Can Tumeric Really Give You Superpowers?

Can Turmeric Really Give You Superpowers? + Golden Milk Recipe

In the past, I saw turmeric as a relatively flavourless powder that sat quietly on my spice rack. Despite its warm and inviting yellow glow, I rarely thought about it unless I was making a curry. Then turmeric lattes happened and everyone became obsessed turmeric, including me! Turns out it has some pretty powerful health benefits and tastes like actual heaven in my morning cup. 

I can definitely get on board with a health trend that is both good for you and delicious, but is the turmeric obsession warranted? Will taking a turmeric supplement improve your health? Or are they a waste of money? Is it possible to take too much turmeric and is that dangerous for your health?

Today, I’m exploring whether or turmeric does anything beyond turning your food a delightful sunny yellow. Let’s explore the superfood potential of turmeric and whether the health claims are fact or fiction.

What is Turmeric?

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory health benefits in large doses

The sunny yellow turmeric powder that we all know is actually made from the roots of the flowering turmeric plant, which is a member of the ginger family. Fresh turmeric root definitely has a strong family resemblance to ginger. This turmeric root is ground into a powder, or you can buy the whole root and grate it into dishes fresh. If you haven’t tried it fresh, I highly recommend! The flavour is much richer and woodier than the powder (which is a little flavourless in my opinion).

Is Turmeric a Superfood?

Turmeric may be new in Western cultures, but it’s old news to India and Asia. It’s been popular in Asia as a health food for thousands of years. It’s a staple of cooking and curries, as well as drinks like Golden Milk, which is the origin and inspiration behind the western turmeric latte. Turmeric latte and golden milk products claim to have superfood benefits that will improve your health. I will explore the truth of this claim a little bit later in the article, but first I want to share an easy golden milk recipe that you can try at home. Whether the turmeric product claims are true or false, this golden milk is very delicious, and that’s a good enough reason to give it a try in my opinion.

Easy Golden Milk Recipe

Easy turmeric golden milk recipe

Golden milk is crazy delicious, and if you’re interested in golden milk, there are a lot of recipes available online. A simple 2 serving recipe you can make at home includes:

  • 2.5 cups milk, coconut milk, or nut milk of your choice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5cm of fresh turmeric root sliced
  • 2.5cm of fresh ginger root sliced
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp of honey, maple syrup or sugar

Combine these ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to simmering (but not boiling). Cover and continue gently simmering for 10 minutes to let the spices mingle and infuse the milk. When it’s done simmering, let the milk cool to your comfort level and enjoy!

Is Turmeric Really a Superfood?

Now that you have a yummy golden milk to sip on, let’s get back to the real question: is turmeric really a superfood? The answer is sort of. Turmeric contains an active anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin. Anti-inflammatories are amazing chemicals. They can relieve joint pain, prevent osteoarthritis, ease digestive problems, fight autoimmune disorders, and reduce the risk of cancer. The curcumin found in turmeric does have anti-inflammatory properties that will benefit your health, but the dose is so small that you’re not likely going to get those benefits just by adding turmeric to your food.

How much turmeric do I need to take to get the benefits?

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory benefits but only in large doses

You need at least 500 to 1000 milligrams of curcumin per day to see any anti-inflammatory health benefits. There are only 200 milligrams of curcumin per teaspoon of turmeric, and this is usually being added to a dish that is divided into multiple servings, so your dose is diluted even more. You could try to consume 5 teaspoons of turmeric straight, but that would be pretty gross and I wouldn’t recommend it.

If you really want some anti-inflammatory benefits and you feel like turmeric is the way to do it, the most efficient way to get the right dose of curcumin is by taking a supplement. That way you know that you are getting an effective dose without having to consume mountains of turmeric in your food. Make sure that the label tells you the dose of curcumin, not just turmeric, because curcumin this is the chemical that has the actual benefits.

Can you take too much turmeric?

Too much of anything is bad, so don’t overdo it. Remember, 500 to 1000 milligrams of curcumin is all you need to see the benefits. You should also consult your doctor before you start taking a turmeric supplement to make sure you don’t have any health conditions or medications that might conflict with it. 

Turmeric can lower blood sugar and blood pressure, so if you have diabetes or chronically low blood pressure, you could be doing more harm than good. High doses of turmeric can also react badly with blood thinners, so definitely make sure you consult your doctor before going hard on turmeric supplements.

The Verdict: Can Turmeric Really Give You Superpowers?

Yes, turmeric has some great anti-inflammatory health benefits, but only in the large doses available in supplements. I would put zero stock in any recipes, food products or juices that claim to have amazing health benefits because of the turmeric it contains. You simply can’t get enough curcumin in a single serving of food without it tasting gross because it’s overflowing with turmeric. Even if you tried to get the right dose by adding it to all of your meals, you will still be eating tonnes of turmeric in every bit of food you eat and drink. Pretty sure that won’t last long.

Enjoy turmeric for what it is: a delicious warming spice that you can make yummy healthy recipes with. The endorphins you get from eating tasty, healthy food will do more to improve your health than chopping back 5 cups of golden milk a day or being forced to take supplements.

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