Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Caley Scott, ND
Whenever we hear about an ingredient with supposed weight loss properties, it’s understandably met with some skepticism. The fundamentals of weight loss have always been the same, with diet and exercise leading the way. However, with a spice like turmeric and its active compound curcumin, the hype might be justified.
This vibrant orange spice has widely been recognized as a superfood for many years, and the scientific community has been putting the pieces together with regard to its weight loss potential. Now, turmeric has earned a unique place in the market as an all-natural weight management aid, with many supplements stepping up to meet demand.
Our goal at Sunmed is to set the record straight on big claims and see if there’s truth behind the buzz, whether it’s turmeric for weight loss or other health-related subjects. Today, we’re doing a deep dive into turmeric to see if it’s worth incorporating into your weight management game plan. Let’s see what we find.
What is turmeric?
Turmeric is a potent spice that comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant. This plant, a member of the ginger family, is native to Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent, where it has been a dietary staple for thousands of years. Turmeric was introduced to the west as trade routes opened up, and now the Curcuma long plant is cultivated worldwide.
To obtain the powdery orange spice, the root of this plant is boiled, dried, then ground up. The powder is very fine and has a warm, bitter flavor, similar to curries and mustards. Turmeric has a distinctive look and many unique health properties as well, thanks to the active compound curcumin.
While turmeric was long sought-after as an exotic spice, it has a long history of uses in traditional medicine, as well. Many Asian cultures have used turmeric to treat conditions such as skin irritation, liver problems, and digestive issues. Only now are we really beginning to understand why turmeric and the powerhouse curcumin are so beneficial for health and wellness.
The therapeutic properties of curcumin are now coming to light thanks to research that looks into its molecular structure and interactions with the body. Because turmeric is so widely accessible and all-natural, it’s now one of the more popular plant-based supplements on the market, used for a wide range of applications.
Whether you decide to use turmeric from your spice cabinet or supplement specifically for its health benefits, there is plenty of support for this superfood from science and history.
How might turmeric help with weight management?
Weight loss is a long process that requires planning, commitment, and daily execution — but if there’s a natural supplement available that can support safe and sustainable weight management, who wouldn’t use it to their advantage?
Let’s look more closely at the properties of turmeric and see how this ancient spice can help people today in their efforts to manage a healthy weight.
The powerful antioxidant effects of curcumin drive the primary health benefits of turmeric and may play a role in promoting weight management. Antioxidants work primarily by supporting cell health during exposure to oxidative stress and free radicals that can cause damage.
Research suggests that antioxidants may help support proper fat cell death — a key part of healthy and effective weight management. Antioxidants can also support metabolic processes by easing swelling and allowing the body’s natural fat loss mechanisms to function properly.
Boosting antioxidant intake is always a good idea, whether you’re aiming for dramatic fat loss or minor recomposition to improve fat-to-muscle ratios. With turmeric, you’re getting the best of all worlds and adding a layer of protection as your body undergoes a taxing biological process.
The metabolism is the body’s engine, using food and existing fat for fuel. Because a strong metabolism is the very foundation for effective weight management, it makes sense that thermogenic processes that increase the “furnace” effect can help shed weight more effectively.
Turmeric is a spice, after all, and studies show that more spice in the diet can support healthy body temperature and metabolic rates. When combined with exercise and recovery methods, this allows individuals to get the most from their weight management efforts, and potentially even support a healthy timeline for fat burning.
Thermogenic effects also support strong cognition, recovery, and overall quality of life, making turmeric a well-rounded spice and supplement for health.
Gut health and digestion
The gut microbiome should not be overlooked in its role in weight loss, since it’s at the center of digestion, absorption, and energy utilization. Turmeric has long been touted for its abilities to support digestion and gut health, both key factors in utilizing nutrition effectively and making a solid case for weight loss support.
When your body can digest better, that means less bloating, less gas, and less time spent processing food so you can get back to work or play. This will help you make the most of the food you’re eating, meaning you won’t feel as sluggish or tired when it comes time to work out.
These small but crucial factors all add up in the marathon that is sustained weight loss, and turmeric offers support each step of the way.
Blood sugar support
Individuals who set out on a weight loss journey are often dealing with issues related to blood sugar, whether that’s dealing with energy spikes and crashes or the processing of carbs and sugars.
It all starts with insulin sensitivity, which becomes a problem when the body no longer responds to heightened levels of glucose in the blood. Turmeric may help support proper insulin sensitivity by allowing cells to utilize sugar effectively and keep blood sugar levels in check.
While the blood sugar equation is complex, it’s foundational to weight loss and the prevention of many chronic illnesses. Turmeric and its primary compound curcumin can be one tool in your arsenal that supports stable energy levels when eating carbs and sugar.
Controlling one’s appetite is often one of the more challenging parts of weight loss, especially for those expending more physical energy through exercise. If you can reign in your appetite and practice more self-control in the kitchen, that’s a game-changer in your weight loss journey, no matter your starting point.
Turmeric maintains proper appetite regulation by supporting satiety, the feeling of being full and satisfied from food. This allows dieters to enjoy meals more despite being in a caloric deficit and assists in keeping them on track with long-term weight loss goals.
Other supplements, like THC-V found in our Trim product line, can also help maintain appetite regulation when dieting gets tough.
What is the best way to use turmeric consistently?
If the benefits of turmeric and curcumin sound intriguing to you, it’s time to make it a part of your lifestyle. Incorporating turmeric might not come naturally to many in the United States, since it’s not a very commonly used spice. Let’s sum up some easy ways to boost your turmeric intake and make this superfood a part of daily life.
Cook with turmeric
Don’t forget that turmeric is not just a supplement — it’s a spice! The strong flavor can enhance everything from curries and stews to roasted vegetables, meats, sauces, and marinades.
If you’re not sure where to start, think of it as an accomplice to garlic, ginger, and citrus flavors. Turmeric will balance these other ingredients and add a dimension to your dishes you might have been missing. Remember that you don’t need much turmeric to add flavor and reap the health benefits, so start small and increase according to taste.
Add it to drinks
You might not think that turmeric works well in beverages, but it mixes surprisingly well when mixed into a liquid form. Consider adding it to tea, smoothies, or simply as part of your morning lemon water for hydration. We highly recommend trying a recipe called “Golden Milk” in colder weather, a sort of turmeric latte, including ginger and cinnamon.
You’ll learn to enjoy the subtle heat of turmeric in contrast to the citrus flavors, and you’ll start the day with a thermogenic boost that lasts. Using a form of water-soluble hemp extract can also enhance your morning water or tea with supportive, balancing cannabinoids.
Take turmeric supplements
If you’re not quite warming up to the flavor of turmeric, you can always reach for supplements like capsules for an easy route. This workaround gives you all the benefits of turmeric, often with higher concentrations of curcumin, so you don’t have to make it a part of your daily spice rotation.
Our Trim line of hemp extract products also features turmeric as a natural metabolic booster and appetite support mechanism. This makes it easy to take turmeric daily and can support your weight loss plan with THC-V and other beneficial hemp compounds.*
What are other ways to support your weight management strategy?
There are plenty of reasons to add turmeric to your routine, from the rich flavor to the weight loss and antioxidant benefits. Still, it’s important to keep in mind that turmeric won’t do all the heavy lifting when it comes to losing weight. Prioritize the foundational aspects of weight loss and management, including diet, exercise, and stress management, to see real results and get more from each serving of turmeric.
Turmeric is considered a supplementary addition for a reason — only you can move the dial on weight loss by forming strong lifestyle habits and adhering to them over the long term.
The bottom line
With turmeric, you’re getting a true superfood that can add a much-needed layer of support during your weight loss journey. If you can make it a sustained part of your diet or supplement stack, you may reap benefits such as improved metabolism, appetite management, and reduced energy spikes and crashes.
But like anything in the realm of health and wellness, priorities matter. Stick with the program you’ve devised for yourself or with the guidance of a nutritionist and trainer to get lasting results and practice healthy habits that stick. Sunmed is here to support your path with hemp extracts for total-body balance, bringing you one step closer to true health and well-being.