Tangy and spicy, turmeric is loaded with many health benefits. Here’s how to take turmeric for weight loss.
Prized for its brilliant gold tone and array of health benefits, Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) is a common Asian spice used in Asian cooking, for example Indian curries. It has a peppery taste and blends well with many different kinds of foods.
Turmeric has been used for centuries in Chinese and Indian medicine (Ayurveda) because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a good source of manganese, iron, vitamin B and potassium. Recent research has shown that it is also a potent herbal ingredient for weight loss.
Turmeric offers many benefits including regenerating liver cells and cleansing the liver of toxins to help reduce liver inflammation. Research has shown that turmeric helps to increase the levels of two liver-supporting enzymes that promote phase II liver detoxification reactions.
Other than a liver booster, turmeric is also a natural painkiller. The curcumin in turmeric works in a similar way to COX-2 inhibitors, a group of drugs that help to reduce the COX-2 enzymes in the body responsible for the pain and swelling of arthritis. If you find yourself experiencing muscle, joint paints or headaches, drink a turmeric solution instead of reaching for your usual painkillers. Additionally, turmeric also contains strong flu and cold fight properties.
A key ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. The yellower the turmeric, the more curcumin it contains. This active component in turmeric is what gives turmeric its health benefits and the capacity to help with weight loss. Curcumin has shown to reduce the formation of fat tissue by suppressing the blood vessels needed to form it, thus contributing to lower body fat.
Herbal mixtures containing turmeric as one of the main ingredients are reported to provide therapeutic weight loss as well as lipid reduction and change body composition. The mixture taken as a dietary supplement is effective in the treatment of obesity, including both weight loss and reduction of weight gain (Wei and Xu, 2003).
On top of this, turmeric also helps to increase progesterone in our bodies which lead to more balanced hormone levels. This also helps to ensure better weight control.
Turmeric Weight Loss Remedy
Turmeric is a wonderful ingredient that you can incorporate into your daily diet for weight loss purposes. It is easy to cook with turmeric and its peppery taste blends well with most foods.
Like any natural weight loss remedies, you have to bear in mind that turmeric helps with weight loss in a whole-body, holistic manner. First of all, it is a wonderful liver remedy – it helps to cleanse, detox and improve the liver. It is also commonly used as an Ayurvedic treatment to heal the digestive tract and promote better digestion.
Optimal liver function and good digestion are two areas that contribute to healthy weight loss. When these two organs are in top form, it makes way for better absorption of nutrients in foods and helps to rid the body of toxins at the same time.
Cooking with Turmeric
So how do you go about taking turmeric? Herbal healers say that best way to enjoy turmeric is to start by using this warm, slightly bitter-peppery spice in the dishes you cook. Turmeric is most delicious in curries, soups, salad dressings and sautes. In my family, we use it as a marinade for all kinds of meats including fish before we fry them as it gives cooked meat a better taste. When used on fish, it also takes away the fishy smell.
When cooking with ground turmeric powder, the University of Maryland recommends 1 to 3 grams per day. One gram of ground turmeric powder is about ½ teaspoon. So I’d usually go for about 1 teaspoon per day.
Your Daily Dose of Turmeric
To ensure I have my daily dose of turmeric, I have it in different ways. I may prepare a single side dish loaded with turmeric on one day, or if I am not cooking on that day, I’d have it with a turmeric tea or smoothie. Otherwise, I’d just have a daily solution of turmeric.
I found this recipe on www.whfoods.com and really liked it because it’s quick and easy to make. I love cauliflowers and somehow turmeric and black pepper makes them tastier. I have tweaked this recipe a little to fit my tastebuds. Feel free to do the same.
5-Minute Sauteed Cauliflower with Turmeric
2 cups of cauliflower (chopped into small florets)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ginger powder
1/2 cup water with a pinch of Himalayan pink salt in it
- Heat the salted water in a skillet on low heat.
- Add cauliflower and cook it for no more than 5 minutes.
- Transfer into a bowl.
- Add in turmeric, lemon juice, olive oil, black pepper and ginger powder while it is still hot and mix well.
You can also throw in nuts or sesame seed to boost the taste if it’s too bland for you. But I like it light and easy, as it’s meant to go with my other main dishes. Sometimes I’d use broccoli or add carrots.
If you want a daily quickie turmeric tea, you can make it using a pinch of powdered turmeric and steep it for 5 minutes in water. You can take the tea 2 to 3 times a day.
If you have more time, try this slow-cooker recipe that I occasionally go for when I can get my hands on good quality organic turmeric roots.
8 cups of water
2 tablespoons of freshly ground turmeric root (use organic ones)
4-5 slices of ginger (more if you like your tea spicier)
3 tablespoons of honey
A dash of cinnamon
- Add water, honey and the spices to a slow cooker.
- Whisk them together to combine spices in the water.
- Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 5-6 hours.
- Occasionally remove the lid and stir the tea to make sure everything blends well.
You can serve this tea warm or cold. There are about 8 cups here. You can put the rest in the refrigerator – it’s still fresh after a week.
As turmeric mixes well with many ingredients, you can just add turmeric powder into your blend. Here’s a simple smoothie recipe that I use frequently. This drink is perfect with lunches. As I enjoy Chinese tea, I also add a cup of it into my blends. (here are some smoothie recipes infused with tea).
1 carrot (chopped)
½ cup celery (chopped)
2 tomatoes (cut into slices)
1 tsp finely grated ginger
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 cup Pu-Erh or Oolong tea (these are the best Chinese tea for weight loss)
- Add all the ingredients together into the blender, except for the tea.
- Prepare the Chinese tea and cool it with ice cubes. Mix the tea into the blend.
This is a very easy and basic turmeric solution. I take this on busy days when I do not have time to make other turmeric drinks or dishes.
1 tsp turmeric (if it’s too much, you can reduce it to 1/4 or 1/2 tsp)
1/2 a lemon
1 cup warm water
- Add turmeric into warm water.
- Stir well.
- Add lemon and honey.
- Take once in the morning, and another cup in the evening if you like.
Turmeric is also available as supplements (capsules or tinctures). There are now water-soluble forms of curcumin called Theracurmin which are said to be 30 times more potent than regular curcumin. I have not personally try this, so I can’t say whether it really works or if it causes any side effects. If you do want to try it, do a thorough research and check in with your medical practitioner.
Are There Side Effects?
Most sources say there are no side effects or interactions with other drugs when you take turmeric, but advises patients with gallstones or bile issues to stay away from it. Very large amounts of turmeric would irritate the stomach, so don’t go overboard. According to Teresa Graedon from People’s Pharmacy, anyone on blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin) or other anticoagulants should also steer clear of turmeric or curcumin as it can magnify the effect of these anti-clotting medications.
Secrets of Turmeric
The ideas I have posted here are inspired by this wonderful ebook I got. After all, if I am going to go to use turmeric daily, I figured I’d better find more ways to optimise my effort. This book, The Secrets of Turmeric really helps. There are also many more turmeric remedies and recipes in here. I personally like the Gluten-Free Turmeric Orange Coconut Cupcakes and the Turmeric remedies for better skin.
And guess what? as I type this, I just found out that they are selling the ebook for $1 today! What?! I got it for $39.95 – so you are in for a good deal here! Go get it now!
Let me know how you like the taste of turmeric, or if you have any other ways to take this wonderful spice, share them with me. Post your comments below!