In today’s health-focused world, everyone is looking for ways to boost their immune systems. Reducing inflammation is one of the most beneficial ways to do that and stay healthy. But did you know that the antioxidant properties in turmeric can help fight inflammation while fighting off free radicals and boosting the immune system? In turn, it can help with muscle recovery, weight loss and the treatment for disease.
You’ve probably seen more people looking for “gold” or “golden milk” drinks, which contain curcumin, a compound found in turmeric that helps improve the lining of the blood vessels and reverses the effects of heart disease.
Turmeric’s curcumin substance can also slow down cancer development, killing cancerous cells and reducing the spread of cancer throughout the body. Whether curcumin can help treat cancer in humans has yet to be determined, but the research is ongoing.
Another disease that can benefit from turmeric supplements is Alzheimer’s Disease. While Alzheimer’s Disease has no cure yet, turmeric may yet play an important role in finding one. Curcumin is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, and because inflammation plays a large role in Alzheimer’s Disease, turmeric can assist with reducing that particular symptom.
With countless benefits, how exactly does turmeric work?
HOW DOES TUMERIC WORK?
Turmeric is a spice that comes from the turmeric plant, commonly used in Asian food. You probably know turmeric as the main spice in curry. It has a warm, bitter taste and is frequently used to flavor or color curry powders, mustards, butters, and cheeses. But the root of turmeric is also used widely to make medicine. It contains a yellow-colored chemical called curcumin (the active chemical in turmeric).
Turmeric is commonly used for conditions involving pain and inflammation, such as osteoarthritis. People have also used it for hay fever, depression, high cholesterol, and itching. Some people use turmeric for heartburn, brain and memory skills, inflammatory bowel disease, stress, and many other conditions.
Turmeric (and curcumin on its own) doesn’t absorb well into the bloodstream, says Dana Angelo White, RD, owner of Dana White Nutrition. To reach the amounts of turmeric and curcumin shown to offer benefits in research studies, you’ll have to turn to supplements.
You may be able to reap benefits by adding black pepper anytime you use turmeric, and/or taking a turmeric supplement that incorporates black pepper. “There is a compound in black pepper called piperine that actually helps to make turmeric more bioavailable,” White explains. Bioavailability refers to the amount of a substance that’s absorbed or able to be used by the body.
DOES TURMERIC ENHANCE WEIGHT LOSS?
By reducing inflammation that may be caused by obesity, exercise, poor diet and numerous other factors, turmeric can help indirectly with weight loss. Because obesity causes inflammation of the body, losing weight can be more difficult for obese people as their bodies are focused on fighting inflammation rather than losing weight. By taking turmeric supplements, turmeric can help reduce inflammation in the body, allowing the body to expend less energy dealing with inflammation and instead allowing it to better focus on weight loss and burning calories.
According to an article in Healthline, recent research has examined turmeric’s role in weight loss. Test-tube studies suggest that curcumin may suppress particular inflammatory markers that play a role in obesity. These markers are typically elevated in people with excess weight or obesity.
According to the National Institutes of Health, this compound may promote weight loss, reduce fat tissue growth, curb weight regain, and enhance your sensitivity to the hormone insulin.
What’s more, a 30-day study in 44 people who were previously unable to lose weight found that supplementing twice a day with 800 mg of curcumin and 8 mg of piperine led to significant reductions in body weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist and hip circumference.
Joint problems are also linked to obesity, causing discomfort and chronic pain, which often discourages people from undertaking physical activities to lose weight. Therefore, curcumin’s ability to ease inflammation contributes to normal collagen formation for the normal function of the cartilage in joints, easing pain and discomfort.
HOW TO USE TURMERIC
Turmeric comes in several forms, including as a cooking spice or in beverages like turmeric ginger tea and golden milk, which is made by heating milk, turmeric, ginger, black pepper, and cinnamon powder. That said, most human studies suggest that health benefits are only seen at higher doses, such as those found in turmeric extracts or curcumin supplements because turmeric is used in small amounts as a spice. Moreover, the spice contains a mere 2–8% curcumin — whereas extracts pack up to 95% curcumin.
When choosing a supplement, be sure to choose one that includes black pepper, as its compounds significantly improve curcumin absorption.
Although there are no official dosage guidelines for these supplements, most research suggests that 500–2,000 mg of turmeric extract per day is sufficient to see potential benefits.
Whether you are just starting out on your fitness journey or an elite athlete, you will need to build muscle recovery into your routine. All exercise causes inflammation which can build up and slow your transformation gains, so if you are serious about continuous results, you need to optimize your post-workout recovery to avoid injury and allow for consistent training. Too few people realize that how fast you recover from exercise affects your overall results.
Transformation Protein’s Recovery supplement is the perfect solution for anyone trying to recover efficiently after workouts. This premium Recovery powder uses the latest research with three top natural inflammation support ingredients, Curcumin, a potent extract from the ginger root, and bromelain, a top enzyme that supports an improved inflammation response in the body. Along with aiding digestion and offering GI support, these ingredients combine to ease stress from your daily activity on your muscles and joints, getting you in top form for your next workout. Add it to your Transformation Protein shake for the perfect recovery combo!