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7 reasons why you must add turmeric to your diet for good gut health

Turmeric has a calming effect on the digestive system, which can help alleviate symptoms of bloating, gas, and stomach discomfort. Adding turmeric to your diet in the form of turmeric tea, golden milk, or as a spice in cooking can provide numerous benefits for your gut health and overall well-being.

Written By: Kristina Das @ New Delhi Published on: June 06, 2024 18:15 IST
tuemric for good gut health
Image Source : FILE IMAGE Know why you must add turmeric to your diet for good gut health.

Turmeric, often called the "golden spice," is renowned for its health benefits, particularly for the gut. This vibrant yellow spice, derived from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. The primary active compound in turmeric, curcumin, is what gives it its powerful healing properties. 

This can be particularly beneficial for those with inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Additionally, when we spoke to Ms Shivani Bajwa, a Functional Medicine Expert, regarding the benefits of turmeric for gut health, she said "turmeric has been shown to increase the production of beneficial bacteria in the gut, promoting a healthy balance of gut flora". Here’s how turmeric can be a master healer for your gut:

Anti-inflammatory Properties

One of the primary benefits of turmeric is its anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation in the gut can lead to various digestive issues, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis. Curcumin in turmeric helps reduce inflammation by blocking inflammatory pathways and inhibiting the activity of molecules like NF-kB, which play a key role in chronic inflammation.

Antioxidant Effects

Turmeric is also a potent antioxidant. Oxidative stress occurs when there's an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body, leading to cell damage. This stress can affect the gut lining and overall digestive health. Curcumin neutralizes free radicals and enhances the activity of the body's antioxidant enzymes, providing a protective effect on gut cells and tissues.

Enhances Digestion

Turmeric stimulates the gallbladder to produce bile, which is essential for digesting fats. This increase in bile production can help improve digestion, reduce bloating, and alleviate symptoms of indigestion. By promoting better digestion, turmeric ensures that nutrients are more efficiently absorbed, supporting overall gut health.

Supports Gut Microbiome

The gut microbiome is a complex community of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. A healthy gut microbiome is crucial for digestion, immune function, and overall health. Curcumin has been shown to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. This balancing act helps maintain a healthy gut flora, which is essential for preventing and managing digestive disorders.

Protects the Gut Lining

The gut lining acts as a barrier to harmful substances while allowing nutrients to pass through. When this barrier is compromised, it can lead to a condition known as "leaky gut," where toxins and bacteria can enter the bloodstream, causing inflammation and other health issues. Turmeric helps protect and heal the gut lining by reducing inflammation and promoting the regeneration of gut cells.

Relieves Symptoms of IBS and IBD

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) are common digestive disorders that cause discomfort and impact the quality of life. Research has shown that curcumin can help alleviate symptoms of these conditions by reducing inflammation, easing abdominal pain, and improving bowel movements. Its ability to modulate gut bacteria and improve gut barrier function also contributes to symptom relief.

Natural Antimicrobial

Turmeric has natural antimicrobial properties that can help combat harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi in the gut. This can be particularly beneficial in preventing infections that could disrupt the gut microbiome and lead to digestive problems.

How to Incorporate Turmeric into Your Diet

Incorporating turmeric into your diet is easy and can be done in several ways:

Golden Milk: A warm, soothing drink made with milk (or a non-dairy alternative), turmeric, and spices like cinnamon and ginger.

Turmeric Tea: Simply brew turmeric powder or fresh turmeric root in hot water, adding honey and lemon for taste.
Cooking: Add turmeric to soups, stews, curries, and even smoothies.
Supplements: Turmeric and curcumin supplements are available, but it’s best to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement.

ALSO READ: Dealing with stomach issues? Roasted cumin can come to the rescue


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