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Weight Loss

Does Turmeric Help You Lose Weight? Yes — And So Much More, Conclude Top Doctors

Studies show that turmeric blocks fat formation, dials down carb cravings and reduces inflammation

Turmeric has been one of the most popular superfoods on the market for a while now, and for good reason. The bright orange spice traditionally used in Indian cooking has proven itself to be a health-boosting miracle. An increasing number of experts are touting the benefits of turmeric and it’s become an interest for those trying to lose weight. Why? Powerful compounds in turmeric tame inflammation, regulate gut bacteria and improve fat metabolism. Read more about how turmeric can help you shed pounds below.

How turmeric speeds weight loss

1. Turmeric blocks fat storage

Wouldn’t it be great if your body simply stopped creating new fat? New research suggests that curcumin may help you just that! One study found that the curcumin in turmeric works to reduce the spread of fat throughout the body. “Weight gain is the result of the growth and expansion of fat tissue, which cannot happen unless new blood vessels form, a process known as angiogenesis,” Mohsen Meydani, DVM, PhD, lead study author from Tufts University explains. “Based on our data, curcumin appears to suppress angiogenic activity in the fat tissue.”

Related: Want to Blast Belly Fat? Try These 3 Delicious Turmeric Weight Loss Drinks

Dr. Meydani’s team came to this conclusion after observing animals fed high-fat diets for 12 weeks. They were split into two groups with one receiving curcumin supplements and the other going without. “Curcumin appeared to be responsible for total lower body fat in the group that received supplementation,” said Meydani. They also noticed lower cholesterol and fatty liver levels in the subjects. 

2. Turmeric shuts down carb cravings

Turmeric helps halt an influx of candida albicans, a yeast that invades the gut, triggering carb cravings and slowing metabolism. That’s because turmeric’s curcumin shuts off the yeast’s self-repair cycle and reduces its ability to adhere to the gut by 74 percent, eliminating the possibility of an overgrowth of the sugar-loving yeast. “Curcumin is an antifungal champion,” says William Davis, MD, bestselling author of the Wheat Belly book series, in his newest book Super Gut. “It’s benign (even at very high doses) yet effective against multiple fungal species.”

Related: If Your Yeast Infection Doesn’t Go Away After Treatment, It May Be *This*

3. Turmeric reduces inflammation

Thanks to modern-day factors like stress, pollution, and highly processed food, most of us have an ongoing hidden immune response inside our body that scientists call inflammation. Turmeric has been proven to significantly reduce this inflammation. As a direct result, achy joints may feel better, headaches can disappear and fat is released. (Click through to learn how turmeric helps stop bleeding gums and acts as an arthritis self-care remedy, too.)

Related: Turmeric Tea Before Bed For Weight Loss

“When you have less inflammation in your cells, it frees your metabolism, allowing it to burn hotter,” explains Ayurvedic doctor Suhas Kshirsagar, author of The Hot Belly Diet. And that’s just the beginning: Fattening conditions caused or worsened by inflammation — including prediabetes, diabetes, and hypothyroidism —“are all going to be helped by turmeric, particularly if you’re adding the spice to a healthy diet that emphasizes other anti-inflammatory foods like salmon, veggies, and healthy fat,” notes Leigh Erin Connealy, MD, head of California’s Center for New Medicine, one of the world’s largest integrative medicine clinics.

Related: Turmeric Milk For Weight Loss: How To Reap The Benefits Of This Delicious Fat-Burner

Other health benefits of turmeric

1. It can tame pain better than OTC meds

Curcumin’s most proven ability is taming inflammation, which is the reason it’s such an effective pain reliever, says Ajay Goel, PhD, a scientist who has studied the compound extensively and is an expert on its health benefits. That’s because all pain, whether acute or chronic, has inflammation at its root. In fact, Goel co-authored a study published in Phytotherapy Research that looked at curcumin to tame pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. “Our clinical trial has shown that when you compare the efficacy of ibuprofen and curcumin, the curcumin works just as well or even better.”

Related: “Turmeric Pain Relief Tea Cured My Chronic Knee Pain”

Goel’s study found that subjects who took a 1,000 mg dose of curcumin daily for eight weeks saw a 45% reduction in joint pain, tenderness and swelling. (A brand that delivers the study-proven form of the compound: Terry Naturally Curamin Extra Strength, ($58 for 90 tablets, on Amazon.) “If you’re a healthy person who wants to get curcumin as a preventative, then take 300 to 500 mg daily,” says Goel. “But if you have a disease and are looking for therapeutic benefits, between 1,000 and 2,000 mg can bring amazing results.”

2. It’s been shown to reverse brain aging

Another of turmeric’s impressive health benefits is its ability to boost your brain. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a type of growth hormone that promotes the multiplication of neurons and the formation of neural connections in our brains. Many neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers have been linked to low BDNF levels. Interestingly, curcumin has shown to increase BDNF levels.

Some studies even suggest that curcumin could enhance memory and ward off depression — another condition associated with low BDNF. Active compounds in turmeric are “as effective an antidepressant as Prozac,” maintains Dr. Connealy. All in all, the curcumin in turmeric seems to be an effective mood enhancer, anti-ager for the brain, and could protect against age-related brain diseases

Related: Is Turmeric Anti-Aging? A Growing Body of Science Says ‘Yes!’

3. It helps keep your heart healthy

Turmeric also demonstrates efficacy for the prevention of heart disease. Because it’s high in antioxidants, turmeric relieves the oxidative stress that is often linked to cardiovascular conditions. Additionally, the endothelium, or lining of your blood vessels, is responsible for regulating blood pressure, blood clotting, and other factors that contribute to heart health. A poorly-functioning endothelium is linked to many heart conditions, but curcumin has shown to boost heart health by improving endothelial function. Studies have shown that curcumin improves endothelial function just as well as certain prescription drugs and cardiovascular exercise. Wow!

Tip: That’s not all curcumin can do. Click through to learn why it’s one of the best dopamine supplements to lift your levels of the feel-good hormone naturally, banishing blue moods and brain fog.

3 turmeric weight loss drinks to get you started

There are many ways to get your daily dose of turmeric: turmeric tea, turmeric water and golden milk. And here are three more delicious drinks you may want to try:

Classic Golden Winter Warmer

turmeric golden milk
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  • 1¼ cups reduced-fat milk
  • ¼ tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 Tbs. agave syrup

Simmer 1 cup milk, turmeric and agave until hot. Whisk remaining milk to froth and spoon over drink. Makes 1 serving.

Vanilla Coffee Contentment

turmeric coffee
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  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tsp. turbinado sugar
  • ½ tsp. instant coffee
  • ¼ tsp. ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper

Simmer ½ cup milk and remaining ingredients until hot. Whisk remaining milk until frothy and spoon over drink. Makes 1 serving.

Matcha Green Latte Magic

matcha latte
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  • 1¼ cups (2%) reduced-fat milk
  • 2 tsp. matcha powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 Tbs. honey

In mug, microwave 1 cup milk and remaining ingredients until hot. In microwave-safe bowl, microwave remaining milk; whisk until frothy and spoon over drink. Makes 1 serving.

For more on the benefits of turmeric:

“Turmeric Pain Relief Tea Cured My Chronic Knee Pain — And Greatly Improved My Life!”

Turmeric Tea Before Bed For Weight Loss: What Kelly Ripa Sips to Stay Slim

Is Turmeric Anti-Aging? A Growing Body of Science Says ‘Yes!’

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