Can turmeric lower cholesterol?

Have you been trying to lower your cholesterol levels? You probably already know that keeping a healthy diet and exercising regularly can do wonders, but what if I told you turmeric might be the missing piece to the puzzle? Yes, that’s right! The spice commonly used in curries and other delicacies could potentially help reduce your cholesterol. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s dive deeper into this topic.

Understanding Cholesterol

First things first, let’s talk about what cholesterol really is. It’s not just some weird word doctors like to use to confuse us; it actually plays an essential role in our bodies. Without getting too technical (I’m not a scientist), cholesterol is a type of fat found in our bloodstreams which helps build cells and produce hormones among other things.

However, there are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol because when there’s too much of it in our bloodstreams, it can clog up arteries leading to heart disease or stroke. HDL is considered “good” because it carries excess cholesterol back to the liver where it can be broken down.

So now that we understand why lowering LDL levels would benefit us greatly – cue turmeric!

A Brief Overview of Turmeric

For those who don’t know, turmeric is a spice derived from plants native to India and Southeast Asia – fun fact: did you know India produces 80% of the world’s supply?! Besides adding delicious flavour notes when cooking with this bright yellow powder (“be careful,” though—that stuff stains like no one’s business!), turmeric has long been touted for its health benefits.

One specific compound found in turmeric called curcumin has caught researchers’ attention due to potential medicinal properties ranging from easing digestive issues to reducing inflammation in the body.

Can Turmeric Lower Cholesterol?

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that curcumin could lower LDL. However, as with any study, there are limitations and further research is needed to establish a direct causal link between turmeric consumption and cholesterol levels.

That being said, incorporating more turmeric into your diet certainly won’t hurt! It’s worth noting that most studies on curcumin have involved supplements rather than cooking with the spice. Still…turmeric supplements aren’t without possible side effects—for example they may irritate some stomachs or cause low blood sugar levels (always talk to your doc before trying any new supplement).

How Much Turmeric Should I Eat?

While it’s hard to say exactly how much fresh turmeric you should eat (because please don’t eat spoonful after spoonful like it’s yogurt), one generalization is 1–3 grams daily—keep in mind that wellness-seeking people might also drink “golden milk” latte concoctions multiple times throughout the day made from fresh or powdered versions of the stuff.

Before diving headfirst into a bowl of curry every night for dinner though, you likely need other foods accounted for for well-rounded balanced nutrition—it can all add up quickly!

Here are some strategies humans often try when trying up their turmer-game:

  • adding 1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon + ginger + cardamom + black pepper
  • blending fresh/frozen mango chunks plus chopped hot peppers,vinegar,and dark maple syrup w/ sautéed garlic/onion/turkey replacing traditional tomato sauce

The spices pack an additional flavorful punch while presenting health benefits themselves; variety rules here!

Anyway…

To sum things up – while we can’t definitively say whether turmeric will directly lower your cholesterol levels nor do we know optimal amounts recommended—adding this spice to your diet certainly won’t hurt. Plus, let’s be real: it tastes good! But as with any new food addition or major lifestyle change…always chat about them to a certified health professional first.

Disclaimer: this information is not intended as medical advice nor does it replace the counsel of a physician.

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