Time for Turmeric!

Turmeric. I have real difficulty spelling it. It’s orangey-yellow as and will stain your cooking implements and meals. It tastes pretty ok, but not wonderful, which seems weirdly predictable for stuff that’s meant to be good for you (I’m looking at you, kale and beetroot). But it’s currently riding a wave of popularity heretofore unprecedented for a spice. What’s the deal?

I honestly didn’t know. I vaguely remembered reading something Dr Greger had written about it. Something about cancer perhaps, or maybe it was inflammation. And I’d seen videos of people doing turmeric shots. Given that it’s really cheap, fulfils the not-so-tasty-so-liable-to-be-healthy criterion, and that turmeric shots seemed to be something I could emulate pretty easily at home I thought I’d give it a try this month as well. Whenever I can remember I’ve been downing a teaspoon or so a day. But why?

Turns out I may not have been so silly after all. Just for your reading pleasure (and maybe a little for my own reassurance), I conducted a review of the benefits of turmeric as outlined on Dr Greger’s nutritionfacts.org website. Here we go:

Blood vessel health

Researchers in Japan found that a teaspoon of turmeric a day for 8 weeks boosted endothelial cell (little cells on the inside of our blood vessels) function to a comparable extent as 30-60 minutes of aerobic exercise. Hmm… I know what you’re thinking, because I was thinking that too (pass the turmeric shot!) but rather unsurprisingly things get even better if we do both. Still, that’s a win for turmeric.


Wow. Here we go… Curcumin (the yellow pigment found in turmeric) actually beat the leading drug of choice in alleviating pain for people with rheumatoid (autoimmune) arthritis in one study, while unsurprisingly managing to have fewer side effects. When added to a standard drug regimen, curcumin has been shown to reduce relapses in people with ulcerative colitis (an inflammatory condition of the gut). In people with osteoarthritis of the knee, it did as well or better than ibuprofen. In another study a quarter teaspoon of turmeric taken with meals appeared very effective in treating inflammation of the kidneys caused by the autoimmune disease lupus. People given turmeric after they had ‘key-hole’ surgery used fewer painkillers and had lower fatigue scores.


Ok, this is getting a bit crazy now but turmeric appears to lower the DNA-mutating ability of cancer-causing substances, and to be able to switch back on the self-destruct mechanism within cancer cells. It may reduce changes in the gut that can lead to bowel cancer, and even help some patients with pancreatic cancer.

I haven’t covered everything (there may actually be even more benefits) and if you’re after all the finer details you can find them and references to the original research on nutritionfacts.org.

As almost always, further research on turmeric is needed. But it seems highly likely that getting some turmeric in our day is a good idea, for one reason or another. So, in the meantime… Shots!!

previous 2zblogs

Pumpkin & Kumara Soup

Pumpkin & Kumara Soup It’s definitely winter right now, and winter means time for soups, flannel sheets, hot water bottles, and other keeping warm measures. This is my first ever recipe that I successfully converted to whole foods plant-based. It comes from...

Plant-based Kids

Plant-based Kids A plant-based way of eating works well for everyone. I’m often asked about possible exceptions to this, the most common after athletes (which has been covered a little already when I wrote about protein) being kids. There’s an oft-cited statement from...

Plant-based for the Planet 3: Water, Climate Change, and Oceans

Plant-based for the Planet 3: Water, Climate Change, and Oceans We’ve already talked about the impact of livestock required for our current eating choices on our planet. There are many other reasons why a plant-based way of eating is best for the environment and...

Get Week 1 For Free Now!

The 21st Century Food Course is an eBook-based course made for the 21st Century life – concise, inspiring, motivating, simple, and backed by science.



...to get your FREE copy of Week 1 emailed to you now!


**P.S. if you’d like us to send you out an occasional newsletter on all the haps in the plant-based universe, fill out your deets below and hit that subscribe button**


thanks, we'll be in touch!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This