Head to the spice aisle of just about any grocery store and you will most likely find several bottles of a golden-yellow spice called “turmeric.”
It wasn’t always this way though. Many centuries ago, turmeric was a well-kept secret of its native country of origin, India. Sure, there were a few other places in the Middle East where it was sold, but it has only been in recent years that the United States finally began including it as a common cooking ingredient for adding a smoky flavor and color to otherwise bland dishes.
Once it became established here though, its popularity quickly grew, especially once people found out that it has medicinal properties that make it suitable for aiding in the process of weight loss. Read on to discover how turmeric can help you with weight loss.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric for weight loss is a plant that only survives when it is grown in areas of the Middle East, such as Indonesia and India. The portion of it that grows above ground makes it look like any other tropical plant. It has yellow flowers that are shaped like funnels and long, green leaves that are similar to those of a lily plant.
But underground, it has an expansive, tuberous root system, which can reach up to a few feet in length. These tubers are the part of the plant that is harvested. They can be used fresh, but it is best to dry them to ensure that they can be kept for longer periods of time.
That is because while turmeric has natural antibacterial properties, it can still easily rot when it contains water. And since it has to be shipped for thousands of miles across the world, it would not survive the trip. A little bit of turmeric goes a long way, so after it is dried, it is ground up to make it easier to portion out.
How Can Turmeric Impact Your Weight-Loss Goals?
This spice contains an active ingredient in it called “curcumin.” Curcumin has a positive influence on weight loss because of all the following ways that it improves a person’s health:
One of the main reasons that naturopaths recommend that their patients take turmeric is for chronic inflammation. Inflammation is not normally a problem since it is a natural response that the body has to injuries, infections, and trauma. But when someone has problems with their immune system because of stress or an auto-immune system disorder, the inflammation quickly gets out of hand.
That means, instead of helping to heal the body, it starts to attack healthy tissue. Arteries, joints, and the organs can all be affected by it. And the more inflammation that someone has, the harder it will be for them to lose weight because the body will be in a weak, unhealthy state.
Another benefit that turmeric has on weight loss is through its natural cleansing ability. When it is taken daily, it aids in flushing out toxins that have built up in the liver. And since the liver plays an important role in metabolizing fats, it can help increase the chances of weight loss when it is able to function at its best.
The liver’s main job is to purify the blood of toxins though. It can normally do this quite well on its own. But if a person drinks excessively or frequently takes prescription or over-the-counter medications, it can become overburdened.
While it might sound strange, humans have a high risk of getting a parasitic infection, especially those who eat raw meat, live in tropical climates, or don’t have access to clean drinking water.
This is problematic for weight loss because parasites drain away the important nutrients that a person needs to stay healthy and have the energy that they need for an active lifestyle.
Turmeric acts as an effective anti-parasitic agent to flush out parasites from the body, so a person can heal through.
It is especially effective on tapeworms and protozoans, which quickly deplete the body of vitamin B-12 that also has an impact on metabolism. It works best for this purpose when it is combined with pumpkin seeds and wormwood.
Reducing New Blood Vessel Formation
Research has shown that when someone gains weight, the body responds by increasing blood vessel growth in the area to allow for fat expansion. Studies done on animals in laboratories have shown that if turmeric is taken, it can help to prevent the formation of the new blood vessels though, so weight gain becomes more difficult. It doesn’t harm any of the existing arteries or blood vessels.
What Are the Benefits of Turmeric for Weight Loss?
Besides the above mentioned positive attributes that turmeric has on weight loss, it is also beneficial because it positively impacts a person’s mood. While there are many health disorders that contribute to obesity, more often than not, weight gain is caused by consuming too many calories.
This most commonly occurs in people who overeat when they are struggling with negative emotions. For example, people who are depressed might binge eat thousands of calories in one sitting because they had a bad day. But once their mood level is stabilized, they don’t feel the desire to compulsively overeat.
Research done on turmeric’s effects on neurochemicals in the brain has shown that it is just as effective as many prescription-based serotonin re-uptake inhibitors though. So when it is taken daily, it can help reduce calorie intake to aid in the process of weight loss.
How Does Someone Take Turmeric for Weight Loss?
There are several ways of taking turmeric to lose weight. The easiest of them all is to simply purchase turmeric capsules. That way, the body will get the proper dose of curcumin that it needs. However, it is important to mention that the body can’t break down turmeric very easily on its own. So it is best to choose a supplement that also contains black pepper since this other common kitchen spice makes the process easier.
In fact, that is one of the main reasons that its use as a seasoning began. The capsules can be taken orally any time of the day, but because turmeric improves digestion, it often has the side effect of boosting energy levels.
So it is usually recommended that it is taken early in the day along with a meal. Some people really like the flavor of the spice though, which is why a recent trend of stirring one or two capsules into a glass of warm milk to drink along with a meal has begun. If capsules aren’t available, a small spoonful of ground turmeric can be sprinkled directly onto food as well. Just be sure to add some powdered black pepper at the same time.
How Fast Does Turmeric Make Someone Lose Weight?
Turmeric works as a supportive supplement for improving the body’s health, so it can work to lose weight on its own. It isn’t meant to be used as any kind of overnight gimmick to shed pounds quickly. Those who want to include it as part of a health regimen still need to take the action steps that are needed to lose weight, such as reducing their calorie intake and increasing their level of activity.
Most doctors recommend a safe amount of 2 pounds of weight loss per week. In order to achieve this, calorie consumption has to be reduced by 500 to 1,000 calories per day. About 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day is also recommended.
Consuming too little calories causes hunger pains and irritability though. So a balance between exercise and calorie reduction can also be tailored to a person’s specific needs. For example, if hunger pains strike and someone happens to eat a few extra calories, they can make it up by increasing their activity level for the day.
Is Turmeric Safe to Take With Other Supplements and Medications?
It is best to always check with your doctor first before taking turmeric with prescription medications or other supplements because it may affect their half-life in the bloodstream and how well the body absorbs them.
It can also increase the effectiveness of certain medications, which could cause a medical emergency. For example, one of the benefits that turmeric has on the body besides the way that it aids in weight loss is its ability to lower blood sugar levels. This could be deadly for a person who already takes medications for diabetes because it could lower their blood sugar too much, which could result in hypoglycemia.
As you can see, turmeric is a safe and effective supplement that can aid in the weight-loss process by improving a person’s overall health. It isn’t suitable for anyone who is hoping to include it as part of a fad diet.
Want to discover if turmeric can help you? Take the Vitagene Health + Ancestry test to learn which vitamins and supplements can help you reach your goals.