You’ve heard of turmeric, but do you know turmeric? It’s widely known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is a powerhouse root that offers so many other amazing benefits.
At Forge-Rx, our philosophy on nutrition is what fuels your body now, coupled with the choices and habits you’re creating, will set you up for the future — so make healthy nutrition choices right now! In order to see success in the gym, whether it’s fat-loss or muscle-gain, nutrition plays a vital role in achieving that! The word, “diet,” doesn’t exist in our gym — it’s making a lifestyle choice meal to meal, nutrient by nutrient! Maximize your health and see better results in the gym with proper nutrition.
Turmeric is a beautiful root that can be supplemented to improve your nutrition and benefits many facets of your body. In today’s post, you’ll learn why nutritionists love turmeric and why you should consider taking it!
Turmeric or Curcumin?
A lot of people don’t realize this, but curcumin is the active compound in turmeric — so it can be isolated and taken alone as curcumin, or in the whole-plant form taken as a turmeric supplement. Both forms, isolated or whole-plant, will give you the therapeutic benefits.
The thought behind taking an isolate (curcumin) and a whole-plant supplement is this: curcumin is taken for its anti-inflammatory properties because that is what research has found to be the most effective. When you take a whole-plant supplement, you get the entirety of the plant (or root) and all the compounds that work synergistically to offer other benefits besides just the anti-inflammatory properties.
How Can I Get the Most of Turmeric?
A common thing people think that, when it comes to supplements, is if a little is good, a lot must be even better. The thing with turmeric, though, is it’s very hard for our bodies to absorb. So really, it’s not how much you take, but how much your body absorbs that makes it most effective.
To make turmeric more absorbable and more effective, take it with a fat, and if you’re cooking with it, add heat. Turmeric is fat soluble, and its bioavailability is increased with fat, which is why golden milk is so popular. Golden milk incorporates full-fat coconut milk or whole milk, making it more absorbable. If you’re taking it as a supplement, take it with your fish oil or a half teaspoon of coconut or olive oil.
Adding heat to turmeric has been shown to increase its solubility. Make a lovely turmeric tea with fresh slices, or add the spice to your food.
When looking for a turmeric supplement at the store, finding one in a liquid form, micronized, or with piperine (black pepper) will all absorb more efficiently.
The Other Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric has been most widely studied for its effectiveness in treating inflammation — it does this beautifully and well, so if you haven’t tried it, do so! When we just take it for inflammation, we miss out on its other stellar benefits, and below are just a few.
- Promotes healthy skin – Who doesn’t want a glowing complexion? Because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it keeps skin healthy. Turmeric can accelerate wound healing and increase collagen production, making it a great part of any anti-aging routine! Turmeric has been shown to be effective in treating symptoms of psoriasis, and can even be used topically as a brightening mask!
- Balances blood sugar levels – High blood sugar can greatly impact your health, and is one of the main causes of type 2 diabetes. Prolonged high blood sugar levels can cause nerve loss, vision loss, and impaired wound healing. A body of research has found that turmeric may help balance blood sugar levels and prevent the concerning side effects. Turmeric helps by decreasing the glucose production while stimulating insulin and decreasing overall inflammation.
- Assists the gut – Many people have issues with their gut, and turmeric can help combat gut-related concerns. Turmeric is great for relieving gas and can help calm the digestive tract, in addition to stimulating bile production and helping to break down and digest food.
- Supports healthy brain functions – Turmeric is great for your brain because its anti-inflammatory processes help to reduce oxidative stress from a poor diet, and supports cognitive health by increasing levels of a brain-derived growth hormone. This way, oxidative damage is reduced, and memory and cognition improve!
- Cholesterol support – If you’re battling high cholesterol, turmeric is heart healthy and can support healthy cholesterol levels. An Indonesian study from 2008 found that turmeric effectively lowered both HDL and LDL levels in patients with high cholesterol. Another study in India, conducted by the Amala Cancer Research Centre, discovered that taking 500 mg of curcumin daily increased HDL cholesterol and dropped overall cholesterol numbers by 12 percent.
Nutritionists love turmeric because it’s so multi-faceted and addresses many health issues and concerns, such as the skin, brain, blood sugar, cholesterol, and gut. The bioactive compound of turmeric is curcumin, and it can be taken as an isolate or in a turmeric supplement. When you take turmeric, be sure to take it with a fat or add it to your cooking for best absorption.
If you’re looking for a nutrient that can help you both in the gym with muscle recovery and in daily life be aiding in digestive relief, try adding turmeric to your nutrition regimen today!