Scientific turmeric health benefits for a youthful body inside and out


Nagina Abdullah


June 11, 2018

Turmeric Health Benefits _ Juice with black pepper

Sometimes, I’m in need of a little healing and relaxation. Maybe it was a stressful day, there’s a big issue I’m working through, or I’m dealing with aches and pains. One of the best ways I’ve found to help myself heal, either emotionally or physically is with wonderful turmeric health benefits.

One major part of healing for me (and everyone!) is to have quiet time. I might read a few pages of my favorite book, go for a lingering stroll in my neighborhood or just sit and enjoy the quiet and breathe deeply for a few minutes in my cozy home.

It doesn’t have to be a long time. With two kids, a husband and a busy career, it’s usually just a few minutes. But it makes such a big difference! These things alone really help me feel better and to reset.

But when I combine the peaceful time with a nice mug of turmeric tea or a cool lemony iced turmeric latte, I can practically feel my cells regenerating and my brain signals calming down.

This lemony-iced turmeric latte (non-dairy) is my calming companion right now.

This isn’t a feeling only I get. It’s scientifically proven over and over again that turmeric health benefits are some of the most significant (2,3) and celebrated by medical professionals and ancient healers.

Turmeric Health Benefits We’ll Go Over

I’m going to share the wide range of benefits turmeric offers your body and mind. These have been extensively researched and backed by science.

  • Incredible health benefits of this wondrous spice, including how turmeric reduces inflammation, counteracts aging, and prevents and even treats disease (and so much more!)
  • The component of turmeric that is responsible for its unbeatable health benefits and how it’s proven to be as effective as pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory drugs, minus the side effects
  • How much turmeric you should have per day for the benefits, and if turmeric is better in a supplement vs. in food (plus recommended brands and links!)
  • Links to my favorite new turmeric recipes (sweet, savory and drinks!) + how to use turmeric for weight loss

Turmeric really is the spice of life! I hope you enjoy this deep dive into turmeric health benefits and all the tasty new ideas to help yourself heal.

Good Medicine: Turmeric for Anti-inflammatory Disease Prevention and Treatment

By now you’ve probably heard all the buzz about inflammation. In short, inflammation is extremely damaging for your body and your mind. In fact, more and more studies are linking low-level inflammation over a long period of time to almost every chronic disease imaginable.

Healthline says, “heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions” all seem to have roots in inflammation. (5) Yikes!

If this scares you, don’t let it. You’re not powerless against inflammation. Turmeric is one of the most anti-inflammatory compounds on earth. Several studies published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, show curcumin to be as effective as pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory drugs, minus the side effects.

Most of turmeric’s power comes from curcumin, its main compound. It tackles inflammation head-on by blocking NF-kB, a molecule that goes into cells and activates inflammation genes. (6)

Get some of my new favorite turmeric recipe finds and learn more about the weight loss benefits of turmeric in these posts.

Carrot & Turmeric Smoothie + 7 more out-of-this world turmeric recipes you gotta try!

How turmeric benefits weight loss

Turmeric tea recipe: weight loss & anti-inflammatory golden tea

Fountain of Youth: Turmeric Counteracts Aging

Oxidative damage (such as free radicals) is a major factor in aging and many diseases. (1) Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals and other damaging elements.

The curcumin in turmeric is a strong antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and boosts the body’s natural antioxidant enzymes. (1)

Golden, mild, healing for the whole body. Learn about how turmeric benefits weight loss here.

Turmeric health benefits boost and regulate the immune system. This is true for people with normal immune systems and even for people with immune disorders such as arthritis, allergies, asthma, atherosclerosis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and cancer. (7)

Curcumin is also a powerful pain reliever for everything from wound healing and burn pain to arthritis and nerve pain. (8,9)

Turmeric is practically magic potion-good for your skin. It reduces acne and acne scars, supports glowing a healthy complexion and even helps control psoriasis flares. (4)

Turmeric Health Benefits Include Cancer Blocking and Fighting

The golden compounds in turmeric can actively reduce the growth of new blood cells in tumors and can even prevent cancer’s spread. Perhaps the most amazing part is that curcumin can even work with your body to kill cancer cells! (5,8)

It also helps prevent cancer from occurring in the first place, especially cancers of the digestive system, like colorectal cancer. A well-known study in the Cancer Prevention Research Journal found a reduced number of lesions in the colon (which can turn cancerous) by 40%. (5) That’s a huge number!

Get healing spice shortcuts with my free Turmeric Cheat Sheet! 

Brainy and Full of Heart: Turmeric is Pro-Brain and Heart Health

Our brains are make new connections between neurons throughout our lives. This is how we learn and remember things. Some parts of the brain can even multiply these connections. The main growth hormone in the brain causing this to happen is called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, or BDNF for short. (5)

Brain disorders such as depression and Alzheimer’s are linked to low levels of BDNF. However, people who consume turmeric have higher levels of BDNF and better brain health and functioning. This includes good mood chemicals to combat depression. (5,9)

Ginger is good brain food too. Learn how ginger sharpens your memory and get recipes here.

Dr. Axe mentions a study showing people tolerate curcumin better than pharmaceutical antidepressant drugs such as fluoxetine. The best part is, it was equally effective! (9)

Multiple studies have linked curcumin in turmeric to effective prevention and treatment for Alzheimer’s. (5,6,9)

It’s also connected to a lower risk of heart disease including lower cholesterol. (5,6,9)

Here’s an example of one study in the American Journal of Cardiology linking turmeric to heart health. 121 patients were scheduled for coronary artery bypass surgery. They were randomly given either 4 grams of curcumin per day or placebo a few days before and after surgery. The people who took curcumin instead of a placebo had a 65% decreased risk of heart attack in the hospital. (1)

Natural Tummy Tuck: Turmeric Health Benefits for Weight Loss

Of course, I can’t overlook the potency of turmeric as a natural weight-loss boost.

Turmeric’s powerful anti-inflammatory compounds bring down inflammation and calm your whole body. First of all, less stiffness and discomfort when you move makes it easier to exercise.  

Inflammation is also closely connected to obesity. Curcumin stops new fat cells from forming and brings down inflammation-induced obesity. (9)

Read about how cayenne pepper torches fat away too + get recipes.

Turmeric boosts fat loss by preventing more fat accumulation. It does this by turning white fat cells brown, which is the “good fat.” Find out more about how turmeric conquers weight-loss.

This turmeric tea recipe for weight loss is one of the best anti-inflammatory drinks you can have!

Do you crave a glass of red wine at night, but you know it’s unhealthy? Replace wine with this delicious golden tea. It will heal and restore your body instead of leach essential vitamins from it.

It has a similar warming feeling all throughout your body, but skips the sugar, calories and groggy feeling in the morning that comes with wine.

Turmeric also aids digestion and supports your liver, which plays a major role in fat storage. (8) Lastly, it helps manage blood sugar levels, diabetes and any side effects of diabetes like neuropathy. (9)

Get a fat-busting Golden Turmeric Smoothie recipe featuring cinnamon, vanilla and just enough sweetness in my FREE Turmeric Cheat Sheet 

Turmeric Treats and Helps Manage Digestive Disorders

For people suffering from serious digestive issues, such as ulcerative colitis, turmeric can be a lifesaver. Turmeric helps maintain remission for this chronic digestive condition, bringing much-needed relief. (6,9)

It also supports management of inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s and may even help heal the gut. (9)

Turmeric Tips and Best Practices

How much do you need for turmeric health benefits?

About 500 milligrams of curcuminoids a day is a healthy dose for keeping inflammation away and getting the health benefits of turmeric. (10)

200 milligrams of curcumin is equal to one teaspoon of fresh or ground turmeric. So ideally enjoy 2-3 teaspoons of ground (or 2-3 tablespoons fresh) per day in food and drinks for anti-inflammatory and weight-loss benefits.

If you have serious inflammation, you might want to take turmeric supplements for the maximum dosage for best results. Many of the studies referenced here were examples of people taking supplements. It’s easier to measure exact dosage with supplements and to take more than you might by adding it to food.

500 to 1,000 milligrams of curcuminoids (main compound in turmeric) per day are recommended for strong anti-inflammatory effects. (10)

You might take turmeric supplements if you’re not able to eat and drink that much turmeric a day, but be careful not to overdo supplements.

Turmeric isn’t easily absorbed by the body. Here are important tips for best absorption.

  • Take turmeric with black pepper (it increases absorption up to 2000%!) (5,9)
  • Take or eat it with a healthy fat such as coconut oil, unsalted nuts or avocado (5,9)
  • Look into curcumin supplements (with black pepper in them too) if you’re dealing with high chronic inflammation like arthritis (3,4)

My favorite ground turmeric brands are Simply Organic (for a smaller shaker) or Healthworks (for larger quantites) and I like this turmeric supplement which I found after extensive research.

Don’t miss out on this easy-reference Turmeric Cheat Sheet with 5 fun ideas for adding more turmeric to your diet every day.

When to Tap the Brakes on Turmeric

If you decide to take a supplement, be sure not to go overboard. It can cause upset stomach, heartburn diarrhea and increased bleeding in large doses. (3,4) Start with lower doses and work your way up as long as you feel good.

Turmeric also thins your blood (in large doses) so stop taking turmeric supplements in large doses before surgery. (9) People who take blood-thinning drugs like warfarin (Coumadin) shouldn’t have large doses of turmeric. 1-2 teaspoon in food a couple times a week is okay. (8)

If you’re pregnant, stick to 1 to 3 teaspoons of turmeric a day in food. Most people can tolerate turmeric well. Just stay aware of how you feel and cut back if you notice any of the above symptoms. (9)

Remember, adding 2-3 teaspoons of turmeric or popping a turmeric supplement each day will not make up for an unhealthy diet. To get the right foundation, learn more about the ultimate anti-inflammatory diet (coming soon) to reduce aging, increase weight-loss, and add energy and years to your life.

Are you blown away by the incredible variety of turmeric health benefits? I know I was! Tell me how you plan to add turmeric to your plate this week in the comments below.

Avatar photo

Nagina Sethi Abdullah, BA, MBA

Nagina Abdullah is a health coach for middle-aged women and professionals. She coaches women to boost their metabolism naturally, shed pounds and keep them off. Her work with weight loss clients led to the creation of Masala Body, an online weight loss platform that provides an easy and accessible system that helps women sustainably lose weight. She has helped over 1200 women successfully lose from 10-80 lbs and create a sustainable lifestyle change. Nagina earned her degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley.

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

See The Before And After Photos Of My Midlife Women Clients

Get my Turmeric Cheat Sheet with all the secrets about this wonder spice!