What is turmeric?
Turmeric is a spice that contains curcumin – an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that is thought to be good for your health. Turmeric does seem to have some health benefits (and beauty benefits as well.) It’s important to note that, in general, the spice needs more research and in some cases it’s not clear what specific amounts you need to ingest to gain the health benefits. However, experts and some studies point to turmeric as being a healthy addition to your diet for these reasons.
Turmeric may boost weight loss
The spice may give your weight loss efforts a boost. Research in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Studies, Frontiers in Pharmacology, and Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders Drug Targets link curcumin to weight loss and a reduction in BMI. According to nutritionist Patricia Bannan, “While increasing your intake of turmeric alone isn’t a great strategy for weight loss, it may help you mitigate the inflammation associated with obesity and give you a slight boost in fat burning.” But Bannan stresses it’s best to get it from foods – eat more curry, for example. If you do supplement, check with your doctor first.
If you have arthritis, turmeric may be able to offer you some relief
Curcumin is a polyphenol – a type of antioxidant – that contributes to turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties. Several studies, including one in the Journal of Medicinal Food, have suggested that curcumin has the ability to reduce pain, stiffness and swelling in joints afflicted by arthritis.