When it comes to adding spices to Indian dishes, everyone is talking turmeric, a spice known for its most active ingredient, curcumin, which offers many health benefits.
But what are the differences between turmeric and curcumin?
The two are very similar, however, the difference between the two is that turmeric is a yellowish powder used as a way to add more flavor to food, while curcumin is a chemical found in turmeric.
Studies have shown that curcumin can help reduce high cholesterol, stomach ulcers, diabetes, and various viral infections, according to WebMD. Though, most of the studies have been done in laboratories. In fact, researchers haven't conducted enough studies to show how curcumin really impacts health.
Although, some people have found that curcumin has benefits in treating arthritis, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and psoriasis, according to Advances In Experimental Medicine And Biology, a book series that covers findings in experimental medicine.
Other people have taken curcumin to help prevent viral infections, liver problems, skin disease, in addition to lowering blood sugar level, and help reduce kidney stones.
Turmeric has been known to help boost the immune system while fighting the common cold, brain function, throat infections, and indigestion. Turmeric has also been used in South Asia, to help improve many health conditions, such as fatigue, breathing problems, and serious pain, according to National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
Studies of turmeric and curcumin show that both can play a role in managing depression as it acts similar to an antidepressant.
When it comes to turmeric, curcumin makes up close to 6 percent of the spice, according to Andrew Weil, M.D. Weil also recommends taking 400 to 600 milligrams of turmeric supplements every day, as it can be more effective for inflammatory disorders, such as tendonitis and arthritis.
"Neither curcumin nor turmeric taken orally is well absorbed unless taken with black pepper or piperine, a constituent of black pepper responsible for its pungency," said Weil.
Turmeric is pretty safe to have even in higher doses, however, having too much of any spie may lead to stomach issues.
Food Dishes To Add Curcumin And Turmeric
It's always fun experimenting with new spices, so that's why people like to add turmeric and curcumin to their favorite food dishes. Happen to be new to using turmeric? We recommend adding turmeric and curcumin into smoothies, soups, rice, tea, or hummus.