Turmeric Vs. Curcumin: Which Should You Use?

by Adam Gould
Turmeric Vs. Curcumin: Which Should You Use?

Turmeric Vs. Curcumin in a nutshell:  

Turmeric is derived from the root of a flowering plant. Curcumin is one of the active ingredients found in turmeric.

Several studies show that turmeric and curcumin have impressive health benefits, including anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. 

There are many ways you can add turmeric and curcumin to your diet. VitaBright's Organic Turmeric Curcumin is a simple way to add the benefits of turmeric and curcumin into your daily life.


    Aside from staying active and sticking to a well-balanced diet, did you know that consuming certain plants, either in their natural form or supplement form, can help you achieve better health? A couple of examples are turmeric and curcumin, which are known to have great health benefits. Read on to learn more about what these health benefits are.

     

    What Are Turmeric and Curcumin?

    Turmeric originally comes from the root of Curcuma longa, a flowering plant that belongs to the ginger family. Turmeric is commonly sold in spice jars and has the same qualities as ginger root when fresh. 

    Aside from adding flavour to certain dishes, turmeric is also used in certain countries for its health benefits. For example, turmeric is widely used by locals in India to treat several skin conditions, as well as persistent digestive issues, pain, and discomfort. Many South Asian countries also use turmeric as an antiseptic for burns, bruises, and cuts. 

    Turmeric’s several health benefits are derived from curcuminoids (the active ingredients found in turmeric), which are demethoxycurcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin, and curcumin. Out of the three, curcumin offers the most health benefits because it’s the most active.  

    Curcumin represents more than 8% of most turmeric preparations and is responsible for giving turmeric its distinct taste and colour. On its own, curcumin is known for its anti-tumour, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. 

    Turmeric Vs. Curcumin: Similar Benefits

    Since curcumin is derived from turmeric, its benefits are very similar.

    Here are some health benefits associated with turmeric and curcumin:

    Antifungal Properties

    One study showed that turmeric possesses definite antifungal properties that can inhibit the growth of bacteria in the body. To experience the best results, mix a few tablespoons of turmeric powder with water and then stir until it turns into a paste. This thick consistency will stay steady on wounds and expedite the body’s natural healing process. This can prevent infections caused by open wounds. 

    Cancer

    Although studies are still in the early stages, some show a promising link on how turmeric and curcumin can reduce the activity of cancer cells in the body. Some studies show that curcumin has protective effects against prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and multiple myeloma. 

    As mentioned, turmeric can also reduce inflammation in the body, which is the root of several diseases, including cancer. By using turmeric regularly, a person’s risk of cancer significantly decreases. 

    Cognitive Function 

    Studies show that turmeric and curcumin can improve overall brain health in many ways. The most notable benefit of turmeric and curcumin to the brain is that they can preserve mental acuity even as people age. Turmeric and curcumin can also stabilize a person’s mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other common mental health problems. 

    Diabetes

    Because they can improve blood sugar metabolism, turmeric and curcumin have been used by many to reduce the effects of diabetes on the body. One study showed that curcumin could decrease the level of glucose in the body and other diabetes-related complications. The researchers of the study also concluded that curcumin plays a vital role in diabetes prevention, especially for individuals who have a family history of diabetes. 

    Digestive System

    For individuals who regularly suffer irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), turmeric and curcumin can help. These two can reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms triggered by these diseases because of their antifungal properties. 

    Heart Disease

    Turmeric and curcumin are also known to reduce a person’s risk of heart disease as they can reduce the bad cholesterol in the body. Bad cholesterol can cause fatty deposits in your blood vessels, making it difficult for your blood to circulate through your arteries. 

    Liver

    According to a study, turmeric extract and curcumin can improve liver function. The antioxidant effects of the two appear to prevent free radicals and toxins from doing significant damage to your liver. This can be highly beneficial for people who often take strong drugs to manage symptoms of certain health conditions, as medications can significantly hurt the liver after long-term use. 

    Obesity

    The combination of turmeric and curcumin can help obese individuals in a variety of ways. For one, the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric can reduce inflammation in the body, which is one of the leading factors of obesity. Additionally, curcumin is an antioxidant that works by suppressing the inflammatory condition of the muscle cells and fats in the body. This helps achieve a leaner body. 

    Osteoarthritis

    Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, plant compounds (including curcumin) found in turmeric can reduce inflammation in the body, relieving even osteoarthritis. One study even showed that people who used turmeric experienced lesser side effects, such as stomach problems and diarrhoea. 

    Some studies also suggest that drinking turmeric tea every day helps regulate metabolism and reduce weight, waist circumference, and BMI. 

    Turmeric Vs. Curcumin: The Difference

    Although the two can be confusing and are sometimes used interchangeably, turmeric and curcumin are different. Turmeric is a plant that has roots used in the making of spices. Curcumin, on the other hand, is a chemical compound that’s derived from turmeric. In short, all turmeric contains curcumin, and curcumin is just one component of turmeric. 

    The difference between turmeric and curcumin is that turmeric is easier to digest. This means the raw form will be better absorbed and more effective than curcumin extract for people who struggle with the more concentrated form. 

    Curcumin is undoubtedly the most powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient in turmeric, therefore a high-strength curcumin extract may offer a particularly potent natural anti-inflammatory and pain relief supplement for those who can tolerate it and digest it well. However, it is also more difficult for your body to absorb in this form, which means those with less efficient digestive metabolism may not gain the same level of benefit and could experience stomach upset in some instances.

    Furthermore, turmeric contains an array of other nutrients, prebiotics, and phytochemicals which are thought to contribute to a variety of additional health benefits that turmeric is renowned for in cultures worldwide, such as helping to regulate blood sugar, aiding digestion, improving gut microbiome balance, and supporting immunity.

    How To Add Turmeric To Your Diet

    Although it offers countless health benefits, many are still hesitant to consume turmeric because of its taste and smell. Turmeric has an earthy bitterness that not everyone can tolerate. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to mask the taste and smell of turmeric. 

    Here’s how you can incorporate turmeric into your diet:

    Add Turmeric Powder To Eggs

    Eggs are highly nutritious and low in carbs, but not everyone loves eating them on their own because of their bland taste. If you feel the same way, adding turmeric powder to your eggs can make a lot of difference. 

    Turmeric powder has a subtle taste, making it a great addition to bland dishes. Simply add a few dashes of turmeric powder to your scrambled eggs to taste the difference. You can also mix turmeric powder with apple cider vinegar and sugar, and then dip your hard-boiled eggs. 

    Add Turmeric Powder To Your Meat Rub

    Are you looking for hacks to make your meat tastier and look more appetizing? If you are, creating a meat rub using turmeric powder is a must-try. Due to its subtle yet savoury taste and golden hue, turmeric powder works well when added to different types of meat.

    To infuse turmeric powder into your meat, mix turmeric powder with coriander, onion, garlic, black pepper, and cloves. Rub the powder into your meat (chicken is one of the best options here), and then put it in a slow cooker. You can also use the same meat rub on beef and then put it on a skewer, along with diced cherry tomatoes and zucchinis. 

    Enjoy Turmeric Tea

    While you can easily buy commercially-made turmeric tea almost anywhere, making your own is a healthier, and more cost-efficient, option. Drinking turmeric tea regularly is one of the easiest ways to add turmeric to your lifestyle and enjoy all of its health benefits.

    To enjoy turmeric tea at home, slice a knob of fresh turmeric in a mug and then pour some hot water. If you’re going to use turmeric powder, add a few tablespoons of the powder (depending on how strong you want the taste), and then add hot water. You can also add some peppercorns to help the body absorb more curcumin or a tablespoon of fresh honey to make the drink sweeter. 

    Mix It With Your Grains

    If the idea of eating grains no longer excites you (because admit it, grains often taste too bland), consider adding some turmeric powder. Aside from adding a pop of colour, turmeric powder can also boost the health benefits of your grains. 

    There are several ways to incorporate turmeric powder into your grains. For one, you can make lemony quinoa and add turmeric powder, along with toasted almonds, fresh cilantro, and raisins. You can also make your rice more aromatic by adding fresh ginger, dried cranberries, pine nuts, garlic, and turmeric powder. 

    Add It To Your Soups

    Your favourite vegetable-based soups will taste different (and better) when you add a few tablespoons of turmeric powder. As mentioned, turmeric powder has a subtle taste, which means you can add it to any of your favourite soups. 

    For example, you can mix your favourite vegetables and then add cayenne, cinnamon, lemon, ginger, and turmeric powder to the mix. If you’re a fan of lentil and farro soups, you can also add a few tablespoons of turmeric powder. 

    Mix It Into Your Salad Dressing 

    Vegetable and fruit salads are healthy meals, and adding some turmeric powder will make these dishes tastier and healthier. And no, creating the best dressings for your salads isn’t time-consuming and stressful — you’ll only need ingredients that are staples in your kitchen. 

    One of the easiest salad dressings you can make is mixing olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and turmeric powder. If you want something spicier, you can mix turmeric powder with curry powder, Dijon mustard, and creamed raw cashews.

    Season Root Vegetables

    Eating root vegetables will never be boring again once you use turmeric powder. You might even start to love (and crave more) root vegetables when you add turmeric powder more often. 

    You can make some turmeric-roasted root vegetables at home paired with a cilantro-yogurt sauce. Another idea is blending turmeric powder with baked sweet potatoes, white beans, and tahini for creamy hummus. 

    Make Juices And Smoothies

    Aside from adding turmeric to some of your favourite dishes, do you know that this also works well with juices and smoothies? When blended with fruits and vegetables, juices and smoothies are excellent meal replacements for individuals who are always on the go. 

    What makes juices and smoothies great is that you can use any fruit or vegetable. For example, you can blend a few slices of pineapples with a few tablespoons of turmeric powder. You can also blend apples, carrots, lemon, ginger, and turmeric powder to boost your vitamin C intake. 

    Takeaway Points

    Both turmeric and curcumin provide several health benefits. And because these are natural, consuming these regularly won’t leave any side effects, especially to your liver. 

    If you’re struggling to decide whether you should use turmeric or curcumin, reach out to a medical professional first. They have the skills and equipment to properly assess your present health condition and recommend the best option.

    Oraganic Turmeric Curcumin 1440mg-2160mg with Organic Black Pepper

    by Adam Gould