So turmeric is probably good for you, but there's a catch
All sorts of holistic cures exist for everyday ailments. It seems like every day we get new information about how these basic household foods and spices could prove good or bad for our health. And many people claim turmeric contains all sorts of benefits. Others aren’t as easily convinced. So we decided to find out what all the hullabaloo was about, and did some research ourselves.
Turmeric, which is part of the ginger family, is a common spice originally from Asia.
Often used as a flavor in Indian, Pakistani, and Iranian dishes, it adds zest and deliciousness to all sorts of meals. And the holistic community claims lots of health benefits can come from adding the spice into your diet.
Those who believe that turmeric has health benefits claim a range of positive results from specifically including the spice in their meals. They say turmeric can be used to help with inflammation, depression, and general pain management. And it’s also supposedly helpful for people undergoing chemotherapy or those who have high cholesterol.
Additionally, it can possibly help fight cancer and manage diabetes.
Plus, the ancient holistic medicinal approach of Ayurveda asserts several healing abilities of turmeric.
Certainly lots of material exists that could make you want to start cooking with the magical plant ASAP.
But many remain unconvinced that the spice has all – or any – of these benefits. And they also have some pretty valid points.
Despite the fact that numerous publications praise turmeric, a recent study has made many people question the spice’s healing abilities.
The curcumin chemical, found in turmeric, supposedly gives this incredible spice its power. So a group of researchers isolated and studied it to see if they could find any benefits. They published their findings in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. And their results don’t exactly support the popular claims.
The biggest challenge they ran into was that curcumin wasn’t easily absorbed by the body.
So sprinkling a little bit of the spice on a meal may have no strong affect one way or another.
And, Time.com notes that the study also found many of the published articles supporting curcumin’s benefits were funded by groups that would profit from turmeric being deemed “healthy.” Researchers were also unable to find any results that showed curcumin positively affected any health problems. They conducted double-blind studies and the chemical couldn’t outperform a placebo.
But don’t rule turmeric out just yet.
The comprehensive study certainly casts doubt on some elements of the spice’s benefit. But researchers only studied the curcumin chemical by itself. And very few isolated chemicals – when separated from their larger structures – prove to have any specific benefits.
Curcumin is meant to act within turmeric, not taken by itself. And turmeric is meant to be a small part of a meal, not eaten by itself.
And enough research exists that shows the spice really could have some great health benefits. So feel free to add it to your diet. And if you’ve seen benefits from eating more of the spice, you certainly aren’t alone. But just don’t expect it to magically cure everything.