Turmeric is a spice containing curcumin - an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent considered to be beneficial for your health.
It is important to remember that the spice needs more research in general, and in some situations, it is not clear which exact doses you need to consume in order to receive the health benefits. For these factors, though, experts and some studies refer to turmeric as a safe addition to your diet.
If you suffer from arthritis, turmeric can give you some relief
Curcumin is a polyphenol - a form of antioxidant - which contributes to the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric. Several studies have suggested that curcumin has the ability to reduce pain, stiffness, and swelling in arthritis-affected joints.
The Arthritis Foundation also recommends that arthritis patients should test out 500 mg, twice a day, of curcumin extract capsules (not whole turmeric, which can be contaminated with lead). However, licensed dietitian Jonathan Valdez, owner of Genki Nutrition and spokesperson for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says that taking more than 500 mg of curcumin will impede iron absorption, which is vital to the development of red blood cells that carry oxygen. Valdez also warns you should take curcumin with black pepper while you do supplements - otherwise, the body would have a hard time absorbing the substance.
The Arthritis Foundation states that heavy doses of turmeric/curcumin will induce an upset stomach. They advocate stopping it if you are taking blood-thinning medications such as warfarin (Coumadin), are due for surgery, are breastfeeding, or have gallbladder disease.
Turmeric can decrease cardiovascular disease risk
According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease is the number one killer worldwide. Although several factors lead to stroke and heart attack, inflammation is one of the most influential issues.
Research published in Biotechnology Developments in 2020 indicated curcumin could be useful for the prevention or treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Other studies have shown that turmeric's anti-inflammatory activity can help to prevent heart disease. Valdez points out that recent research shows that curcumin can protect the heart from ischemia - an insufficient supply of blood to an organ or a part of the body, particularly the heart muscles.
Turmeric could help to improve your mood
Curcumin can help reduce inflammation in the body - and inflammation can also play a part in depression. A meta-analysis of 10 studies on curcumin and depression presented in Critical Reviews of Food Science and Nutrition of indicated it could boost anxiety and depression symptoms. Most evidence available suggests that curcumin can help to alleviate depressive symptoms in those who already use an antidepressant.
If you are breastfeeding, you should not take medicinal amounts of turmeric. There is not sufficiently accurate evidence to determine whether the use of turmeric during breastfeeding is healthy in medicinal quantities.