Turmeric has been used in Asian cooking for thousands of years, and is known for adding warm, earthy flavors and bright pops of color to a variety of dishes. Recently, however, it has seen a surge of popularity for the myriad of health benefits it can provide. While it has long been a key component in ancient Ayurvedic medicines and traditional Chinese medicines, the spice has emerged over the last few years as a superfood that can be added to any variety of dishes for daily consumption, from turmeric teas and lattes, to simply being taken as a natural supplement in the form of a capsule.
With all the benefits of turmeric, the decision to add it to your daily diet is a no-brainer. It’s affordable, it’s accessible, and it’s excellent for your health. The question, however, is if the superfood is better ingested in its powdered form (as a tea, or in curries), or if you would be better off taking a turmeric supplement (as a pill or capsule) every day.
The Benefits of Turmeric Tea
There’s nothing like a hot cup of tea in the morning. Fresh turmeric tea requires around half a teaspoon of ground turmeric per cup, and to maximize the health benefits of the spice, you would need to drink between two to four cups of turmeric tea per day. This is because the curcumin in turmeric isn’t easily absorbed by our bodies-in fact, if you want to increase its absorption, you would also need to add a pinch of pepper to the mix (the piperine chemical in pepper promotes the body’s ability to absorb curcumin). However, fresh turmeric tea requires between ten to fifteen minutes to prepare, and with the number of cups you need to drink, it can be quite inconvenient and time consuming.
With the Hot Turmeric Brew sachets available from Nature’s Rare, the process becomes a lot simpler. Made with organic and sustainably-harvested turmeric root from the lush plantations of Sri Lanka, and packaged together with organic black pepper, these tea bags come with no preservatives, added sugars or artificial flavors, and enable you to get your tasty turmeric fix quicker. Just throw it into a mug of hot water and let it steep for a few minutes, if you prefer, add a dollop of organic honey for a burst of sweetness before it’s ready to go.
The Benefits of Turmeric Capsules
Turmeric capsules are made with turmeric extract (as opposed to turmeric powder). The extract contains a much higher percentage of curcumin than the raw powder-so much so, in fact, that you could get over 2000% more curcuminoids out of a capsule than you would for the same weight of turmeric powder. It’s a far more clinical (and less delicious) way to take turmeric, but it may also be viewed as a quicker way of adding the superfood to your diet.
The Benefits of Turmeric Tea or Capsules
Curcumin is the main compound present in turmeric, and it’s the reason that the spice imparts such bright golden-yellow colors to its dishes. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory compound that can also boost our body’s antioxidant capacity. Some of the major benefits of curcumin include:
- its use as a brain booster. Curcumin has been shown to potentially slow or even reverse several brain-related diseases. It could also help with improving memory.
- its beneficial effects on your heart. Ingesting curcumin can play a multi-faceted role in protecting you from heart disease. The compound can improve the function of your blood vessels, reduce inflammation, and generally lower your risk of heart-related health scares.
- its ability to inhibit cancerous growths. Studies show that curcumin may prevent the growth of cancerous cells, slow down the growth of new blood vessels in tumors, and may even reduce the spread of existing cancers.
- its use in treating arthritis. With its anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin has been shown to help arthritic patients who struggle with joint inflammation. In some cases, the compound proved to be even more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs.
Ultimately, taking turmeric as both a tea or a capsule will provide you with health benefits, and the choice of which is better rests with your own preferences.