Before I begin answering the question posed in the title, let me ask you a question? Do you like the taste of turmeric? Have you noticed that all the articles telling you to put turmeric powder on your food to improve your health are telling you to put a pinch of it here, a smattering of it there? There is a reason for this. All the authors know that if you are really to use turmeric in many of your foods and drinks, you can only use a tiny bit of it or it will overwhelm the taste and make for an unpleasant experience. Even in countries where turmeric is a staple spice, it’s only used in small amounts. Will sprinkling a little bit of turmeric here and there on your food make a difference in your health? Probably not.
Turmeric as a Spice versus Turmeric as a Therapy
In those same countries, when turmeric is meant to be used as a therapeutic health intervention, it’s used as a tonic in large amounts. People who drink turmeric tea are not drinking it for enjoyment. When turmeric is used in small amounts as a spice, that is all that is!
So, adding a little turmeric to your scrambled eggs or into your smoothie will probably not substantially affect your overall health, nor will any anti-inflammatory properties become apparent. You see, in order for any plant-based food to exert supra-physiological effects, we have to consume it in big doses. In other words, for turmeric to work any magic on your health past its basic nutritional value, it must be consumed as a dietary supplement, or at least in supplement sized doses. The supposed main active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, should not be expected to exert any therapeutic or health-enhancing effects in the amounts supplied by the turmeric you use in foods unless you dump huge amounts of turmeric into your food, which means you will not be enjoying your food very much.
Are They Lying to You About Turmeric?
And yet, there are countless articles listing the ways to add turmeric to your food. Folks, it’s a fool’s errand and it will just stress you out and waste your time. Not only is it quite difficult to get enough turmeric and curcumin that way to constitute a therapeutic dose, but your family also will not appreciate the turmeric overload in their dinner if you’re the main household cook. And, not all of it will be absorbed, another reason you have to take extra to get enough. If you were to put powdered bulk turmeric into capsules, as I do, you will end up taking up to six or eight of these a day! That is a lot of turmeric to put in your food on a daily basis. But, in reality, it may take up to a gram, or 1000mg, to exert any therapeutic effects.
I want to be honest with you, as always. Wellness and health aficionados often do not care whether the information they give you will make a difference. What they care about is your perception. If you are told that a few sprinkles of turmeric or any other spice in your food will change your life, you’re gonna feel pretty positive. A positive feeling invokes a positive association with the source of the information. Everybody likes to think they can make a huge difference to their health with a tiny change in behavior, or a tiny addition to their food or daily activities. While this may sometimes be possible, usually, big changes require big endeavors.
However, taking turmeric capsules is certainly not a big endeavor, it’s just a more costly one! You can read more about using turmeric for things like heartburn, arthritis, anti-inflammatory effects, and more, but if you take one thing from this article, it’s that you cannot treat food as medicine.