Today’s blog is a discussion on the benefits of turmeric and curcumin (one of the key actives in turmeric). In addition, I’ve added a whole section on spices, spice recipes, and new Amino Man spices fresh off the press towards the end of today’s blog.
Turmeric is well known as a spice used in curries. But it’s also been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, especially in Indian Ayurvedic medicine. Modern research has found that compounds in turmeric — especially curcumin — can have potent anti-inflammatory activity.
Some studies have also found that curcumin in particular may promote weight loss like many other anti-inflammatory compounds. It may work in several ways, including having a direct anti-inflammatory effect in fatty tissue and fat cells, increasing production of adiponectin (a hormone that improves our sensitivity to insulin and has an anti-inflammatory effect), helping to reduce insulin resistance and hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar), and interacting with proteins in many types of cells throughout the body, including liver cells, pancreatic cells and muscle cells.
As well as its anti-inflammatory activity, turmeric (or curcumin) has been found in studies to have multiple potential benefits of our health. These include antioxidant, wound-healing, anti-microbial, anti-cancer and pain-relieving activities.
The benefits of turmeric and curcumin may include;
“Curcumin [1,7-bis(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-1,6- heptadiene-3,5-dione], a member of the curcuminoid family of compounds, is a yellow-orange pigment derived from the rhizome of Curcuma longa.1,2
It has attracted considerable attention in recent years due to its wide spectrum of biological and pharmacological activities, including anti- oxidant, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiproliferative, anti-invasive, antiangiogenic and anticoagulant activities”.3–7 Read study here
I’ve personally noticed decreased inflammation and healthier skin elasticity in my clients when taking higher doses of specially formulated curcumin extracts. Indeed, curcumin has been shown clearly to impact collagen formation so there’s a clear synergy there, likely applicable to many other polyphenol-rich spices, herbs and the like.
Now curcumin is normally best derived from using the whole spice turmeric and cooking it in oil along with pepper and mustard seeds. This might be why there’s much less Alzheimer’s disease in India as they consume so many spices including turmeric via lovely oily cooking.
Now we know that eating a curry every day might not be everyone’s cup of tea so making it into a spiced latte or something is another route to getting the magic of this powerful spice into the system. As with these things having a few routes to solutions is best.
Here are a few cool ways to consume turmeric and increase curcumin into the body and brain;
- Cook a curry with black pepper and mustard seeds in oil as a base before adding your other ingredients
- Cook turmeric into coconut oil and add this into a milky drink also with sunflower lecithin. Lecithin is an emulsifier so it makes fatty things water soluble This is sometimes called a golden latte and you can add ginger and other spices in here too
- Add some turmeric to beans with a little oil or butter and cook for 10–15 mins then have these on buttery toast with some added strong cheddar sprinkled on top
- Look for special supplements and technology whereby the curcumin is bound to phospholipids and or nanotechnology for maximum absorption
So heated turmeric in oil allows the curcumin to become more available to cells. The same is true of most polyphenols — lycopene the good stuff in tomatoes also becomes 70% more bioavailable when you heat it in olive oil — one of the secrets of the Mediterranean diet.
My favourite methods for getting more turmeric are cooking weekly curries, taking a double daily serving of optimised curcumin, 1 with collagen before training and again with fish oils at night. Plus spicing up normal dishes liked baked beans on toast.
I also use my Metabolic Optimiser which has turmeric as one of the additions in a powerful anti-inflammatory recovery blend.
It’s important to use both the full spice in daily life and curcumin extracts for the maximum benefit.
If you really don’t like the taste, then using a supplement might be your only route.
Flexible steel, elastic steel are 2 affirmations I’m using at moment to help people stretch more and take their body supporting nutrients. Using curcumin, collagen, fish oils and vitamin D goes a long way to supporting proper tissue remodeling, restructuring, preventing and healing from injuries.
As a (slightly) older trainer I want to remain bouncing and strong for as long as possible.
Amino Man’s Optimised Curcumin uses the longvida patented extract due to its special properties and high levels of oral bioavailability. It’s clinically proven effective in multiple studies to support various aspects of inflammation regulations and even in some of the studies showing significant benefits for mood state and brain function, including memory.
Obviously, results may vary but it’s one of the better or most widely studies curcumin extracts out there at the moment. Here’s the write up on their site about this incredible product;
“Longvida Optimized Curcumin® was designed by university neuroscientists to bypass initial hydrolysis and deliver bioefficacious levels of unglucuronidated (free) curcumin to the brain and throughout the entire body. Exclusively licensed to Verdure Sciences®, patented Solid Lipid Curcumin Particle (SLCP™) Technology enables the uptake of free curcumin to the blood and target tissues. Extensively studied by independent researchers globally, Longvida Optimized Curcumin®is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, offering efficacious amounts of free curcumin at easily managed daily doses. Multiple clinical findings show that Longvida Optimized Curcumin®delivers free curcumin to target tissues. Studied extensively by independent academic and medical centers globally, Longvida® offers a 7.5 hour half-life, compared to the 2–3 hour half-life of standard curcumin” Additionally, it’s 95–285x more bioavailable than a 95% standardised curcumin extract.