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Turmeric A Supper Food: Be Cautious, When Adding It to Your Diet

“What? You fell from the stairs?” “Hurry! Bring him a warm glass of turmeric or Haldi milk.”

Generally, we all are well aware of this kind of situation in our homes but whenever we got injured, we have been served by a warm glass of milk with turmeric in it.

Turmeric is well known for its injury healing properties. But does it always benefit us??? No, it doesn’t.

Moreover, It has many beneficial properties as well as side effects, which we commonly don’t know about.

In conclusion, be cautious before adding turmeric to your diet. Let’s first take a look on health benefits of Turmeric (Haldi and then precautions.

Curcumin is the active compound of this miracle herb

Health Benefits of Turmeric (Haldi)

1. Depression

Yes, you have read it correctly. It’s Depression! (condition which we face now a days).

It has been seen that turmeric reduces symptoms of depression in people who have been using antidepressants, already.

Haldi reduces symptoms of depression
Haldi reduces symptoms of depression (Source Pixabay)

2. Covid-19

Some researches have shown beneficial effects of Haldi against Covid-19.

There is very limited data available in its favor, above all, eat healthy and balanced diet to fight against Covid-19.

Turmeric effective against Coronavirus
Haldi effective against Coronavirus (Source Pixabay)

3. Immunity

Some studies shows that turmeric helps in boosting immune system

Turmeric increase immunity
Haldi increase immunity (Source Pixabay)

4. Hay Fever

Researchers have found that Haldi is effective against hay fever’s symptoms; (runny nose, itching, sneezing and congestion).

Turmeric is effective against runny nose, itching, sneezing and congestion
Haldi is effective against runny nose, itching, sneezing and congestion (Source Pixabay)

5. Cholesterol and Fat

Turmeric is effective against fat in blood. It lowers the levels of triglycerides (fat) in blood.

Some researches show that, it reduces cholesterol levels in blood.

6. Osteoarthritis

Researches shows that Halid works to relieve pain and improves function in osteoarthritis patients.

Haldi relieves pain and improves function in osteoarthritis patients
Haldi relieves pain and improves function in osteoarthritis patients (Source Pixabay)

7. Fatty Liver (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, NAFLD)

Turmeric extracts are seemed to be effective against nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

It helps to reduce the markers of liver injury and prevents buildup of more fat in the patient’s liver.

8. Itching; Kidney Disease and Mustard Gas

Researches concluded that turmeric taken by mouth thrice a day for 8 weeks reduces itching symptoms experienced by patients of chronic kidney diseases.

When taken along with black pepper, this combination is effective against mustard gas’ itching symptom.

9. Diabetes

It has been studied that turmeric prevents diabetes in prediabetic patients.

Turmeric prevents diabetes
Haldi prevents diabetes (Source Pixabay)

10. Improves Memory

Older people who shows signs of mental decline, turmeric improves their memory and attention.

Turmeric improves their memory and attention.
Haldi improves their memory and attention (Source Pixabay)

11. Asthma

Turmeric do not directly improve lung functions, but it helps in lessening the use of rescue inhalers by children and ultimately improves their night sleep.

Improve lung functions, but it helps in lessening the use of rescue inhalers by children and improves their night sleep.
Improve lung functions, but it helps in lessening the use of rescue inhalers by children and improves their night sleep (Source Pixabay)

12. Beta-Thalassemia

Blood transfusions in beta-thalassemic patients will lead to increase amounts of iron in their blood.

It also plays vital role in diet to lower the increased iron

13. Cancer

Some studies has shown that turmeric if taken for 1 month can lessen the amount of pre-cancerous glands in people who have been on risk of getting Colon or Rectal cancer.

Effective against cancer
Haldi Effective against cancer (Source Pixabay)

14. Unable to Digest Food (Dyspepsia)

Early research shows that turmeric taken by mouth 4x a day for a week can improve upset stomach.

15. Muscle Soreness

Often experienced after exercise, turmeric can reduce it.

Turmeric reduces symptoms of depression
Haldi reduce muscle sourness (Source Pixabay)

16. Gingivitis

Turmeric mouthwash seems to be effective against gum diseases and lowers mouth bacteria, causing gingivitis.

17. Stomach Upset

Helicobacter pylori might lead towards Stomach Ulcer and Stomach upset. Turmeric helps in reducing Helicobacter pylori.

18. IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

Turmeric extract if taken for eight weeks daily can reduces IBS symptoms.

A turmeric and fennel capsule taken for a month can be effective against pain experienced by IBS patients.

19. Joint Pain

It does not improve joint stiffness and its functions but, turmeric in addition with other ingredients

Its better to take thrice a day for eight weeks can reduce pain in joints.

Remove pain
Haldi remove pain (Source Pixabay)

20. Premenstrual Syndrome PMS

As evidenced in many researches that turmeric extract if taken daily a week before menstrual cycle.

Furthermore, continuing for three days afterwards, can improve mood, pain and behavior in PMS woman.

21. Stress

evidence from researches shows that turmeric helps in coping with stress.

Turmeric helps in coping with stress
Haldi helps in coping with stress (Source Pixabay)

BE CAUTIOUS

Don’t add turmeric in your diet whenever you want. Be cautious and take precautions before adding it to a person’s diet.

1. Pregnancy

Safe amounts; the portion, which is normally added in our food, is considered as safe.

But when it is taken in medicinal amounts by a pregnant woman it led towards disorders.

  1. Promotes menstrual period
  2. Stimulates the uterus, risks for pregnancy

2. Infertility in Man

High amounts of Haldi in diet can lead towards infertility in men. It lowers the testosterone levels and decreases sperm movement.

3. Gallbladder Problems

if you have problems like gallstones or bile duct obstruction, then don’t add Haldi in your diet. It will worsen the condition.

4. Diabetes

Haldi is helpful in lowering blood glucose, but don’t take it too much. It might decrease glucose levels to a dangerous level.

5. Bleeding Problems

Turmeric slows down blood clotting process. People who have bleeding disorders, be cautious.

It might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.

6. Surgery

It has been proven that turmeric slows down blood clotting process. So, start precautionary measures at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Otherwise, it’ll lead towards extra bleeding during and after surgery.

7. GERD/Gastroesophageal Reflex Disease

Turmeric might cause stomach upset in many people if taken in high amounts.

It worsens the symptoms of GERD so be cautious.

8. Gluten Intolerance

The data collected from studies that it is very effective against gluten intolerance

9. Conditions Which Are Hormone Sensitive

Studies on this are conflicting. Some studies show that Haldi is safe to use in hormone sensitive conditions like;

  • Breast cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Uterine cancer
  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine fibroids, as it acts like Estrogen and have safe results.

Importantly, some researches show opposite results, that it worsens the condition.

It is better to be on safe side, try to avoid turmeric in these conditions.

10. Iron Deficient Person

If you are iron deficient, then take precautionary measures while using turmeric in your diet.

It has been proven that high amounts of turmeric, hinders iron absorption.

11. Interaction with Medicines

As turmeric slows down clotting process of blood, so be cautious while taking medicines like Anticoagulants and Antiplatelet drugs.

It seems to interact with these kinds of medicines. Resulting in increased bleeding and bruising, in patients.

13. Be Cautious While Taking

Aspirin, Plavix, Cataflam, Voltaren, Diclofenac, naproxen, Anaprox, Naprosyn, ibrofen, Advil, Motrin, dalteparin, Fragmin, Heparin, warfarin and others which slows down blood clotting and they will interact with turmeric.

Always keep in mind! Every person’s body responds differently, according to its type.

So, before following any advice, CONSULT WITH A NUTRITIONIST OR A DIETITIAN.

Conclusion

Turmeric is miraculous herb that even at low levels are very beneficial against different ailments.

An accurate understanding of the effective dose, its safety and action of mechanism is necessary for the rational use of turmeric in the treatment of disease in humans.

Written by Ayesha Siddiqua (BSc. Hons) Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Institute of Food and Nutritional Sciences, PMAS Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi.

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