you can get back to the things you love most.

Standard Dose Tip: Look for supplements that include both turmeric and black pepper (the gummies we mentioned above contain both ingredients!). Black pepper helps activate turmeric so your body can better absorb it. 

3. Boosts Mood 
Although research is ongoing, several studies have shown that turmeric may have the ability to increase mood-regulating neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.

Some believe that it can help with depression as well, which may have something to do with its ability to ease inflammation. Those who struggle with depression often have increased inflammation compared to their counterparts.

4. Strengthens the Immune System 
With its robust antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric has been known to strengthen the immune system and ease some of the symptoms you may get from a cold or flu. To experience this benefit, though, you’ll need to take turmeric daily so that it builds up in your system! An everyday supplement that contains turmeric is a great choice!

With a range of supportive benefits, turmeric is a great addition to your daily routine. Add it into a few weekly recipes (this stew from the New York Times is wonderful!) or try it in a supplement to reduce inflammation, soothe pain, and boost your mood and immunity.

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