Turmeric has an active component known as curcumin, a powerful antioxidant that helps with loads of things including diabetes.
Here’s what we’ll cover below:
- What is turmeric
- What makes turmeric powerful
- Turmerics most powerful benefit
- Tips on choosing the right supplement
- Recommended supplements
- And using turmeric everyday
What Is Turmeric?
Turmeric a spice and a very interesting one at that.
It’s an Indian spice that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine so that’s already saying something right?
If you’ve never heard of Ayurvedic medicine, it’s the ancient medical practice used in India for more than 3000 years. I think traditional medicines used in places like India and China have a long and valid history and many of their practices are based on using herbs, spices, special diets, and natural therapies, which is really interesting. So turmeric is one of those spices that has a very long history of use.
It’s also found a very solid footing in modern medicine as well, being studied in more than 100 clinical trials so we have A LOT of evidence to support it’s benefits.
What’s In Turmeric That Makes It So Powerful?
Turmeric contains over 300 different components but one of the most beneficial components is called curcumin, it’s a certain type of polyphenol.
It’s this component that has been under the microscope in most of the studies and it’s the curcumin that’s associated with having various antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antiviral, and antibacterial activities. Curcumin is also a very powerful antioxidant and affects key signalling molecules in the body.
Turmerics Most Powerful Benefit
The most powerful benefit of turmeric is to reduce inflammation and it works exceptionally well.
In fact it has been reported to help with ALL kinds of inflammation and in a study by the Cancer Research Foundation it is reported as second on an anti-inflammatory index scale. Since diabetes and inflammation are closely linked, anything that can help reduce it is great.
I’ve looked at loads of the studies and turmeric has been reported to help with:
- Improving pancreatic function
- Aiding liver function or issues
- Heart conditions
- Preventing oxidation
- Aiding respiratory issues
- Reducing pain symptoms
- And decreasing the rate of degenerative conditions and improving the symptoms associated with them
As you can see, many of these benefits can help with diabetes.
Turmeric Reduces Pro-Inflammatory Molecules In Fat Tissue
Another fascinating benefit is that turmeric reduces the inflammatory response in fat tissue and helps promote fatty acid oxidation. Even though we just imagine that fat cells just sit there doing nothing, they are actually very metabolically active cells and produce lots or pro-inflammatory molecules that contribute to our condition.
Turmeric is great because it targets key immune signalling cells called macrophages, which stops the inflammatory cascade from getting worse.
Turmeric Lowers Cholesterol
Often diabetes is accompanied by high cholesterol levels, so another benefit of turmeric is it lowers cholesterol levels.
Human studies have shown that taking 1-4 g a day decreases total triglycerides, lowers LDL, and raises HDL. All fantastic benefits, right?!
Tips On Choosing The Right Turmeric Supplements
Turmeric is best taken in a supplement form because it is not fully bioavailable to the body when we eat it. What that means is it’s not fully absorbable, whereas when we take it in supplement form it is.
That’s because turmeric supplements improve it’s bioavailability by encapsulating the curcumin in liposomes.
Liposomes are bilayer (double-layer), liquid-filled bubbles made from phospholipids. In studies it has been shown that taking it this way has a faster and more effective absorption rate.
So when looking for supplements look on the label to see if the turmeric is wrapped in phosopolipids. Or where the supplement says it contains a high level of curcuminoid, for example it might say 95% curcuminoid, this is a good thing and virtually means the same thing because what it means is the turmeric has been modified to make the curcumin more soluble and more bioavailable to the body.
Another tip is to look for turmeric supplements that contain black pepper extracts because that has also been shown to aid absorption.
As for how much to take, take 500-600 mg twice a day or as recommended on the product label because they will all be different.
Disclaimer: People with gallstones or gall bladder issues should not take turmeric, nor should pregnant women. And if you are taking medications of any kind, it is always advised that you check with your doctor or health practitioner for any contraindications.
Are there any side effects to turmeric?
There are currently no reported side effects of taking a turmeric supplement.
Human clinical trials have shown that it is safe to take up to 8 g/day, which is about 8000 mg and most supplements only contain around 500-800 mgs so at the recommended dosage they will generally be safe to take. If you currently take medications, check with your doctor just to make sure.
Using Turmeric Every Day
Turmeric can be bought as a dry spice and can be used for cooking and drinking too. The bioavailability isn’t as good as supplements, but it does still provide benefits.
Add the turmeric powder to curry mixtures, soups, casseroles, cakes, scones, stir frys, and much more. It doesn’t have a really over powering flavor so you can just add a bit to loads of things.
And try this easy turmeric tea recipe that I’ve found to work very well.
One of the clients I’ve been working with recently instantly noticed that her lower leg inflammation and swelling decreased when she started drinking this tea.
Put 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder in a cup of green tea and drink a few cups a day. Both the turmeric and the green tea are anti-inflammatory and make a great combo.
If you don’t drink green tea or caffeine, try it in chamomile or even a lemon tea and it will be great too.
I hope you will give turmeric a try. I know there are loads of people with diabetes who are experiencing it’s wonderful benefits.
P.S. Be sure to grab some supplements to experience the full benefits 🙂
Wishing you the best in health!