• Why Turmeric is Beneficial

Turmeric is a a flowering plant of the ginger family that is native to India and Southeast Asia.  The root is the spice that has been used for thousands of years in cooking and for Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, and other homepathic therapies. Turmeric is comprised of a number phytochemical components, the most popular among them the curcuminoids, which include curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin.[1]

 

What is Curcumin?

Sometimes people talk about turmeric and curcumin interchangeably, but they are not the same thing.  As described, turmeric is the powder of the root, and curcumin is a curcuminoid, a phytochemical component within turmeric powder.  Turmeric curcumin usually refers to these curcuminoids.  So, why turmeric curcumin?  What is it good for? 

First of all, the curcuminoids are responsible for giving turmeric it’s bright yellow or orange color. Among the curcuminoids, curcumin is the most studied, and has shown to provide a healthy response to inflammation. In India, it traditionally has been used to soothe or relieve arthritis symptoms. Also, turmeric curcumin has been used for muscle discomfort, joint health or carpal tunnel syndrome. A study published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism, researchers from the University of Arizona in Tucson showed that turmeric extract had positive effects on arthritis and animals. The researchers found that a turmeric extract prevented the activation of a protein called NF-kappa B, which signals gene expression for an inflammatory response.  The exact mechanism of its anti-inflammatory action may not be fully understood by researchers; however, the affects were positive.

Turmeric is also a powerful antioxidant, and provides a healthy response against oxidative stress. One study, in the journal Toxicology, demonstrated curcumin's significant liver protection in male rats, and it was largely attributed to its antioxidant properties.  There is much to read on studies done on turmeric curcumin.

 

How to Eat Turmeric

There are many ways to consume turmeric.  Fresh turmeric can now be found in many grocery stores.  When peeling and eating fresh turmeric it kind of reminds us of a cross between carrots and ginger.  It can be quite refreshing.  However, sometimes fresh turmeric can be difficult to process, making your hands and clothes stain orange due to the pigment found in it.

Turmeric powder is likely more popular for people in terms of usage.  How do you use turmeric powder? Turmeric is commonly used in curries, soups, sauces, or other cooking. Turmeric can be consumed in a turmeric tea, which is sometimes called golden milk.  One turmeric tea recipe is to mix: milk, turmeric powder, pinch of black pepper, pinch of cayenne powder, peeled ginger, dash of cinnamon with extra honey for taste.  Blend the ingredients together, and you are on your way to a golden turmeric latte, served heated from the stove. 

Turmeric milk is another name or version of turmeric tea and golden milk. A more simple recipe is to take milk, heat on stove and add turmeric powder and a little black pepper. Simmer briefly, and remove from heat. Yet another easy way to consume is to sprinkle turmeric on eggs, fried or hard boiled.

Ginger and turmeric make a popular combination.  Both are roots, both possess well known healing properties, and are a central spice to many Asian cuisines. 

 

Golden turmeric cereal has made its way as another easy way to consume turmeric powder.  The turmeric powder in the cereal ends up turning the milk yellow, which provides a different cold version of turmeric milk.

 

How to Buy the Best Turmeric?

Since there are many types and grades of turmeric powder and curcumin products on the market, we provide you our knowledge on how to buy the best turmeric, or at least know what you are getting when purchasing on the market.  For turmeric curcumin, one must learn to read labels.

The typical turmeric powder found in the spice aisle of the grocery store is usually inexpensive. Turmeric powder (root) is used as a cooking spice, and contains very little curcuminoids, at about 2-4% curcuminoids.  Although one still receives some curcumin from the turmeric powder, a person needs to consume a great deal of turmeric to see significant benefit. For many people, the thought of eating turmeric at every meal is...well, just not that appetizing.

This is why turmeric curcumin supplements can be very helpful in consuming more turmeric curcumin. When purchasing turmeric supplements or turmeric pills, it is important to note how much curcumin is actually in the product. For optimal curcumin levels, look for products that are 95% curcuminoids, which means the turmeric powder has been standardized to contain 95% curcuminoids, which is much higher than typical turmeric powder that delivers only 2-4% curcuminoids.

Beware, for instance a product named: Turmeric curcumin 500mg, as it may not equate to the actual amount of curcumin found in the product, unfortunately. A manufacturer of Turmeric curcumin 500mg or Curcumin Turmeric 2250mg may label the product with total turmeric powder (the root powder that may only contain 2-4% curcuminoids) and turmeric 95% curcuminoids in one line together, but not say the actual breakout.  Keep in mind, 95% curcuminoids is much more expensive than kitchen spice turmeric powder, so you can likely guess the 95% curcuminoids will be much less than the kitchen spice turmeric powder. Also, if you look for turmeric capsules and pills, they may contain synthetic ingredients such as magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, stearic acid, etc.

Advanced turmeric curcumin has better absorption when paired with black pepper. In addition, enhanced absorption comes from consuming turmeric curcumin with fats found in natural food. Perhaps this is why people in India traditionally consume turmeric in a curry recipe.

 powbab peanut turmeric supplement bites

If you are looking for a turmeric supplement that combines the aspects mentioned above, powbab® Peanut Turmeric Supplement Bites deliver as an on point option because its organic turmeric 95% curcuminoids provide bioactive curcumin, paired with prganic baobab superfruit for antioxidants. Plus black pepper and coconut oil for balanced absorption with a nutty taste from real peanuts with no strong turmeric flavor. Made with organic ingredients, you get the benefit of turmeric curcumin in convenient little bites.

Finding the best solution, supplement, or even when considering surgery or a more invasive medical procedure to deal with health issues, it is not easy and it may require a great deal of discussion with medical physicians, researching, and reading many books, journals, nutrition fact labels and reviews. The investment in time might be worth it when considering how many people face ailments such as arthritis, hip joint pain, knee pain, muscle joint pain, shoulder pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, overall joint and muscle pain that make life less enjoyable and severely impacts quality of life.

 

What Other Foods to Eat for Arthritis?

The Arthritis Foundation suggests eating certain foods to help arthritis. This is a select summary of what they present on their website, plus an addition of our own insights when relevant, providing you a more robust overview.  Some of these foods include:

1. Fish. Certain types of fish contain abundant omega-3 fatty acids. Try to go for 3 to 4 ounces of fish, twice a week. Choose fish that are high in omega-3s such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring.  Be aware of farm raised salmon as they primarily feed the fish with corn feed, antibiotics and potentially hormone growth.  Tuna is another tough one. The albacore or canned white tuna is typically caught on long lines and is a larger fish, therefore, containing higher mercury content. Light 'canned' tuna is typically the smaller skipjack tuna, with less mercury content than albacore. Mercury adversely affects the body, particularly the brain and kidney.  It is not recommended to consume 1-2 cans of tuna a day, as it may overwhelm your kidney function.  Some suggest tuna consumption of once a week as a safer option.

    2. Whole grains. Whole grains supposedly lower levels of see reactive proteins (CRP) in the blood. CRP is a marker of inflammation associated with heart disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. They recommend whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice and whole grain cereals.

    3. Cherries. Studies over many years have shown cherries to reduce frequency of gout attacks. Many studies have shown that the antocyanins found in cherries, particularly in tart cherries or sour cherries, to have an anti-inflammatory effect. Other fruits that contain antocyanins include red or purple fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.  Try a delicious smoothie recipe that uses all these berries: Mixed Berry Baobab Smoothie. If you cannot get fresh berries, you may be able to find a mixed berry bag in the frozen section of the grocery store. Looking for a tart cherry supplement? Check out powbab® Tart Cherry Supplement Bites, which are also covered with 72% cacao dark chocolate.

      4. Peanuts. Peanuts are a legume, not a nut, and pack in significant protein (about 7 grams per 1 ounce serving). Peanuts also provide a good source of monosaturated and polysaturated fats, which may help maintain a more healthy low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Peanuts deliver a solid daily magnesium requirement and may be good for managing blood sugar. So keep on snackin' on those peanuts!

      5. Citrus fruits. Oranges, grapefruit, lemon, and baobab powder are rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C has shown to help maintain healthy joints and reduce oxidative stress on the body. Vitamin C is vital for a healthy body and also boosts the immune system response.

      Baobab powder in particular is a powerful source of Vitamin C and antioxidants.  Learn more about this African superfruit below.


      Other Sources:

      The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.. 

      Wikipedia - Turmeric.

      [1] Nelson, KM; Dahlin, JL; Bisson, J; et al. (2017). "The Essential Medicinal Chemistry of Curcumin: Miniperspective". Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 60 (5): 1620–1637. doi:10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b00975. PMC 5346970. PMID 28074653. "None of these studies [has] yet led to the approval of curcumin, curcuminoids, or turmeric as a therapeutic for any disease"





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