Turmeric: Through Whole Foods or Supplement?

Curcumin is the powerful active ingredient in the spice turmeric that research has shown has benefits for digestive health, blood sugar control and circulation, and also works as an anti-inflammatory. Much like the antioxidants in chocolate, you would need to consume a LOT of the main food (turmeric in this case) before you actually received any significant benefit to an actual condition. Hence, why supplements come on the scene. Supplements will provide a concentrated source of the actual ingredient (curcumin) to act as a therapy for the condition. Turmeric is a food—grown naturally and can be eaten practically unaltered. Therefore, as this article points out, it has no side effects and is completely safe to consume often.

Supplements become much trickier, as there is no real standard for how much curcumin should be in any one supplement.  This means different doses, additives, and potentially, different purities. At high concentrations, even natural ingredients can have the ability to interact with medication, so always communicate anything alternate therapy options to your doctor or pharmacist. Companies such as Consumer Labs will provide evidence-based information for different brands of supplements, outlining which brands meet the effective doses and are considered safe and pure. They will even price compare for you! When it comes to supplements, even naturally-based, doing your homework is imperative. If you are looking just for an additional boost to your diet, stick to whole food sources and enjoy the small benefits often.

By Raina Beugelink – Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist

This article was in response to YEGFitness’s article, Spice or Supplement? What is the best way to enjoy the health benefits of turmeric. If you have an article you’d like us to respond to, please feel free to contact us in the footer below.


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