Archives for Foods vs Supps

Foods vs. Supplements: The Turmeric vs. Curcumin Edition

            Turmeric vs. Curcumin   OK – you’ve probably heard of turmeric. It’s been touted all over the “health waves” recently to be helpful for all sorts of diseases. Got pain?  Have some turmeric. What about cancer?  Have some turmeric. Diabetes?  Have some turmeric. And the list goes on… You probably also know it’s the golden coloured powder in curry spices. You may even enjoy eating curry (I do!). BUT, what if you don’t like it? (Oh, the horror!) 🙂   Turmeric: It’s NOT Just for Curry Anymore…100+ ways to eat turmeric!   You may wonder: Does it work? Should I supplement? Should I eat it? And most important of all: “If I should eat it and DON’T like curry, how the heck can I even consider it?” Great questions! (If you want to skip the answers to these questions and go straight to the recipes, just scroll down the page a bit)   Click here to download a handy comparison chart of Turmeric vs Curcumin!     What is turmeric and what does it do?   Turmeric is a spice, and it’s not a “spicy-hot” strong-flavoured spice either. I personally find the strength (not the flavour) to be similar to ginger. Turmeric is a rhizome (1) called curcuma longa that is dried and ground to make turmeric powder. It’s an herb that has been traditionally used for medical purposes in several Asian countries(2). The main and most studied ‘active ingredient’ in turmeric (3) is called curcumin, which makes up less than 7% of the dried weight of the spice. Curcumin supplements have been shown in many, many scientific studies to have anti-inflammatory (2,4), anti-oxidant (2), anti-cancer (2,5), and pain-relieving effects. It is also being studied to protect your brain and heart (2), as well as to prevent and reduce the side-effects of diabetes (2,6). It has been studied for dozens and dozens of other health uses – check out the table in this link. It is fat-soluble and not well absorbed from your gut(2), and it seems to be quite safe for most people even at higher doses (see “Foods vs. Supplements” below).  If you want to actually absorb the curcumin