How To Naturally Lower Your Cholesterol Levels With Turmeric
Turmeric is a flowering plant in the same family as ginger, Zingiberaceae. The part we know and use is the root of this plant. It contains curcumin, a compound believed to have strong medicinal properties.
Cholesterol is a lipid that is found exclusively in animal products. There are two types of cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol and HDL (good) cholesterol. LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein and HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein.
The reason they are labeled “bad” and “good” is related to their effect on heart disease and other medical conditions. For example, high LDL levels increase your risk for heart attack and stroke whereas high level of HDL decrease this risk.
So how is this healthy spice related to your cholesterol? Keep reading to find out more about turmeric’s effects.
Research Suggests Turmeric Is A Spicy Way To Stay Healthy
One of the most common medicinal uses for turmeric is to reduce inflammation, which is why it may be a great option for those interested in an autoimmune protocol diet. It provides so many more benefits though! There have been studies and data to show that it plays a role in lowering cholesterol as well.
A promising study conducted with rabbits found that turmeric consumption did in fact lower LDL cholesterol. The rabbits were broken into three groups and fed a diet high in cholesterol. One group acted as a control, while the other two were given varying doses of turmeric along with their food.
The researchers found that both groups given the turmeric had lower levels of total cholesterol. The group given moderate instead of a high dose was also found to have the lowest levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides of all three groups. While this does not directly translate to humans, it is an interesting stepping stone to understanding turmerics potential effects.
Some human studies have been conducted on turmeric and curcumin, that supports this data found from the rabbits.
In 1992, scientists studied ten human volunteers to see if there was any benefit to curcumin on their health. They received 500mg of curcumin per day, for one week. By the end of the week, they had lower overall cholesterol levels and higher HDL cholesterol levels.
Based on their findings, it was suggested that curcumin, and perhaps turmeric, could be used as a preventive measure against unhealthy cholesterol levels. More studies would need to be conducted though, as the results are not conclusive. Other studies have found varying results, so it’s important to keep in mind that this spice is not a definitive cure-all at this point in time, but a tasty addition to your meals that may offer some health benefits.
Recipes To Incorporate Turmeric In Your Daily Meals
Turmeric might be a great spice to add to your diet, but how do you incorporate it? We’ve provided some tasty ideas to spice up your day with this heart healthy ingredient!
One easy and tasty way to incorporate turmeric into your day is by adding it to a smoothie. You can easily add a serving of this golden spice with our pre-portioned packets to make your drink more functional. We like to combine one mango, a handful of strawberries, and almond milk (or any other milk of your choosing), and then a packet of turmeric.
Golden milk (or turmeric tea) is also a great way to add turmeric to you diet. This beverage has become a phenomenon for a reason. Golden milk is easy to prepare, delicious, and a healthy drink.
All you need to prepare golden milk is the below ingredients:
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Pinch of fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup milk of your choice
- Additional spices of your choice (cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom work well)
Combine each ingredient and heat on the stove over medium. After letting it simmer for approximately fifteen minutes, the turmeric tea is ready.
Another great way to incorporate turmeric into your diet is through a curry dish. In March, our guest chef, Nicole Loveland, created a wholesome chicken curry dish that you can find on Instagram and Facebook.
If you need more inspiration for well-balanced recipes full of turmeric, check out bonappetit’s list of 37 recipes!
However you decide to incorporate turmeric into your diet, it’s sure to be delicious and provide a few healthy benefits.