Turmeric has been a popular spice and medicinal in South Asian culture for over 4,000 years. In recent years, turmeric has also been incorporated into Western culture and labeled as a superfood. With its many healthy properties, it helps prevent disease and may aid in weight loss.
Various studies state that turmeric can aid in weight loss by boosting metabolism and fat burning. Here we want to introduce you to turmeric in more detail, show you its advantages and disadvantages, explain what effect turmeric has when losing weight and give you ideas on how you can incorporate turmeric into recipes to lose weight. We also give you a few other spices that can also promote your weight loss.
the essentials in brief
- Turmeric has an anti-inflammatory effect and prevents diseases. It's a healthy way to spice up your diet while helping you lose weight.
- You can buy turmeric in different forms. They are available in capsule, tablet, root and spice form, as well as oils.
- Turmeric is generally considered safe and can be taken regularly and over a long period of time. If you have liver or gallbladder disease or are pregnant, you should discuss with your doctor whether you should use turmeric.
What is turmeric?
Turmeric is a plant root that belongs to the ginger family. It comes from Southeast Asia and has found its way into the kitchen thanks to its yellow colour. India has been using the spice for its curries or in pasta and mustard for over 4,000 years. It is considered a cheap substitute for the spice saffron.
In the Indian healing culture Ayuveda, turmeric is also revered for its healing properties. Considered a "hot" spice, it has cleansing and energizing properties that it can impart to the body. The ingredient curcumin in particular, which can be found in turmeric, can have effective healing effects.
What form does turmeric come in?
Turmeric is available in the following forms:
- root / tuber
- spice powder
- Volatile oil
The capsules and tablets are used as a dietary supplement. Turmeric is available in its pure form in the capsules, while the tablets still contain binding and separating agents. We therefore recommend that you buy turmeric in capsule form, which are verified by the manufacturer and contain only natural substances.
The turmeric root and the spice powder are mainly used in the kitchen. They give the dish a mildly spicy taste and a yellow tinge. You can also use the root to prepare fresh turmeric tea or grate the turmeric into other drinks.
The turmeric extract has a particularly high proportion of curcumin and is therefore highly concentrated. Therefore, you should dose this extract very precisely. They mostly come in capsule form and are powerful antioxidants.
The turmeric oil is used externally and has a calming and warming effect. It promotes wound healing and accelerates the healing of bruises. In massages, turmeric is used against muscle and joint pain or in combination with other oils as a fragrance.
Who is turmeric good for?
Basically, anyone can consume turmeric as long as the dosage is followed correctly. However, you should discuss taking turmeric if you have acute liver and gallbladder infections, gallstones, are taking anti-inflammatory drugs, are breastfeeding, or are pregnant (1).
In these cases, the turmeric root can lead to side effects. These include gastrointestinal complaints, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort and other gastrointestinal problems. Since turmeric itself is also anti-inflammatory, it can lead to heavier bleeding when combined with aspirin, for example.
If you have any medical conditions or are pregnant, consult your doctor about taking turmeric.
While there are no clear studies showing that turmeric has any negative effects on pregnant and breastfeeding women, many experts have advised against taking the spice as a dietary supplement. Studies in animals and non-pregnant women have found that turmeric can cause abdominal cramps, changes in hormones and cell bonding, which can have a negative effect on pregnancy (2.3">. However, it is said to have no negative effects, when turmeric is taken as a spice.
Why is turmeric healthy?
Turmeric is one of the superfoods that have many positive properties and have positive effects on the body. The curcumin found in turmeric is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, may reduce the risk of brain disease and heart disease, minimize cancer cell formation, and help with stomach upset (4,5,6).
Thus, turmeric is a healthy addition to your diet. However, you have to keep in mind that all these benefits of turmeric can only exist if you do not overdose on turmeric over a long period of time and pay attention to a healthy diet. If you suffer from any diseases, talk to your doctor first so that you can avoid any side effects.
Turmeric is not only used in the kitchen because of its color properties, but also has many benefits for people. It has anti-inflammatory properties and aids in digestion and disease prevention. (Image source: Nikoli Afina / unsplash)
Background: What you should know about the effects of turmeric when losing weight
What is the effect of turmeric on weight loss?
Turmeric is not a miracle cure and cannot be used alone to lose weight. As with other diets or additional products, it is important to ensure a balanced and correct diet and to exercise a lot.
However, due to its positive properties, turmeric can help you lose the necessary pounds. Visceral fat, which is located in the abdomen, does not stand still, but continuously produces inflammatory substances. Special signaling substances produced by the adipose tissue attract macrophages and immune cells and increase the susceptibility to inflammation.
Such inflammation can lead to disease and metabolic disorders, making it difficult to lose weight. Thanks to turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties, this inflammation can be prevented and reduced (7,8). In this way, it contributes to weight loss.
Turmeric also stimulates the production of bile, which is responsible for burning fat. The larger amount of this liquid allows the fat to be broken down better, making it easier to lose weight.
What side effects can turmeric cause when losing weight?
As long as you consume and dose the turmeric correctly, it is safe to take even during diets and weight loss phases. If you have a chronic medical condition, talk to your doctor about whether dieting is right for you and whether you can use turmeric.
As mentioned above, overdosing on turmeric could result in stomach upsets in the form of nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, or heartburn (9). If you notice these symptoms, then we recommend that you stop taking turmeric. You can try taking the spice again after a few weeks, but in smaller amounts.
How do I properly take turmeric to lose weight?
If you want to use turmeric to lose weight, the easiest way is to get turmeric capsules. These contain the right amount of curcumin and also have other ingredients that aid in the absorption of turmeric. This is how turmeric can most effectively contribute to weight loss. The amount you should take depends on the manufacturer and can be found in the package insert.
However, if you have powdered turmeric at home, you can incorporate it into your dishes and drinks to aid in weight loss. It is said that a daily intake of 8 grams of curcumin is considered safe, however many studies use less curcumin in their experiments and also get positive results (1, 10, 11).
In the following table we have summarized the recommended daily dose that you should take to lose weight.
|form of turmeric||Recommended daily dose|
|turmeric fresh||1.5 to 4 grams|
|turmeric powder||1 to 4 grams|
|Curcumin (ingredient of turmeric)||1.2 to 2.8 grams|
These are all guidelines and may vary from person to person. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a daily dose of up to 3 g of curcumin to treat digestive problems and promote weight loss. In addition, you should take the daily dose in several small portions and spread them out over the day.
Since turmeric is not water-soluble, you should not take it with water, but take it with a little fat. This can be oil when cooking or healthy foods with a high fat content. In this way you increase the chances that the turmeric will have the most effective effect when losing weight.
Which recipes with turmeric are suitable for losing weight?
Turmeric can be used in many ways in your diet. The spice is particularly popular in dishes. We recommend mixing a turmeric marinade for your chicken or adding turmeric to your salad dressing. You can also add turmeric to various soups. In combination with black pepper, you can stimulate fat burning and digestion even more.
Always make sure that your diet is as low in fat and healthy as possible to lose weight. You should also look at the portion size.
If you prefer to have the turmeric in a drink, we recommend cutting or grating the turmeric root into small slices and adding it to your tea. You can add honey, ginger, or cinnamon to your tea, depending on how you like it.
It is also popular to make the golden milk with turmeric. For this you need milk (regular or milk alternatives), some turmeric (ground or grated), agave syrup or honey, some ground cinnamon and ginger. You boil the milk with the ingredients and after it cools down you add the agave syrup or honey. This drink not only tastes delicious, but also promotes fat burning and has an anti-inflammatory effect.
You can add turmeric root to drinks or dishes by grating or chopping it. So you always have fresh turmeric at hand. (Image source: FOODISM360 / unsplash)
Basically, you can add turmeric to any dish if you want the mild, spicy taste. You can find many different weight loss recipes online that you can incorporate turmeric into. Look around and get inspired. Experiment a little and create your own weight loss recipes.
What alternatives are there to turmeric for weight loss?
Not only turmeric is known to help with weight loss. There are many other spices that also stimulate digestion and fat burning and can therefore help with weight loss.
Some of these spices are the following:
- Black pepper: It stimulates metabolism and helps break down fat cells. The active ingredient piperine, which is contained in black pepper, is responsible for this (12,13).
- Cumin : Boost metabolism and prevent cholesterol absorption. Cumin also helps with flatulence and abdominal pain.
- Chili: The active ingredient capsaicin, which is contained in the chili pepper, helps to burn fat and accelerates it. Chili also stimulates the metabolism and tames cravings.
- Cinnamon: Secondary plant substances in cinnamon lower blood sugar levels. This increases fat burning and supports weight loss.
There are many other spices that boost metabolism and promote fat burning. These differ in taste. Find the right spice and eat a healthy diet so as not to get in the way of your diet.
Turmeric has many positive properties and can be easily integrated into your diet. This superfood has an anti-inflammatory effect and promotes the production of bile. This boosts metabolism and increases fat burning. So turmeric is your healthy and safe companion in your diet phase.
Since turmeric is not a miracle cure, you should make sure that you take it regularly and in the right dosage. This is the only way you can support your weight loss with turmeric and achieve the best result. If you suffer from chronic diseases or have liver and gallbladder infections, then you should consult with your doctor whether turmeric is suitable for you to lose weight.
- Turmeric should not be taken in the presence of gallstones.
- Curcumin reduces the production of estrogen and thus the proliferation of endometrial cells.
- Curcumin is linked to the decreased implantation rate. This suggests that curcumin can trigger cell death and thus affect pregnancy.
- The curcumin found in turmeric is anti-inflammatory and can be used to prevent and treat diseases.
- Due to its chemical structure, curcuminoids contained in turmeric can neutralize free radicals and thereby render them harmless.
- Endothelium affects blood pressure regulation and blood clotting, which is why it is important for cardiac function. Due to its endothelium-strengthening effect, the curcumin contained in turmeric reduces the risk of heart disease.
- Turmeric helps to reduce the fat cells and thus in weight loss.
- Turmeric inhibits inflammation that could lead to weight gain and disease.
- An overdose of turmeric over a long period of time can lead to stomach problems such as nausea, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
- Turmeric contains curcumin, which has health benefits. It is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and prevents many diseases. Just a small amount a day brings many benefits.
- Consuming 760 mg of curcumin daily can lead to weight loss.
- Piperine can help with fat loss without affecting appetite. Even a dose of 40 mg per kilogram of body weight can achieve effective results.
- In the study with mice it was found that piperine can lead to fat reduction.