6 little known effects of turmeric on your health

by Naïby Jacques



Even cancer.

These are some diseases that turmeric can help you fight.

That's right! Turmeric contains one of the most powerful antioxidants, called curcumin—the pigment that gives turmeric its bright yellow-orange color. For instance, if you ate just one pinch of turmeric per day for only one week, you can reduce damaged blood cells by 50% [1] [2].

In recent years, medical journals have published more than 5,000 articles on curcumin, and most of these articles impressively demonstrate how this antioxidant can offer a variety of benefits to address a multitude of painful, degenerative and fatal diseases. 

There are still a dozen studies to come about the effects of turmeric on the body [1] [3]. This spice, mainly used in Ayurvedic medicine as an antiseptic, is already starting to get more and more attention and recognition in the Western world.

But there are still some things about this exotic spice that many people are unaware of.

6 Health Benefits of Adding Just a Pinch of Turmeric to Your Diet

1. Turmeric helps fight inflammatory diseases [1]

Studies have shown that it’s efficient in treating rheumatoid arthritis (better than the most popular drug [4]) and can treat osteoarthritis [5], lupus [6], and inflammation of the intestine [7].

2. Curcumin can significantly slow down the development of colon cancer by 40%

When you start developing abnormal growths of tissue in the gastrointestinal tract, you have what the medical world calls polyps.  And they are the major risk factor for colon cancer. Turmeric slows their growth significantly [8] [9].

3. Turmeric may help reduce flatulence

Of the spices that have been tested to reduce gas, turmeric (eaten fresh only) comes right after cloves, cinnamon and garlic [10].

4. Turmeric can repair the internal ravages caused by smoking

When scientists compared the levels of chemical compounds responsible for the mutation of the genetic code of the cell (DNA) in smokers' urine, they noticed that smokers who consumed turmeric had a reduction rate of these compounds in their urine up to 38% [11] [12].

5. Turmeric can prevent and stop the impressive growth of cancer cells

Dr. Greger, who is the author and founder of Nutritionfacts.org, surprisingly demonstrates in his remarkable book, How Not To Die, the virtues of turmeric. According to him: "[C]urcuma would play a major role in the prevention and treatment of lung and brain diseases and a variety of cancers, such as multiple myeloma, colon cancer and pancreatic cancer" [1].

6. Curcumin may help speed recovery after surgery

Many studies have demonstrated that curcumin speeds up muscle repair and the healing process [1] [13].

Lait d'or au curcuma et noix de cajouGolden milk with turmeric, cashews and cardamom

How to Add Turmeric to Your Diet

You can find turmeric in large quantities in curry—it makes up 20%-30% of curry powder. (Curry powder is not a spice but a blend of spices, including coriander, cumin, cardamom, fenugreek and various peppers.)

Other than Indian cuisine, turmeric is also widely used in Moroccan and Japanese cuisine. This is not the most typical spice of Moroccans, but you can find it in their lentil soups and tajines. Okinawans call turmeric ucchin and give it an important place because it’s considered a powerful food that contributes to their exceptional health and longevity. You'll find it most commonly in fermented turmeric tea. 

You can choose between fresh turmeric or its dry, powdered form. If you don’t like the taste of dry turmeric, you might prefer its fresh version. Dry turmeric is more pungent and very earthy—and some people feel it is often accompanied by a medicine aftertaste—while fresh turmeric’s aroma is light, sweet and fragrant. 

Both fresh and dry give you great health benefits, though.

Potage patate douce et curcumaNutty turmeric sweet potato soup

Are You Ready to Boost Your Health?

Turmeric seems to offer unique benefits when it comes to preventing disease and to stimulate the cells of your body. It’s much more than a spice. It’s potent stuff. And even more so when you add a pinch of pepper—it increases the absorption of curcumin by 2,000% [14].

So with just a small dose—a quarter to one teaspoon—turmeric represents a simple, fast and cheap way to prevent the development of cancer and to transform your health. 

So go for it! Add this sun-colored spice to your daily diet, your smoothies, your soups or your dressings to add flavor and freshness.

And enjoy lifelong beautiful and radiant health.


[1] GREGER, Michael et Gene Stone. How Not To Die: Discover the Foods Significally Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease. New York, Flatiron Books, 2015, p. 351-352. 
[2] Percival SS, Vanden Heuvel JP, Nieves CJ, Montero C, Migliaccio AJ, Meadors J. Bioavailability of herbs and spices in humans as determined by ex vivo inflammatory suppression and DNA strand breaks. J Am Coll Nutr. 2012 Aug;31(4):288-94.
[3] Gupta SC, Patchva S, Aggarwal BB. Therapeutic roles of curcumin: lessons learned from clinical trials. AAPS J. 2013 Jan;15(1):195-218.
[4] Chandran B., Goel A. A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. Phytother Res. 2012; 26 (11):1719-25;
[5] Vilai Kuptniratsaikul, Piyapat Dajpratham, Wirat Taechaarpornkul. Efficacy and safety of Curcuma domestica extracts compared with ibuprofen in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a multicenter study. Clin Interv Aging. 2014;9: 451–458.
[6] Khajehdehi P., Zanjaninejad B, Aflaki E and al. Oral supplementation of turmeric decreases proteinuria, hematuria, and systolic blood pressure in patients suffering from relapsing or refractory lupus nephritis: a randomized and placebo-controlled study. J Ren Nutr. 2012; 22 (1) :50-7
[7] Vecchi Brumatti L, Marcuzzi A, Tricarico PM, Zanin V, Girardelli M, Bianco AM. Curcumin and inflammatory bowel disease: potential and limits of innovative treatments. Molecules. 2014 Dec 16;19(12):21127-53
[8] GREGER, Michael with Gene Stone. How Not To Die: Discover the Foods Significally Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease. New York, Flatiron Books, 2015, p. 64
[9] Carroll RE, Beny RV, Turgeon DK, et al. Phase IIA Clinical Trial of Curcumin for the Prevention of Colorectal Neoplasia. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2011; 4(3) :354-64
[10] Greger, Michael witr Gene Stone. How Not To Die: Discover the Foods Significally Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease. New York, Flatiron Books, 2015, p. 286
11] Greger, Michael with Gene Stone. How Not To Die: Discover the Foods Significally Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease. New York, Flatiron Books, 2015, p. 35 
[12] Polasa K, Raghuram TC, Krishna TP, Krishnaswamy K. Effect of turmeric on urinary mutagens in smokers. Mutagenesis. 1992 Mar;7(2):107-9.
[13] Agarwal KA, Tripathi CD, Agarwal BB, Saluja S. Efficacy of turmeric (curcumin) in pain and postoperative fatigue after laparoscopic cholecystectomy: a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled study. Surg Endosc. 2011 Dec;25(12):3805-10
[14]  Shoba G, Joy D, Joseph T, Majeed M, Rajendran R, Srinivas PS. Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. Planta Med. 1998 May;64(4):353-6.
Béliveau, Richard with Denis Gingras. Les aliments contre le cancer. Les Éditions Trécarré, Montréal, 213 p.

Naïby Jacques
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Naïby Jacques

Passionate about holistic health, Naïby Jacques is on a mission to help people add more plant foods to their diet by giving clever life hacks with simple and mouthwatering recipes. Get her free e-cookbook 14 recettes crues, simples et satisfaisantes qui séduiront votre entourage (French only) on her blog De Bon Cru.


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