What’s Up with Turmeric

March 10, 2017

Obesity, lethargy and lifestyle diseases are almost inevitable or so it seems. With our notorious health-stealing American diet of fast junk food, frozen meals and convenience foods, not to mention the ever-growing threat of environmental toxins. Add to that our sedentary lifestyle practices and it’s no wonder so many of us struggle.


Now you’re thinking, “Well isn’t she a ray of sunshine?” There’s hope and it comes in the form of a humble spice.


Turmeric is an ancient and incredibly healing golden spice has begun to throw its weight around in modern studies that indicate there’s more to this beauty than a wee spicy flavor. Turns out it can be hugely helpful to anyone trying to lose weight, detox and regain a healthy body.


Here’s how this incredible little root works its magic.


Researchers have known for some time that our bodies contain two kinds of fat: brown fat, which expends excess energy through heat generation and isn’t connected to weight gain and white fat, which leads to obesity through fat storage.


Curcumin, key compound in turmeric can actually help convert white fat into brown fat by enhancing the expression of brown fat genes. And so my dears, I welcome you to…the science of nutrigenomics, the study of how the nutrients you consume can positively alter the ways that your genes express themselves…and how this can affect your health.


Studies now reveal that our metabolism, (our ability to assimilate nutrients and use them as we need), works as our fat-burning furnace, if you will and is often imbalanced and sluggish in those who are overweight or obese. This dysfunction makes weight loss super-challenging, as much more work is needed to burn the same quantity of fat as in someone of normal weight.


Turmeric…brilliant, delicious, ancient turmeric breaks this cycle by seriously stimulating the activity of a metabolism-balancing protein called AMP (activated protein kinase), which increases the rate at which fat can be burned.


Curcumin even causes apoptosis, a sort of “programmed cell death,” in white fat cells, which improves the ratio between brown fat and white fat. And the more brown fat you have, the more easily your body is able to burn more white fat through thermogenesis (which is induced by brown fat).


For all of these reasons, including turmeric in your diet is proving to be quite the “hack” for weight loss. It can help break the cycle of sluggish metabolism and improve your body’s fat-burning abilities by increasing levels of brown fat.


But there’s more to turmeric than a more slender you. While optimizing your ability to achieve your ideal weight, you will boost immune function, improve cognitive function, fight off more than 600 different diseases and benefit from its incredible anti-inflammatory properties.


But not all forms of turmeric are created equal. You can take supplements, tinctures and other supplemental forms of this ancient healing super hero, but turmeric can be hard to absorb and you may not achieve your goals as quickly. Some supplements are better than others. There’s plenty of great research out there to find the one that’s right for you.


You can also cook with it and benefit deliciously…which is my choice. No surprise there.


Research shows that while supplements are effective in benefitting from turmeric, there’s nothing quite like cooking with it to reap the benefits to your health that you seek.


Turmeric plays a big role in my cooking and I have seen the many benefits…no more aches and pains from working out, less inclination to get a cold or flu and a myriad of other benefits. It’s why we continue to enjoy this yummy dish on most weekend in our house.