Shed Pounds Smarter: The Science Behind Turmeric & Weight Loss

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Turmeric is a spice that is made from the turmeric plant and its root. While turmeric is known as a popular ingredient in Asian food recipes, it has recently become a more commonly used ingredient throughout the world.

The turmeric root contains a chemical called curcumin. Curcumin gives the turmeric root its yellow color and contributes to its usage in both medicinal and dietary functions.

Not only does turmeric offer spice and colour to a bland, pale chicken breast, studies show that it may also promote healthy fat loss.

Turmeric and Weight Loss

Turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, serves as an antioxidant with properties that have been applied in medicine for centuries. People across the world have depended on curcumin for so long due to its effectiveness in dealing with inflammation, digestion issues, and other common ailments.

So, what does this have to do with losing weight? Let’s take a look.

We usually associate inflammation with pain or injury, however, inflammation in fat tissue is a primary stage in body fat gain. As fat tissue expands, we gain fat on our body which, in turn, adds to our overall body weight.

A study at Tufts University found that curcumin prevented fat tissue gain in mice that consumed it, while the mice who didn’t consume curcumin showed usual fat tissue gain. The study found that the additional blood vessels normally formed in expanding fat tissue were not developed as quickly as usual due to the suppressed inflammation messaging in fat cells.

Basically, curcumin told the body to not allow fat to grow, and it didn’t!

Also, the active ingredient in turmeric is known to improve digestion while assisting in detoxifying the liver. Good digestion allows for the effective break down of food, including fat, into usable nutrients. If fat is not broken down during digestion, then it is stored as fat (and we don’t want that).

Also, a healthy liver is important in the body’s fat-burning processes because of its production of bile. Bile serves as a filter for our blood, which cleans out toxins and helps us feel more energised and less sluggish. Curcumin assists the liver in cleaning our blood when consumed. This gives us the energy to increase our activity while our body is working to burn more fat.

You might as well call this a great two-for-one deal!

Ways to Add Turmeric to Our Diet

One of the more popular ways to use turmeric is by adding the spice powder to food. We’ll look at other less common (but simple) ways to incorporate turmeric into our diets.

Powder

Turmeric powder is usually pretty easy to find in the spice aisle at your local grocery store. It adds a nice yellow colour to any meat, starch, or vegetable. It also adds a unique aroma that may remind you of some popular Asian dishes, such as curry.

Root

While turmeric root isn’t quite as easy to find as powder, it’s still possible. You can treat turmeric root in a similar manner as you would treat fresh ginger. Turmeric root can be sliced and added to any dish you’d like, or you can even slice it and call it a unique snack.

If you like fresh root tea, you can steep some root shavings in hot water for several minutes and add any additional spices or sweetener that your taste buds desire.

Paste

A convenient way to use turmeric in food is to process the root into a paste. In order to do this:  take chunks or slices of the peeled root and place it in a grinder or food processor. Once it has the consistency of a paste, similar to tomato paste, you’ll be able to store it in your refrigerator and add it to whatever recipes you’d like.

Supplement

If you want to keep it very simple, you may consider adding a turmeric supplement to your daily vitamin intake. Most stores that carry a decent inventory of supplements and vitamins will likely have an oral turmeric supplement on their shelves. If you’re not much of a cook or just prefer a more scheduled approach to consuming curcumin, this may be the preferred method for you.

Of course, turmeric is not a one-stop solution to meeting all of your weight loss goals. You still have to maintain a healthy diet while making sure you keep an eye on your daily calorie intake.  

But, turmeric does help you reach your weight loss goals quicker.

Combined with a good diet and regular exercise and activity, turmeric can serve as a fun, unique, and tasty way to burn fat and lower those numbers on your scale. Pick the consumption method you can see yourself sticking with and give this unique and wonderfully yellow spice a try.

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